Pain, including headache, is one of the many conditions that brings clients to massage. New research shows chronic migraine sufferers tend to be in poorer general health, less well off, and more depressed than those with episodic migraine.

The research was published ahead of print in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

The findings are based on almost 12,000 adults with episodic (a severe headache on up to 14 days of the month) or chronic (headache on 15 or more days of the month) migraine. All participants were already part of the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention study, a long term US population based study of 24,000 headache sufferers, which has included regular surveys since 2004. The research team analyzed data collected in the 2005 survey on socioeconomic circumstances and other health problems.

The results showed that those with chronic migraine had significantly lower levels of household income, were less likely to be working full time, and were almost twice as likely to have a job-related disability than their peers with episodic migraine. They were twice as likely to be depressed, anxious, and experiencing chronic pain. And they were significantly more likely to have other serious health problems.

These included asthma, bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity. They were also around 40% more likely to have heart disease and angina and 70% more likely to have had a stroke.

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