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    Old 05-15-2009, 05:05 PM   #1
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    Neck problems and barometric pressure

    I recently had an MRI which showed a herniated disc at the C3-4 level. Also, there is disc ridge complex at C4-5 and C5-6.

    I believe my intense migraines are an effect of these problems in my neck, but there is an aspect to it all that I haven't been able to convince any doctor (or chiropractor) of yet:

    The headaches and neck pain come on when low pressure weather systems come through. Like clockwork! The lower the pressure, the faster moving the system, the worse the pain. Hurricane and tornado weather practically disable me.

    Has anyone here experienced anything similar?


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    Old 05-15-2009, 05:58 PM   #2
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    Re: Neck problems and barometric pressure

    I have this and we have chatted about this before between multiple people here.
    At one point I thought it was the fusion hardware.

    For me it isn't whether it is low or high pressure, it is the fact it changes rapidly. I also have very bad pain flying on take-off and landing for about 10 minutes each.

    My husband helped me figure it out. He made a chart tracking barometric pressure for one month, I made a chart tracking my pain. At the end of the month we compared our data. We were both convinced that pressure systems influence how I feel.
    The PM believes in it too, he gets spikes of calls during weather changes.

    Ps-when I visit places where pressure is stable, I feel better.

    Old 05-16-2009, 05:01 AM   #3
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    Re: Neck problems and barometric pressure

    This is an interesting phenomena that doesn't seem to be talked much about it different parts of the world. However it's readily accepted as medical fact by doctors here.

    Inlammed tissue actually has baroreceptors. This is why people say that they can feel the weather changing - they really can. Many people are sensitive to sudden pressure changes if they have injuries but there are people with migraines that find they are triggered by a raise in barometric pressure. Any change can affect those that are especially sensitive but most of us just large pressure changes. Those with more inflammation are likely to feel these changes the most.

    Most doctors know about this but I'd guess that rheumy's deal with it most. I hope that this helps.

    Old 05-16-2009, 03:57 PM   #4
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    Re: Neck problems and barometric pressure

    Atmospheric pressure has become a major problem for me. I live in a valley that is only about 500 ft. above sea level. I wonder if sudden changes in barometric pressure because of weather are even more intense down here. It's the lowest place I've ever lived, and the bad headaches came on when I moved here. Of course, the degenerative disc disease was starting to progress at about the same time. Great timing!

    It would be interesting to find out which geographic locations have stable atmospheric pressure - and then move there!

    I'm visiting a neurosurgeon Monday about my disc problems. I hope to God he is open (contrary to my MD and chiropractor) to the fact that the pain related to my condition is aggravated by pressure changes; and that, while we are deciding the issue of surgery, he can help me by treating my severe pain with opiates. I simply must have some to put back and have on hand for pain emergencies caused by weather. Otherwise, I will be having days of debilitating pain in which all I can do is lay on the bed and writhe and cry (which makes it even worse). It's very difficult, if not impossible, to take care of my son and husband under those conditions.

    My MD has been very reluctant to give me anything that would actually work, preferring instead to give me high doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen, which do not touch the pain and are, actually, in those high amounts, more damaging to health than opiates taken responsibly are. IMHO.

    Hey, thanks for your replies. This seems like a really great forum.

    I'll do a search for the other threads on this subject. Any and all anecdotes and info are greatly appreciated!

    I don't wanna get cut on.

    Last edited by Saraken; 05-16-2009 at 04:00 PM.

    Old 05-17-2009, 01:49 AM   #5
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    Re: Neck problems and barometric pressure

    oh yeah! seasons change makes the pain worst(not that the pain is not worst anyway). did your doc tell you surgery will help your neck?

    Old 05-17-2009, 04:43 AM   #6
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    Re: Neck problems and barometric pressure

    I can say without one single doubt that the weather & pressure in the air causes me to be miserable, my pain will be much worse on these days.
    My husband just commented on how much he is noticing my rise in pain on days that we are having rotten weather. I can feel it when the weather changes & my old PT said many people with injuries or certain problems can.

    I am not sure if this helps, but I can tell you opiates did not help me to much with my migraines. At first when I started getting them this time around (used to get them bad in my 20s) I would get alittle relief with my pain meds, then after while nothing. Although when I ended up in ER they did give me high doses of an IV narcotic with a muscle relaxer & it brought it to a level that I could live with for a day or two. As I know exactly how you feel, there is simply no relief when these headaches hit. I laid in bed & prayed & then no longer could lay I would pace the house & pray holding my head in my hands. Could not touch my temple are as it was so painful or at times move me neck.

    I keep migraine type meds around for now just in case. As my PM gave me midrin, have not taken it in years but wanted something. In the past I was on every migraine med there was & did get relief but did not last at times. I take other meds now & just did not want to mix it all. Muscle relaxers help some people as does a small dose of caffiene. Back when I used to get them for up to 30days at a time, my doctor actually recommended having a cup of coffee, but not to over do it as caffiene can make it worse for some to.
    Its hard to say what will work for who as I do believe it can depend on the orgin of the headache.
    Yes the weather can effect me & has in the past big time with this problem, in fact the big ones would hit around the same time every year. I hope you get some where as noone should have to live with these headaches.
    Please let us know what your surgeon says, as mine did not orgianally think my cervical was causing mine he changed his mind during the surgery & said it could have been contributing. Good luck, Sam

    Old 05-20-2009, 08:30 AM   #7
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    Re: Neck problems and barometric pressure

    I went and sat in the neuro's office for 6 hours the other day and never got to see him! Had to reschedule my appointment. Every chair in the waiting room was full, so they had to line the halls with chairs for the overflow of prospective patients. The receptionist was practically in tears. It was more like a cattle call than a place of potential healing. Hmmm... I think I've have seen all I need to see of that for now.

    My chiro has some new ideas for pain treatment. I think I'll go that route for now.

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