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  • Chronic Headache and Neck pain - HELP

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    Old 11-06-2004, 04:33 AM   #1
    Mary.T
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    Unhappy Chronic Headache and Neck pain - HELP

    Hi, I have posted on this board on and off for the last two years, I have herniated discs at levels C5/6 and C6/7, and am on a very long waitlist here in London for surgery, meanwhile I keep going by visits to my local pain management clinic. My problem is that I can muddle along fine for a few weeks, and then bang, the real fun begins, I get this inter-scapular pain from the middle of back up to the neck, horrible shooting pains around the neck, and the most awful headache that goes right over the head, round by the temples, and it will not budge. I suffer with migraine anyhow, and have done for many years, and for this I find the Imigran (think it's Imitrex) injection helpful. This headache goes on for a few days and will only lift if I use the Imitrex, and then for only a few hours, it's as if while I'm asleep at night something must shift and when I wake, I can hardly lift my head off the pillow, and my shoulders feel like I have daggers sticking into them. My pain doc gave me Tramadol 100mg to try last month, but they did not agree with me and made me feel really sick, so this month my own doctor prescribed me Tramadol 50mg, again they made me feel real sick, and didn't really do anything for the pain. I have tried so many meds over the last couple of years I couldn't possibly list them all here.
    Is surgery likely to resolve this? - I think it could be Dennis who posts here that may have had similar prolems before his surgery, if so I would appreciate some advice. I am sorry for the long post, but I am now going out of my mind with this headache/ neckache. I have had to miss work for 3 days this week because I could not function, and because here, it is so long between doctor visits, I do not know should I be resting and not working, or should working not be a problem. I do not see my neurosurgeon again until January 18th. Any advice anyone could give would be so helpful, people who dont have a problem like this do not seem to understand, if you look well , you should be well, if only they knew!!
    Please, please, any advice would be most welcome, meanwhile I am going to return to laying down with my heatpad and try to sleep this off.
    Regards, Mary.T

     
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    Old 11-06-2004, 05:52 AM   #2
    DonnaKay
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    Re: Chronic Headache and Neck pain - HELP

    I hear how miserable you are! I did not experience these headaches prior to surgery. I have had then post. (Sorry!) I feel like doing too much that I wasn't supposed to be doing, or just increasing activity suddenly contributed to the headaches. They would last a month. They now last for shorter periods of time. I tried massage, heat. Then my doc suggested cold. I thought she was crazy, but a cold compress, like those bags of gel, at the base of my neck felt wonderful. At least it was temporary relief. I also remember someone here mentioning that they were in pain constantly and realized, after they changed jobs, that stress contributed to her pain. Would you be able to take time off of work? It may do you some good. I'm so sorry you are hurting so badly, and that you have to wait so long for surgery. I'm sure someone here will have some good advice.

     
    Old 11-07-2004, 12:23 PM   #3
    Mary.T
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    Re: Chronic Headache and Neck pain - HELP

    Donna, thank you so much for your reply, strange that you have had these headaches since surgery, dont like the idea of that too much. Woke again today with the terrible headache, I think tonight I shall sleep in a half sitting position and see if that makes any difference. My left leg has been having nervy pains as well today, I think it must be something to do with the way we must wriggle around in our sleep because of the head and neck pain ( I hope so anyway, wouldn't want something else to be going on as well !!!). I am going to try the cold packs. What surgery did you have done?. I feel sorry for your pain, has your doctor said why you are getting these headaches now that surgery has been done?. I cannot really take time from work at present. I am scheduled to have a cervical epidural done on Dec 1st, did you ever try this?.
    Thanks so much for your reply, it helped a lot to know someone else out there knows what you're going through. I am off to try and sleep now, and am praying that on waking tomorrow the pain will be gone. Keep well.
    Mary

     
    Old 11-07-2004, 07:44 PM   #4
    Shart3
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    Re: Chronic Headache and Neck pain - HELP

    I have has these headaches. It just felt like it took over my whole head and like my eyes where about to pop out of my head. Ice pack on the back of my neck helped a little but i just had to ride it out. i haven't had a bad one like that in a week or so. I have just been getting the ones in the back of my head,shoulders and pain down the right arm and fingers. I feel for you. This kind of pain sucks. I am having epidurel shots the 19th i hope they help. Goodluck

    Steve

    Last edited by Shart3; 11-07-2004 at 07:45 PM.

     
    Old 11-08-2004, 03:44 PM   #5
    Mary.T
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    Re: Chronic Headache and Neck pain - HELP

    Steve, Hi
    Thanks for your response. I am trying the heat and cool packs. Please let me know how the epidural shots go, as yours will be two weeks before mine. This head/neck thing is not much fun is it
    Regards, Mary

     
    Old 11-09-2004, 12:24 AM   #6
    aspen2cody
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    Re: Chronic Headache and Neck pain - HELP

    Mary since you have wait so long to see your doctor. Look up anitinflamintory diets to go along with your meds. Supplements that help disc degeneration, rest, good pillow ,home traction, dont lift anything over 25 pounds. Look at all those things since you have to wait anyway and maybe you can avoid surgery. I wish you an end to your pain and good luck.

