Headaches are one of the most common, and one of the most disabling illnesses in the world. They can result in you missing work, being unable to enjoy your vacation, or even being able to do the simplest things around the house.

You know how bad your headache is, but how do you measure that so you can determine what’s the best treatment for your headache? There are four common measures of how much your headaches are affecting you.

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Headache Attacks

Headache attacks is a relatively simple measure for the intensity of your headaches, and one of the most commonly cited migraine measures. The number of migraines you have in a 30-day period distinguish whether you have chronic or episodic migraine. Episodic migraine is defined as fewer than 15 attacks per 30 days, while chronic migraines are 15 or more attacks per 30-day period. When it comes to cluster headaches, sometimes people will describe a cluster of headaches as a single attack, but others will measure them as separate attacks.

Headache Days

Instead of the number of attacks, some people prefer to measure the number of days a person suffers headaches. Since an individual migraine or a cluster of headaches can last several days, this may be a better measure of how much headaches interfere with your life.

Visual Analog Scale (VAS)

The visual analog scale has become the most common way to measure any kind of pain these days, and if you’ve ever been to the doctor in the last decade or so, you’re familiar with this scale that runs from no pain to “the worst pain imaginable.”This has the problem that it’s completely subjective, but, then again, so is all pain, and it at least gives your doctor a way to compare your headaches with other pains you might experience.


The headache impact test or HIT-6 is a simple test of 6 questions that is used to measure how much your life is affected by your headaches. The six questions on the test are similar to:

  • How often is the pain severe in your headaches?
  • How often are your usual daily activities limited by headaches?
  • How often do you wish you could lie down when you have a headache?
  • How often have you felt too tired for activities because of headaches?
  • How often are you fed up or irritated because of headaches?
  • How often do headaches limit your ability to concentrate?

For each question, you answer never, rarely, sometimes, very often, or always, and each response is assigned a numerical value. The values are totalled up to give you a final score.

How severe are your headaches?

For many people, even severe headaches can be relieved by TMJ treatment. To get help for your headaches in Columbia, SC, please call (803) 781-9090 for an appointment with a Columbia, SC TMJ dentist at Smile Columbia Dentistry.