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    Old 09-13-2006, 09:00 AM   #1
    Leela_C
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    Headaches related to neck problems

    This is from another thread where the discussion started talking about headaches and bulging discs.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BlueSteam
    Leela_C, sorry to interrupt everybody, but I couldn't help but reply to what she wrote. I also started suffering headaches and migraines from bulging discs in my neck. Nerves were being pushed on that were causing the headaches. Finally, I saw a pm dr who put me on the right med that stopped the h/a's. The neck is still hurting, but at least I can half-way function. I went on topamax for the h/a's and it has been a blessing for me. It is actually an anti-siezure med that has other uses. Nerve pain is one of them. Has your dr talked to you about any meds like this? Eventually, topamax trains your brain to quit sending the pain signal and you may be able to get off of the med. I'm at four months and slowly going off now. I'm back down to 50mg's and have no h/a's. (Except the tmj ones) and thanks everyone for all the good info.
    BlueSteam - did you ever have any lightheadedness with or without your headaches? My problems all started with lightheadedness. I realized later that it all started after I suffered whiplash. I don't have the lightheadedness much anymore, but now I have daily headaches. I have had an MRI that showed "narrowed discs" at c4 and c5, and I recently had an x-ray that showed "bulging discs" at c6 and c7. I can hear a crackling sound when I move my neck. The neurologist that did the MRI said that is normal for someone my age but I don't believe him. I couldn't stand him anyway because he kept focusing on symptoms I didn't have, rather that the ones I did. I stopped seeing him about a year ago and have just reently got another referral to see another neurologist.

    To answer your question - no, I never talked to the doc about those medications. At the time, I didn't have the headaches I do now. I will see what this new neurologist has to say.

    Thanks for posting. I have been so sure that a lot of my issues are related to my neck and I'm glad I found someone that has been given a definite diagnosis.

     
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    Old 09-13-2006, 02:08 PM   #2
    BlueSteam
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    Re: Headaches related to neck problems

    Hi there, It's always nice to find out that we're not alone, although I would hate the thought of anyone having this kind of pain.

    At first my primary dr kept telling me it was just my neck and head muscles and kept putting me on all kinds of pain killers. Well, I'm not into pain killers and they just didn't work. If I had a headache I couldn't get under control I would end up with a migraine that would sometimes last for five days. Physical therapy and a chiropractor didn't help. Only made me worse. I did have dizzy spells and lightheadedness. I also hear the crackling sounds in my neck. With the bulges I've also got a lot of athritis and DDD. (typical as we grow older I was told also) I just turned 38. Talk about insult to injury. All my problems started with a headache around 2pm everyday and tingling in my left shoulder. It only happened at work. I felt good on the weekends. I was working ten hour days in front of a computer.

    Finally, when my primary dr felt she couldn't help me any further she sent me to a pm dr who put me on the topamax right away. He felt I had some nerve damage going on. Boy, was he right. Five days into the med, I never had another headache. The initial s/e's aren't fun, but it was so worth it to me.

    When is your appt?

     
    Old 09-13-2006, 02:45 PM   #3
    Leela_C
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    Re: Headaches related to neck problems

    It is nice to find out that someone else has the same problems, but it stinks that we have to go through this. I'm not into pain killers either. I actually went to the ER one night because my headache was so bad and they gave me an injection of something that sent me to cloud 9. They sent me home with some hydrocodone and I think I only took two of those and that was only because my back hurt so bad from the lumbar puncture they did. Right now my headache pain is tolerable, but it keeps getting worse. I will definitely ask about the topamax when I go see the new neurologist. I haven't made an appointment yet because I'm still trying to find one. The last one I called demanded the records from my old neurologist and I don't want to send those to a new doctor. I don't want his nonsense clouding someone else's judgement. So they wouldn't even make an appointment for me.

    My parents both have DDD in their spines. My dad just got a fusion (l3-l4-l5-s1) in March and is still recovering from that. I'm sure my whole spine is a mess. I have been going to doctors for almost 4 years with no diagnosis. I have developed anxiety because of it and now, of course, when I go to a doctor they just write me off as a nutcase. It is so frustrating sometimes. I finally have a PCP that realizes I have neck problems and thankfully she gave me a referral.

    Thanks again for the advice. I will keep you posted.

     
    Old 09-13-2006, 02:48 PM   #4
    Leela_C
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    Re: Headaches related to neck problems

    Oh yeah! I also have the tingling - but pretty much down my whole left arm. My 4th and 5th fingers on my left hand are numb all of the time. I am an accountant so I sit in front of the computer all day and that definitely makes it worse. Do you have any problems with flourescent lights? They bother me so much. I have the hardest time in the grocery store, believe it or not. I get really dizzy walking up and down the aisles with all of the lighting in there.

