Q. Is it possible to get daily headaches due to degenerative disc disease?

Answered by
Dr. Prakashkumar P Bhatt
and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M
This is a premium question & answer published on May 31, 2020 and last reviewed on: Jun 11, 2020

Hi doctor,

My husband is a 38-year-old male who smokes and has degenerative disc disease from several car accidents. No real treatment has been given to him aside from chiropractic visits to reveal tension in his lower back. He does have many stresses with work and home life and is seeing a counsellor due to depression.

About a month now, he has experienced daily headaches that would not go away. Often his headaches are accompanied by nausea and vomiting. He has light sensitivity. And I am sure also working on a computer adds to it. Often he feels the headache and it is manageable. But there are times he feels it more. Just the other day he was having what he said was a cluster headache.

He is scheduled for a MRI. But I am extremely concerned it is a tumor or something bad. Any thoughts or opinions would be appreciated. Does Degenerative Disc Disease cause daily headaches?


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Dr. Prakashkumar P Bhatt

General Medicine Internal Medicine Neurology


Welcome to icliniq.com.

Your husband having intermittent headaches which are more looks like migraine then cluster headache from your description. Hence I want to clarify some points. Is that headache is very very severe? Please rate the severity from 0 to 10 where 0 is no headache and 10 is worst headache.

Once headache starts it remains for how long? Is there one eye pain, tearing, redness, nasal discharge during headache? Yes, MRI is needed as it is daily headache since 1 month with some odd features. Send me the details of medication currently he is taking including pain relievers. Yes, MRI is normal then it is primary headache like Migriane or Cluster headache and it is curable.

Degenerative spinal disease rarely cause headache and in your husband's case it is not the cause.

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Thank you doctor,

There are times he feels it but it is manageable not pounding. Just there. Then there are times it is pounding. I cannot say a number as he does not specify it to me because I worry. When he coughs he feels his headache. He has stopped taking Advil because he said it was not working. Headaches come and go but he says he always feels it. I am scared it is a tumor.

Dr. Prakashkumar P Bhatt

General Medicine Internal Medicine Neurology


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I do not think it is tumor. It looks more likely non tumor headache because symptoms are not supporting to tumor headache but still MRI will tell us final words. If MRI is normal then no need to worry. Advil alone will not work here. He will need headache preventive therapy after MRI. He will need proper treatment for depression also. You can follow up with MRI report. Till that time he can take tablet Naxdom (Naproxane 500 mg + Domperidone 10 mg) twice daily for 5 days, then if needed.

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