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Headache Diary

Topic Overview

Keeping a headache diary may help you understand what types of headaches you get and what treatment works best for you. You also may be able to find out what your headache triggers are, such as certain foods, stress, sleep problems, or physical activity. Take your headache diary to your doctor. Together you can look at your headache history and look for patterns to your headaches.

Headache days

Record each day that you get a headache. Use a pain rating scale from 0 to 10 (where 0 is no pain and 10 is the worst pain you can imagine) to identify how bad the headache is. Put the number for how bad the headache is in the time of day when it happened. For each day you have a headache, also record how much disability you had on a scale from 0 to 3 (where 0 means you were able to continue to do your normal activities well and 3 means you had to either miss work or school at least part of the day or had to go to bed for part of the day). An example of a monthly chart follows.

Month:____________________

Day of the month

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

How bad is your headache?

Morning

Afternoon

Night

Disability for the day

Month:____________________

Day of the month

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

How bad is your headache?

Morning

Afternoon

Night

Disability for the day

Medicines to stop a headache

List the medicines that you take to STOP a headache (such as pain medicine or triptans). For each medicine, note how much of the medicine you took on the day you had a headache and how much relief the medicine gave you. Rate your relief from 0 to 3 (where 0 is no relief and 3 is complete relief). An example of a monthly chart follows.

Day of the month

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

Medicine 1:___________

Dose

How much relief?

Day of the month

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

Medicine 1:____________

Dose

How much relief?

Day of the month

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

Medicine 2:___________

Dose

How much relief?

Day of the month

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

Medicine 2:____________

Dose

How much relief?

Day of the month

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

Medicine 3:___________

Dose

How much relief?

Day of the month

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

Medicine 3:____________

Dose

How much relief?

Medicines to prevent headaches

List the medicines, if any, that you take to prevent headaches (such as a beta-blocker or anticonvulsant). For each medicine, note every day that you took it. An example of a monthly chart follows.

Day of the month

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

Medicine 1:___________

Day of the month

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

Medicine 1:____________

Day of the month

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

Medicine 2:___________

Day of the month

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

Medicine 2:____________

Other treatments

List any other treatments that you use for your headaches. This may include massage, relaxation therapy, vitamins, herbs, and other natural health products.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

Menstrual period

For women, note the days you had your menstrual period. An example of a monthly chart follows.

Day of the month

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

Menstrual period

Day of the month

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

Menstrual period

Triggers

List your four most common triggers. Then, for each day you get a headache, write in the number of the trigger that you think may have caused your headache.

  • Trigger 1:
  • Trigger 2:
  • Trigger 3:
  • Trigger 4:

An example of a monthly chart follows.

Day of the month

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

Triggers

 

Day of the month

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

Triggers

Health care visits

Record when you went to the doctor or to the emergency room, when you were hospitalized, or when you saw any other health care providers (such as a massage therapist, acupuncturist, or chiropractor).

Health care visits

Date

Who/Where

Date

Who/Where

Credits

Current as of: November 20, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine

COVID-19 Update

Women’s Care is closely following the most up-to-date announcements and information on the known cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Because this information is always changing, we will be monitoring all updates from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control. 

If you are experiencing a fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, persistent chest pain or pressure, any other COVID Coronavirus or flu symptoms, or had COVID exposure, please make sure to contact us via phone prior to your appointment. You may also contact us for any additional questions by calling our office at (913) 384-4990. We are accepting appointments, however we are currently not allowing guests with the exception of ONLY allowing ONE guest for patients’ new OB visit and ultrasound, 20 week anatomy ultrasound, and 3D ultrasound. Infants and children are not allowed into our office at this time. 

Here are a few additional resources as well: 

World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control

We appreciate your patience during this time, look forward to continuing to serve our community!

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