     
    Old 09-14-2006, 06:24 AM   #5
    BlueSteam
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    Re: Headaches related to neck problems

    Well, everything sounds pretty familiar to me. I get a lot of pain in my left arm and hand mostly, but it has started up in my right arm too. It seems endless sometimes. One day, my right hand froze up and then started having spasms. EEeekk.

    I hate to tell you this, but we all have DDD to some degree. After my doc told me about mine, I felt like you do. But after all my investigating, it appears to be quite normal. My step-sister had it at 25. It's part of the aging process and for some of us, it starts pretty early. For 38, I have way too much athritis. The best thing to do is keep moving--which is really hard with the injuries and headaches.

    Lights were a major problem when I was having the h/a's, but now it's not so bad. I had an ESI injection, what a mistake, I was so hoping it would work. Come to find out, I have a slight allergy to steriods. Made me feel worse for nearly two months. One thing about the pills they try giving you is that they may cause rebound h/a's. The best thing I found was otc naproxen. I would take it as soon as I felt the slightest bit of anything coming on. It can be hard on the tummy, so you have to be careful.

    My h/a's were tolerable at first, then got horribly bad. My body was just not meant to sit in front of a screen all day Be sure to get up and move around as much as you can. My dr said this kind of neck and h/a problem is quite common for people who work at a computer all day. Also, your PCP may be able to prescribe the Topa also. My primary had mentioned it right off the bat, but wanted to try other things first. I'm so sorry you're having troubles, and if I can help you in any way, let me know.

     
    Old 09-14-2006, 11:25 AM   #6
    Jenny R.
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    Re: Headaches related to neck problems

    BlueSteam or Leela, do any of you have facial tightness/tingling with your neck problems. I too am suffering from what the neurologist says are cervicogenic headaches/migraines. My left shoulder tingles, but so does my left jaw area, and my ear is painful. I had a brain MRI everything normal. Next I think it will be a cervical MRI. Just wondering also do you ever have skin sensitivity being that you get headaches/migraines? When my shirt rubs against my skin it kinda feels like little bugs crawling under my shirt. Thanks!!

     
    Old 09-14-2006, 02:53 PM   #7
    BlueSteam
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    Re: Headaches related to neck problems

    Hi Jenny, I've always associated the tingling in my shoulder with my neck problems--it usually occurs when I use my computer or sit too long anywhere. It's pretty annoying and gets painfull because the next thing to hit is muscle tightness in my neck. I get the facial tightness too. It's my understanding that this comes from tight or muscles that may be spastic. I never realized that a person had muscles surrounding their head These muscles get sore and tight just like any other muscle in your body. I have problems with both TMJ and my neck, so I usually assume that the jaw and ear pain and some of my facial tightness comes from the TMJ. And..I have definitely noticed, especially after a nasty headache, that my skin because very sensitive. Even sore to the touch. I've never thought to mention this too my dr--but I just thought that it was from my poor head being so sore from the h/a--and I'm sure I've had friends mention the same thing happening to them after a migraine.

    Hope this helps

     
    Old 09-14-2006, 04:28 PM   #8
    Jenny R.
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    Re: Headaches related to neck problems

    BlueSteam, thanks for the comment. Yes, that jaw tightness is always there for me when my neck is hurting, it is the stranges feeling. It is also made worse by neck movement, its seems that a certain way I turn my head it will trigger the tightness. Weird, thats for sure. Do you ever take a muscle relaxer? It seems that Xanax works well for me, probably because they do have a relaxant in them, just mild. Thanks so much for the info. Greatly appreciated!!!! hopefully talk again, take care!!

     
    Old 09-14-2006, 06:22 PM   #9
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    Re: Headaches related to neck problems

    I've been having the same symptoms--never had headaches before. Dxed with MS last year, and MRI of spine showed arthritis in the neck and thoracic spine.

    The mornings are extreme head and visual dizziness and then dull pain only in my forehead region, then sudden, crushing pain between the eyes or in the roof of my eye sockets with cervical stiffness. This started about a week ago and it's getting worse.

    When I take Excedrin migraine or Tramadol it alleviates it and then when it wears off the pain just comes back. Right now my face is numb from the top of my head down through my forehead and my upper jaw and front teeth. All of this only happens in my forehead.