     
    Old 11-09-2004, 07:04 AM   #7
    solardust
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    Re: Chronic Headache and Neck pain - HELP

    Hi Mary and everyone,I am not sure if this will help you folks or not, but I started with those headaches right after surgery to, everyday like clockwork,started in the base of my skull and would go behind one or both eyes,what they reminded me of was my nitro headaches,now the odd thing was ,prior to the neck surgery I always had low blood pressure, 96/56 was common,well on one of my checkups, shortly after surgery, my pressure was 156/125,Crazy I know,so he doubled my blood pressure pills, and bye bye headache,I am not sure if it was because of the high blood pressure or the blood pressure pills,cuz it is known that beta blockers can stop or reduce migraines,they did for my sister 5 yrs ago, and she suffers badly from migrains since teenage yrs,she also takes imatrex, but like I said we have a bad histroy for hearts , and she was put on blood pressure meds to relieve the load on the heart,and sure enough the migrains went down dramaticly,so maybe you can speak to your Docs about it, I hope I was of some help, I know how badly headaches are,Take care everyone Diana

     
    Old 11-09-2004, 01:37 PM   #8
    Shart3
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    Re: Chronic Headache and Neck pain - HELP

    No it is no fun at all. Its the worst thing i have had to deal with. Not being able to do anything and just hurting for no reason. I hate it. I will let you know about the shots after i have them

    Steve

     
    Old 11-09-2004, 03:16 PM   #9
    DonnaKay
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    Re: Chronic Headache and Neck pain - HELP

    In 1997, I had a one level ACDF. In 2003, I also had a one level ACDF, but this time with plating b/c of the other fused level. I have never had any injections into my spine. I get the heeby jeebies just thinking about it. I think my headaches were from stress and from doing too much. Over-activity or increased activity ... not that I was doing too much, it was just an increase. I think it's all normal. Uncomfortable, but normal. It isn't 24/7. :-) That's the best part. I am thankful for every day without a headache. In fact, I haven't had one in awhile. I haven't read the other replies. I hope you have found some relief.

    Last edited by DonnaKay; 11-09-2004 at 03:21 PM.

     
    Old 11-09-2004, 03:19 PM   #10
    DonnaKay
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    Re: Chronic Headache and Neck pain - HELP

    Diana - VERY interesting! I always had low bp ... only raised during labor ... and now, occasionally I have high bp. They've been calling it white coat hbp, but this just might be it. Wow.

    Last edited by DonnaKay; 11-09-2004 at 03:22 PM.

     
    Old 11-09-2004, 04:03 PM   #11
    Mary.T
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    Re: Chronic Headache and Neck pain - HELP

    Donna and Diana, thanks for your replies. I too had a reading of 160 over something or other yesterday, when I went to see my GP. She felt it was up because I was in so much pain, she is going to take another reading next week, and meanwhile has put me on Diclofenac 50mg alongside painkillers, and a water tablet to take each morning because apparantly if you take anti-inflammatories, this can up your blood pressure. Maybe there is something there, but if so - How do you break the cycle ? - Headache-Neckache-Blood Pressure. If anyone can think of other ideas, please let me know. Meanwhile, I am off to bed now it's midnight here, and you all enjoy your evening.
    Regards, Mary

     
    Old 11-09-2004, 07:02 PM   #12
    solardust
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    Re: Chronic Headache and Neck pain - HELP

    Hi Mary,Well I just added another reason to love this board,our insurance has put out better then a hundred thousand plus dollars,on me alone, since my heart attack and by-pass surgery in 1997,and never once, did any Doctor,and God knows I have seen alot,ever mention that anti-inflammatories could raise blood pressure,I ate them damn things like candy when my disc went out, I have been taking them right along since C5-6 is still out,and no one mentioned that my blood pressure may sky rocket,nope they just increase my blood pressure meds,I truly am sickened by that,Thankgod for boards like this,and good people willing to share info. So Thanx Mary,hell I should get your address so my isurance company can pay for the solid info ,well ,well, well,thinkin my pressure is going up just thinking about it.Here I was thinking I got my Ma's gene as well as my Dads,which puts strokes high on the list,what better way to top a heart attack I am thinking about what we can do regarding the headaches, meds, pressure,hope one of us come up with a good course of action, Diana

     
    Old 11-11-2004, 04:38 PM   #13
    Mary.T
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    Re: Chronic Headache and Neck pain - HELP

    Diana, Sorry I haven't been online for a couple of days, headache seems to be subsiding for the moment. I am seeing my GP again next week for another blood pressure reading, and I will ask her to go over again about the anti in flam / blood pressure question, and let you know what she says. I to have dogs, an Irish Setter and a Gordon Setter, called Red and Rosie. I hope you are feeling a lot better, and I hope this headache doesn't come back again for a long time, or that the epidural on the 1st December will help. Keep in touch.
    Regards, Mary

     
    Old 11-11-2004, 06:57 PM   #14
    solardust
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    Re: Chronic Headache and Neck pain - HELP

    Hi Mary , Glad to hear your headache is backing off,I am feeling better,Thanx It seems a few of us our furry friend lovers!I would'nt have it any other way! Also thanx for asking about more info on the inflammatories,I am intrested in hearing everything and anything.Take care Diana

     
    Old 12-03-2004, 12:03 PM   #15
    hidez13
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    Smile Re: Chronic Headache and Neck pain - HELP

    Hi Mary,
    I haven't posted here for a long time, but recently read your post concerning chronic headaches and neck pain.

    One thing you mentioned is similar for me - that is waking up with more pain and it seeming like something might have shifted in the night.

    I have some information regarding that phenomenon from a question that was asked on the National Pain Foundation site. Q. Why is my back or neck pain worse in the morning?

    A. If your pain involves intervertebral discs, it can worsen in the morning after lying down for the night. This is because your discs now have a chance to rehydrate (absorb fluids) and enlarge after being compressed from the weight of your body all day. This swelling can tend to irritate any compressed nerve that is causing you pain. Similarly, if muscle pain is involved, the muscles can stiffen overnight, resulting in painful movement in the morning as the stiffness is worked out.

    I thought it was interesting to have an explanation of why one might hurt more in the morning.

     
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