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  • Chronic Headaches after biking/hiking/strenuous exercise

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    Old 06-12-2009, 08:16 PM   #1
    brokenspoke's Avatar
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    Chronic Headaches after biking/hiking/strenuous exercise

    Hi all,

    I hope someone can point me in the right direction. I'm already under care of a primary care physician.

    Here is me:

    Blood Pressure Normal, on the low side
    Multiple Concussions spread out over the years
    Some trauma, dislocated shoulders, broken bones (none in the head or neck area), etc.

    About six years ago, while with my girlfriend, I heard what I thought was a loud popping sound followed by what felt like an icepick being inserted into the base of my skull. The pain was sharp and intense. The headache lasted for four days, I was thoroughly incapacitated.

    Since that time, when I bike/hike any trail that is relatively rough (and yes, the girlfriend thing too), I get the following:

    Numb spot under my left shoulder blade (but not always). The hair on the back of my neck will begin to stand up. The prickly feeling follows to the right side of my head over and behind my ear. I can feel pressure behind my right eye, and people tell me it looks like I'm squinting that eye. From there it becomes a headache that traces around and up my head in what feels like a spiral for a day or two before it settles behind my eyes and gets severely painful. There is nausea, but there hasn't always been, and I think it's a reaction to the attacks rather than a symptom.

    The headaches aren't light or noise sensitive and I seem to be able to arrest minor attacks with over the counter migraine pills (aspirin/acetameniphin/caffeine), but the OTC pills are becoming less and less effective, and I'm worried about taking them all of the time. The major attacks usually sprout from not taking care of minor ones, but are sometimes sudden, skipping the prickly feeling and going directly to pain.

    I've had two CT's (one in 2003, one this year, both negative, or "no organic cause"), and a neck X-Ray (this year). No compressions or fractures are evident in the X-ray. I've tried a little orange pill that the doctor said was for cluster headaches, but that didn't work. An MRI is next, I'm going to go nuts on the trail and trigger a really bad one before getting scanned, but the thought of it makes me sick to my stomach and I'm hoping it won't be necessary.

    This has impacted me pretty severely in relationships, recreation, and is now really starting to wear me down across the board.

    The reason I am posting here -- This is my fourth round with doctors, and I'm afraid that once they have heard the word "head", the focus may be in the wrong spot and that we may be looking in the wrong place for the source. I'm hoping someone has a similar experience and maybe can point me in a likely direction.

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    Old 06-18-2009, 09:16 PM   #2
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    Re: Chronic Headaches after biking/hiking/strenous exercise

    Ok, no responses. This one has been going for 10 days, the MRI is scheduled for Sat. morning. I'll post back with results.

    Oh yeah, when I wake up in the mornings it sometimes feels like I have fluid in my ear (side sleeper, always the downward facing ear). Q-Tip test comes back with nothing.

    Last edited by brokenspoke; 06-18-2009 at 09:24 PM. Reason: addition info

    Old 06-19-2009, 06:24 PM   #3
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    Re: Chronic Headaches after biking/hiking/strenous exercise

    have you ever been to a chiropractor? might be worth being evaluated. Something could be pinched, more activity, blood flow that can't get thru that part of your neck?

    Old 06-28-2009, 11:53 AM   #4
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    Re: Chronic Headaches after biking/hiking/strenous exercise

    You seem to suffer from exercise headaches. The fact that they last longer than 3 days is a pointer towards an underlying etiology(?vascular). Go right ahead with the m.r.i and get an m.r.i. angiography of your head as well.

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