    I can't move my head very much and I am spacy. I live alone and I need this to go away! Tomorrow I have appt with neurologist, so please pray for me, T

     
    Old 09-14-2006, 06:40 PM   #10
    Jenny R.
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    Re: Headaches related to neck problems

    Trucky, my prayers are with you. Did you have lesions on your brain MRI, or just cervical? My doc sent me for a MRI of brain in April because of this facial stuff, it's been going on for about 6 years now, my brain MRI was normal. I think probably a cervical one will be done soon. MS concerns me because my grandmother was diagnosed when she was 60, she has since passed, but migraines run in my family also, my mom and her dad have had them all there life, my maternal gram was the one with MS. They say its hard to diagnose it at that age, sometimes I wonder if she truly even had it at all. She managed pretty well in the 19 years that she had it. She drug her left leg a little, and had bowel troubles but thats about it, if there eas more, than she never said anything about it, she was no the type to complain, she had faith in the Lord, and was a very good hearted person, boy do I miss her alot. Hope everything goes well with the neuro tomorrow!! Take care, talk again hopefully!!!

     
    Old 09-14-2006, 07:41 PM   #11
    trucky
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    Re: Headaches related to neck problems

    Thanks, Jenny! I have MS lesions in the cerebellum of my brain--related to balance and motion, mostly. The cervical problem is arthritis, which the orthopedic doc didn't think was unusual at my age--59.

    My ENT thinks it's Trigeminal Neuralgia, caused by a mechanical problem of an artery touching the T nerve in the brain--I'm not sure though, because there's dizziness, fatigue, and confusion with this. Could be optical too. We'll see.

     
    Old 09-14-2006, 07:54 PM   #12
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    Re: Headaches related to neck problems

    Trucky, Wishing you the best tomorrow, hope everything goes well!! Maybe neuro will do a MRA, I understand they can tell that way if an artery is causing your symptoms. Sometimes I've read that alot of people have TN and they never find a cause, hopefully they will get you on the right track. Take care, hugs and prayers!!

     
    Old 09-15-2006, 06:12 AM   #13
    BlueSteam
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    Re: Headaches related to neck problems

    Jenny, For a while I was taking flexeril, but I started having horrible nightmares. Then, when my shoulder, arm and hands got so bad I was put on skelaxin. That one worked great for a muscle relaxer--until three days into it when I started having palpitations. I seem to have the worst luck with any med they put me on. I always cut my meds in half, if it's OK, and still have problems. When nothing else works, I usually try naproxen. I do take xanax once in a great while for anxiety, but I have never noticed it help me out with my neck. It's so rare that I take it. I did have valium a couple times before my MRI's and I really noticed a big differance then.

    About a month ago I started getting pretty bad eye pain, and headaches that centered around my forehead. Come to find out the topamax had dehydrated me a little. So, I have decided to go off of the topamax. Work comp wouldn't cover my s/e appts. and it really made me angry. All my dr had to do was tell them that it is a common s/e and it would have been fine. In the meantime even my upper teeth began to hurt--but a round of antibiotics took care of it. But....My other headaches are already returning and I'm only down to 50mg's of the topa. Crap. I may have to put my stubborness and pride aside and just take it.

    My dr has never done an MRI of my actual head and that kind of bothers me. I have had and MRI of my neck done. I often wonder if there's something else going on. I've noticed a lot of dizziness the last couple of days with the headaches. I just wish that the problem would be fixed instead of covered up.

     
    Old 09-18-2006, 06:59 AM   #14
    Leela_C
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    Re: Headaches related to neck problems

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BlueSteam
    My dr has never done an MRI of my actual head and that kind of bothers me. I have had and MRI of my neck done. I often wonder if there's something else going on. I've noticed a lot of dizziness the last couple of days with the headaches. I just wish that the problem would be fixed instead of covered up.
    I'm with you about fixing the problem rather than covering it up. I hate taking medicine like you wouldn't believe. I am very sensitive to just about everything so if there is a side effect listed, I will probably get it.

    You might have already told me this, and sorry if I don't remember, but have you had any type of physical therapy? I often wonder if PT might help me?

    My head is absolutely killing me this morning. It is hard to even sit here at the computer.

     
    Old 09-18-2006, 07:28 AM   #15
    BlueSteam
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    Re: Headaches related to neck problems

    Leela_C, I did go to PT for about 2 months, twice a week, to no avail. If they even touched my neck, say to massage it...I would end up with a migraine every single time. My dr had to write a script to have them work around my neck. I also saw a chiropractor who I felt helped me the first appt...but when he started forcing my neck to crack....I think he has injured me further. I often think that maybe if I would have switched chiropractors things might be differant. This guy was full of it and too aggressive. I do use a lot of ice and heat. The heat really helps to relax my muscles, and the cold was great on the headaches. Put it this way....the frozen peas in my freezer can't be eaten anymore

    It sure wouldn't hurt to try the PT--they sure made the rest of me feel better, and you may not get the migraines after your appts. like I did. They had never had that happen before. Kind of made me feel bad for them. What are you taking for the h/a's?? Sorry, I too don't recall.

     
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