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Old 08-29-2008, 01:25 PM   #1
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Old timer here, severe head pain

I had cervical fusion c 5-6-7- and lumbar disc l5/s1 back in 2003. Life has been a constant struggle with pain. I ended up in the er last night due to severe head pressure and high bp. Anyone get so sick like this when sitting in a straight chair for too long? the recliner is fine, but any upright chair forget it! The head pressure was so bad it felt like it would explode! I barely made driving to get to the er. They did a cat scan and all ok there. So just wondering if others who have had this went on to redo the surgery or found another option? My last mri showed a possible "non fusion" on one level.
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Hashi's / Hypo Jan 2008
C 5-6-7 fusion
L-5 s1, discectomy, ddd, o/a, scoliosis
Hysterectomy

 
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Old 09-01-2008, 07:33 PM   #2
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Re: Old timer here, severe head pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by kindspirit View Post
I had cervical fusion c 5-6-7- and lumbar disc l5/s1 back in 2003. Life has been a constant struggle with pain. I ended up in the er last night due to severe head pressure and high bp. Anyone get so sick like this when sitting in a straight chair for too long? the recliner is fine, but any upright chair forget it! The head pressure was so bad it felt like it would explode! I barely made driving to get to the er. They did a cat scan and all ok there. So just wondering if others who have had this went on to redo the surgery or found another option? My last mri showed a possible "non fusion" on one level.

I had one level L5s1 Lam '98 then double fusion L5s1/L4-5 '99. I had all ready had neck pain before any surgery. One night ended up in the ER due to moving my neck and hearing the sound on bone on bone and sudden onset of massive head pain that threw me to floor and kept me there for a bit. Stood up still with pain, body all contorted and rushed to ER. Said things look fine in cervical. Well, surgeon disagreed and I had double fusion neck surgery in 2000. One month all most to the day, I ended up in ER with massive head and neck pain. That would be my life for the next 3 years. In and out. And even when I didn't go, I was at home still wishing I was there. I have had head CTs, MRI after MRI for neck and back. No one has an answer other than a chiro whom thinks he can do careful adjustments to get the tension out of back of neck. I still sufferin' and still don't know what to do.

To answer your question, I have asked the same thing to so many different people, have sought info on Net...and I have heard folk say that they ended up with massive (migraine, though that is not what I have---no problem with light or sound) head pain time to time and docs don't know what to tell them.
Is the head pain only in the head? In front or back or both. Forehead (front that would be)..temples...eyes? I have always been told that the fusions in neck look solid. I was told the same thing about my back though. Then in '01 while having hardware taken out of lumbar, doc discovered needed refusing and I ended up having another long back surgery that I wasn't expecting.

I know this. When one has the cervical fusion, the neck muscles are stretch (ya gain an 1/2 or more in height so they just don't unstretch) and because they don't like the metal (themperture of metal might be different than temp...so they spasm..even though you probably don't feel the spasms)...and one starts to lose the natural curve of their spine and that cause issues.

What does one do? I hope for you that it is fused. I wish there was a way to truely finding out without cutting. Because surgery ain't kind too many. I say this not fused, then neck bone and muscles reacting to that I have been told.

This is the only time you have had the head pain I take it. If ya can get botox injection in your muscles in front of you neck-ones that run up yer neck toward and near ear and jaw joint and as well in back of neck and forehead that might possibly help. It helps me, just not completely, or should I say, it doesn't enable to go out and "do" without consequence. Whatever is wrong in neck, it doesn't like to be moved.

If ya can't get botox, I hear Rolfing helps...painful treatment(s) that is temporary that is suppose to lead to less pain caused by surgeries. It's deep massage, but deeper than a "deep massage" at a massage place.

When you say explode, that is exactly the term I use to express the pain I experience in my neck. Many times it lead to vomitting. Your head and stomach connected I'm told so that is what happens.

Before any surgery, find a headache clinic or a neurologist (not neurosurgeon) who specializes in head/neck pain. I just started seeing one. Had botox that is all so far. Yet, have had botox treatments for two plus years straight, then didn't for almost two years...had them last week..first two days lots of pain in face and around jaw do to muscles relaxing and reacting, but then settles in and they aren't so tight.

 
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Old 09-02-2008, 05:02 AM   #3
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Re: Old timer here, severe head pain

Hello, I have to tell you I have not had neck surgery, just getting some diagnostic testing done in the cervical & thoracic, but I am preety sure I know exaclty what you are talking about. This headache is all consuming, the entire head. hurts no matter what, even ot move the eyes. I get that & can feel it stemming from the neck. Nothing touches the pain. You do not want to move the head one fraction of an inch. Sound anything like you are talking about? You are correct it is not a migraine, but its painful like one.

