Headaches: A Self-Assessment of Function


Headaches are a very common problem seen in chiropractic offices. They can vary from mild and barely noticeable to extreme, so much so that it results in total disability where a sufferer is restricted to bed rest in a dark, quiet room.


One inexpensive, reliable method to track a patient’s progress is a self-administered test called the “Headache Disability Index” (HDI). This is a 25-question form that the headache sufferer completes and a total score is calculated. In the list of 25 questions, there are three choices for scoring: a “YES” response = 4 points, a “SOMETIMES” response = 2 points, and a “NO” response is not worth any points. The highest possible score = 100 (4 points x 25 questions). When patients present for chiropractic treatment, this method of assessment is often utilized and can be very helpful to determine the effectiveness of the care being provided, especially because of the lack of special assessments that exists for most types of headaches. Here is a list of questions that are included in the HDI:

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