Headache diary

Headache diaries are an important way that you – and your doctors – can understand your condition. They record information on migraine attacks and other headaches that help with diagnosis, understanding trigger factors and reviewing the effectiveness of treatments.

How to submit a headache diary

There are three ways you can create your headache diary:

  1. Just download our interactive headache diary to your computer or device and fill it in each day.
  2. Print a copy of the headache diary and fill it in by hand each day. Scan or photograph the completed diary.
  3. If you don’t have a computer or a printer, you can make your own diary on a large sheet of paper – just make sure to structure it like ours. Scan or photograph the completed diary.

Complete your diary for a month (or as long as you can before your appointment).

You can use the diary to help you understand your headaches whether you have an appointment or not.

Please don’t send us diaries if you don’t have an appointment as we won’t be able to review them. (You can book an appointment here.)

But if you do have an appointment at the National Migraine Centre, send the diary to us by email at admin@nationalmigrainecentre.org.uk, making sure it reaches us at least three days before your appointment. Include in the body of your email:

  • Your name
  • Your date of birth
  • The dates your diary covers (eg 1/1/22-31/1/22)

Completing the diary

Using your diary, record every migraine or other headache you get for a month (or as long as you can before your appointment) by date and day of the week. Include the following information:

  • The time the headache started
  • The pain score, where ten is the worst pain imaginable and zero is no pain at all
  • ALL medication you take for your acute attack (no need to write out the name in full – you can use an initial or a code)
  • The times that you take medication – record a medication more than once if you repeat it on the same day
  • Any other comments (for instance, for women, where applicable, you should also record here when your period is happening)

Download a headache diary