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Adolescent Head Pain? Is it Monday? Why Kids Suffer More on Mondays

What's the Problem?


Updated: December 2, 2003

Monday Adolescent Headache

At the American Headache Society's 42nd Annual Scientific Meeting in June, 2000, data was presented that should go a long way toward helping treat teens with headaches and Migraines. One segment of the study showed that Mondays are the day teenage Migraineurs are most likely to suffer an attack.

Data collected from 35 headache clinics was used to analyze the head pain patterns of 1,932 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17. Dr. Paul Winner, the lead researcher said that surprisingly little was known about teen Migraines despite the frequency of these severe, debilitating episodes.

Days and time:

  • 20% of teens suffer Migraine attacks most frequently on Mondays.

  • 16% suffer most frequently on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

  • Only 9% suffer Migraine attacks most frequently on Saturdays and holidays.

  • 72% of teen headaches occur between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

The Monday spike is attributed to the stresses of Monday being the first day of the school week. Although stress itself is not a Migraine trigger, it is an exacerbating factor, which means that it makes Migraineurs more susceptible to their triggers. It is noted that these are true, severe, debilitating Migraine attacks, not excuses to miss school.

Migraines are far more common among adolescents and children than one might realize. 

  • Migraines affect 3% of children at age 7.

  • They affect 4-11% of children from age 7 to age 15. 

Severity of pain:

  • Rated as moderate by 55%.

  • Rated as severe by 41%.

What kids don't know to tell parents or doctors:

  • 88% of the adolescents reported pain with activity.

  • 80% have phonophobia (sensitivity to sound) and/or photophobia (sensitivity to light) with their head pain.

  • 60% suffer nausea with head pain.

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