My first round with PT anytime he would work on my neck at all he would trigger these off. Then when I would return he would say the muscles in that area were in full, constant spasm. Ended up getting trigger point last christmas eve to get rid of one.
All I know is this is one headache that makes you unable to hold you head up at all or move it. I ice my neck when I get them, which I have had a couple the last 2wks. My neck has been cracking & heard this huge pop noise last night when I turned it. I was scared to death I would end up with the headache, small one & my ear hurts. Hopefully the headache stays at bay.
Good luck, that is awful pain & I hope you can remedy whats causing it soon, Sammy

 
Old 09-02-2008, 07:35 AM   #4
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Re: Old timer here, severe head pain

Thanks Sammy and Chev for sharing, I'm not alone. Yes, its the "whole head" starts up the back of my neck, tension and then feels like it will explode all over. It feels like I'm balancing a bowling ball on a toothpick! no support feelings. Driving I get it, sitting without a back rest etc etc Living in my recliner is not a life! Stress does make it worse! Thanks for the suggestion on "botox", Chev. I'll check that out. The mri recently showed one level might not be fused? After these type surgeries all the other discs have to take on more weight and thus more symptoms. I've resorted to staying away from activities that require "sitting", its so hard to explain to others as they don't understand! " you look fine?" well, maybe I should sit for them a bit and then look at me, lol I get white and squinty eyes, sick as hell , not a pretty picture, that part scares me more than anything! Esi's did nothing for me, so going to chk out botox. Any arm movements make it worse too, like just a little raking etc. Guess the hardware will stay in there as too afraid of more surgery and scar tissue. Thanks again for sharing, praying you get some relief too!!
__________________
Hashi's / Hypo Jan 2008
C 5-6-7 fusion
L-5 s1, discectomy, ddd, o/a, scoliosis
Hysterectomy

 
Old 09-07-2008, 06:54 PM   #5
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Re: Old timer here, severe head pain

Oh my god.. i know exactly what you mean. I had c5 6 fusion acdf own bone/plate in 03 and l5 s1 04/ microdiscectomy. My c6 7 was preexisting bulge and now between that and the domino affect I am suffering from so much pressure, throat problems, and all the usual spasms., I know what you mean about the pressure. Today I got vertigo, inner left ear pain, and it feels like the muscles are squeezing my head off in the area of my neck, throat chest etc. It is like when you put an elastic band on your wrist and yet to look at you NOTHING. I finally got so sick with it in the summer I ended up on Lyrica and it helped the pain/pressure but 1 2percent get vasocompression so that my hands after a week on it turned blue. Went off it quickly as not a big pill person . Then after that I wanted to take responsibility for controlling my pain so I ended up at a Pain clinic where they inject anaesthetic in you neck ,sides of head, low back etc. It was tiring but worth it. Then after a few months I though ok I'm doing better and this week the c6 7 herniation is oppressing me to heck. Sometimes I feel ready to call it quits but don't want to..you know that part of you that says I can't do this anymore but if it wasn't for all this pain I am happy and have a great life/family...so.....here I am back on the boards trying to cope with it all by talking and then I saw your post. Please feel free to respond to vent or whatever ..I can't believe you have had pretty much the same as me. Did you have artificial disc replacement/straight fusion.... That is my next alternative as this seems to be heading the same way. What were your symptoms from the c6 7 like or was it pretty much as stated above. For now I am biting a 1/4 to 1/2 percocet to get through till i see pain dr this week. Life's great till you have a spinal cord injury. Oh well I guess the MS victims could slap us silly for complaining...have to put it all in perspective .

You take care...know that you are not alone..sincerely,
from "a Canadian girl who is getting tired of this latest test again". LOL

Last edited by nero; 09-07-2008 at 07:06 PM.

 
Old 09-12-2008, 07:53 AM   #6
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Re: Old timer here, severe head pain

HI-I'm going through all the head pain and cerivical yours are and I am seeing a tmj dentist. Do any of you think some of your symptoms may be related to tmj which causes neck pain and headaches. Its kinda funny reading the tmj board and neck board because so many of us have the same symptoms. I also have bulges and ddd of the neck and osteophytes, but they think most of my pain is from the tmj.

