Headache/Migraine Relief from Neck Treatment
I recently went to a "Headache Institute" for help with daily tension headaches and migraines that would range from moderate to disabling. I am aware of nearly all of my migraine triggers, but recently had a new migraine that was happening every night of last week and started with neck stiffness that would get worse and gradually turn into a migraine. Anyway, I saw this new doctor on Monday and wanted to share an update for those who might be interested.
This office has both a regular doctor that specializes in headache treatment (whom I have yet to see) and a physical therapist. The physical therapist looks at your neck to see if there are any issues going on that might be contributing to the head troubles, as well as sinus pressure and/or pain, TMJ disorder symptoms, ear fullness/ringing/pain, eye issues, and shoulders/back aching. This place has helped many patients that have tried seeing neurologists and various other doctors and all kinds of migraine medications and still are suffering.
My neck aches were not all that bad. I felt like something was grabbing the base of my skull and it would worsen throughout the day. It was more like a sore/tension pain, not a sharp pain or anything disabling. I didn't expect that I'd have anything bad going on with my neck, but sure enough, I seem to have a disc bulge causing inflammation, which is not helping my various symptoms in my head.
The physical therapist had me do various exercises and after a little while into my appointment, I noticed my sinus pressure moved upwards a little and then almost disappeared! I always thought it was just allergies, but there is a link between that and my neck. My doctor gave me exercises to do until my next visit, wear a soft neck brace in the evenings, lay down for 10 minutes of every hour that I am home, and to NOT sleep on my stomach, which was hurting my neck more (some people are fine with it though).
I have been following these tips for just one day and woke up today feeling better than a usual day. My sinuses have much less pressure and my head didn't hurt first thing in the morning like many days. Yesterday I did NOT get the nightly migraine! I did feel a little achy, but nothing bad at all. I also have raised my computer monitor at work and now use a document holder (like an easel) to avoid looking down, which my doctor recommended.
I am so hopeful this will continue to work out well. I'll have to see the physical therapist pretty often at first, but I hope it's well worth the trouble. I will be seeing the regular doctor to look into additional things other than my neck, like hormones, since I know I get menstrual migraines. I am very pleased that at least I have one thing that should help cut down on certain headaches and migraines, as well as the sinus pressure that makes me feel so dizzy every day.
I know so many on here have tried just about everything out there, so I wanted to share my experience so far in case it's something you haven't looked into. I never thought I'd need to see a physical therapist!