 
Old 09-15-2008, 05:55 PM   #7
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Re: Old timer here, severe head pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvtocamp View Post
HI-I'm going through all the head pain and cerivical yours are and I am seeing a tmj dentist. Do any of you think some of your symptoms may be related to tmj which causes neck pain and headaches. Its kinda funny reading the tmj board and neck board because so many of us have the same symptoms. I also have bulges and ddd of the neck and osteophytes, but they think most of my pain is from the tmj.
Recently I read an article about something a dentist invented to stop TMJ/"Migraine" headaches. I all ready have some plactice TMJ retainer like product that I've been wearing at night since 2000/01. I cannot say with that it has help the jaw pain, just stopped me from grinding teeth. When the neck/head pain began after double-fusion cervical fusion (see previous post), my surgeon thought TMJ was the cause. I traveled to UCLA Dental School and they conducted this and that test to see if I had TMJ, or should say, could cause/reproduce the pain(s) complainned of. They couldn't. Yet, the x-ray taken of my jaw joint showed that I have TMJ. As well, I have known since a young teen that I have TMJ--just not serious. The rub was that the head dentist at school looked at x-ray and said he doesn't believe in TMJ. And that was that.

I've spoken to other dentist whom disagree with him. One of them quit his job to find another dental practice to work for/run because the owner/operator didn't believe in TMJ.

I wish it was just a case of TMJ causing the severe neck/head pain, but have yet to seen proof of it in my case. The pain begins in back of my neck, not in my jaw. Still, I'm now going to seek a TMJ specialist locally and discuss what he thinks. I'm not saying that TMJ is causing folks "migrains"--that is what the article I read about this new mouth piece suggested--but I, and others here don't have migrains, unless the term is just being use generacally to desribe headache pain.

I am going to update the original poster of this thread regarding my recent botox injections and how it made the jaw pain worse for first few days. I wouldn't be suprised to learn that TMJ, stretch muscles from surgery, and lost of natural curve of spine, metal in neck, etc, are working together to cause these horrific suicidal causing neck/head pains.

 
Old 09-15-2008, 06:01 PM   #8
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Re: Old timer here, severe head pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by kindspirit View Post
I had cervical fusion c 5-6-7- and lumbar disc l5/s1 back in 2003. Life has been a constant struggle with pain. I ended up in the er last night due to severe head pressure and high bp. Anyone get so sick like this when sitting in a straight chair for too long? the recliner is fine, but any upright chair forget it! The head pressure was so bad it felt like it would explode! I barely made driving to get to the er. They did a cat scan and all ok there. So just wondering if others who have had this went on to redo the surgery or found another option? My last mri showed a possible "non fusion" on one level.
Hey there. First few days after botox injections three weeks ago created a lot of jaw, front of neck muscles, and facial pain. My jaw still hurts. But the injections sure did remove the pain in the front muscles of my neck. Unfortunately, that pain in back of neck that causes headaches, yeah, still there. Of course I ask the neuro not to inject me there because in past always created one massive massive headache...so I was fearful of it.

I've learn that insurance no longer covers botox injects too. The neuro is hopeful that it will be covered once again soon.

Spoke to Rolfing person: He said he could help eliminate much of the pain. Not covered by any insurance for no carrier accepts as being medical treatment.

Continue the fight.

 
Old 10-28-2008, 07:32 PM   #9
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Re: Old timer here, severe head pain

Can I please ask a question? What is a Non Fusion? I am only asking because I had a C5-C6 over 2 months ago and my surgeon and chiropractor both have taken x-rays in the last month and both say I have no bone growth. I am getting scared because I was going to do my lower back next but if my neck is not healing then maybe not. Is this fixable do you know?


Quote:
Originally Posted by kindspirit View Post
I had cervical fusion c 5-6-7- and lumbar disc l5/s1 back in 2003. Life has been a constant struggle with pain. I ended up in the er last night due to severe head pressure and high bp. Anyone get so sick like this when sitting in a straight chair for too long? the recliner is fine, but any upright chair forget it! The head pressure was so bad it felt like it would explode! I barely made driving to get to the er. They did a cat scan and all ok there. So just wondering if others who have had this went on to redo the surgery or found another option? My last mri showed a possible "non fusion" on one level.

 
Old 10-29-2008, 07:19 AM   #10
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Re: Old timer here, severe head pain

Non fusion means the bone did not fill in the area removed. I had donar bone put in and one area shows "lucency" meaning not filled. A recent dr visit said hold off on surgery until I can't stand the pain. You're early in recovery, so it might still fuse? I'm just hoping the hardware is enough to sustain my neck?
Good luck, I hope you get good results soon!!
__________________
Hashi's / Hypo Jan 2008
C 5-6-7 fusion
L-5 s1, discectomy, ddd, o/a, scoliosis
Hysterectomy

 
Old 10-30-2008, 04:22 AM   #11
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Re: Old timer here, severe head pain

I haven't had the surgery yet and I'm going through the severe head pain daily. I also have very high blood pressure due to this injury. My daily headaches are very severe and I'm getting full blown migraines every 2-3 days now. I just went and got my maxalt and fiornial refilled and my doctor says these headaches from the high blood pressure, neck cord compression and stress.

 
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