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    Old 09-26-2009, 05:47 AM   #1
    sammyo1
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    Who has headaches here

    There are a few of us who suffer headaches. For those who do can you share the location of your injury & give us a description of you headaches.

    Before my surgery I had the worst headaches you could imagine with nothing touching this pain. Both my surgeon & PM stated they did not think my injured area at C5-6 were the cause of these headaches. During surgery it was discovered the vertabrae had splintered into the cord. This did not show on any film, at that point the surgeon changed his mind & said indeed the spinal problems could have caused the headaches. I had headaches on & off through out this whole ordeal but they went away following surgery. Now the headaches are returning. I can feel my neck sore & stiff at times & had a headache for the most part of the week. This put me in bed sunday with vomiting & the entire head hurting. My neck actually felt swollen & sensitive to touch. Thank god I slept most of the day.
    Now Im scared more then I can say about these returning. I seem to have lingering pain. I believe lifting much of anything may be contributing at this point to.
    So Im hoping those of you who have experianced any headaches will share. Im trying to pinpoint what could be causing these to return. Had fusion at C5-6 in dec. & know C7 & 4 are not in great shape. With C7 being the worst of the 2. Much of my ongoing pain & symptoms would indicate it could be the 7 but Im curious to see who else suffers with headaches & the type & cause if known.
    The headaches can be much like a migraine type pain. Anyone else?
    Ive learned by sharing on this board we can learn more from each other then the doctors at times & I plan on putting up a couple posts as some of us seem to have the same problems but have not been told or had confirmed these are linked to cervical injuries. Headaches are the worst so thought I would start with this first. Thank you all for you time, its always appreciated more then you know. Sammy
    Thank you for sharing.

     
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    Old 09-26-2009, 02:38 PM   #2
    binx
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    Re: Who has headaches here

    sammy,

    i also have suffered from headaches on and off. in fact, my whole ordeal started with the onset of the most insane headache at the base of my skull on the left side that lasted for weeks. i, too, have a c5-c6 herniation and bone spurs causing stenosis, with moderate bulges above and below the herniation. i am currently in headache mode--they present at the back of my head and behind my eyes--and along with the headaches comes the most overwhelming sense of fatigue. even walking up the 2 flights of stairs into our apartment wipes me out.

    your post is very timely as i just met with my neurosurgeon yesterday to discuss the next steps. we agreed i need to have an ACDF done, it's just a matter of scheduling now to coordinate with my husband's workload. i told the NS about all of my wacky symptoms--numbness in my face, leg stiffness and weakness, urinary urgency, headaches and fatigue--and he said in no uncertain terms that any of these symptoms are a result of the herniation or stenosis since my cord is only being compressed at 2mm and there is no signal change. he did not offer any other possibilities as he said he is a NS and doesn't focus on those kinds of issues. this succeeded in scaring the living pee-pee out of me as once again, my thoughts have turned to the possibility that along with the cervical disc issues, i am suffering from some insidious underlying neurological disorder.

    why do the doctors do this to us??? i have had 2 clean brain MRIs and 2 clean cervical spine MRIs, which do not completely rule out MS, but the doctors have made it clear that it is highly unlikely that that is an issue for me. even so, i am now in a complete panic. if it's not the cervical spine business that's doing all these weird things to me, then what the heck is it???

    so do i have surgery hoping to clear up these freaky symptoms, and run the risk of it not helping, or do i try to find out if i have some mystery illness first?

    aaaagggghh!

     
    Old 09-26-2009, 09:42 PM   #3
    matt3507
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    Re: Who has headaches here

    Hi Sammy,
    Sammy knows my story but here goes for the record:

    Quote:
    There are a few of us who suffer headaches. For those who do can you share the location of your injury & give us a description of your headaches.
    3+ years ago it was c7-t1, left side, severe foraminal stenosis that sent me to the emergency room. The injury produced numbness in my left pinky and ring finger with stabbing pain in my left scapular region. 1 month after E.R. I received physical therapy. It was traction and manipulation of my neck. The next morning I had the most horrible headache of my life. I call them exploding headaches because it feels like my head is gonna pop. Can't hardly move.

    Quote:
    Before my surgery I had the worst headaches you could imagine with nothing touching this pain. Both my surgeon & PM stated they did not think my injured area at C5-6 were the cause of these headaches. During surgery it was discovered the vertabrae had splintered into the cord. This did not show on any film, at that point the surgeon changed his mind & said indeed the spinal problems could have caused the headaches. I had headaches on & off through out this whole ordeal but they went away following surgery. Now the headaches are returning. I can feel my neck sore & stiff at times & had a headache for the most part of the week. This put me in bed sunday with vomiting & the entire head hurting. My neck actually felt swollen & sensitive to touch. Thank god I slept most of the day.
    Sorry to hear you are having headache trouble again.

    Quote:
    Now Im scared more then I can say about these returning.
    I fear them also. It is scary that you can take all the advil you want and it does NOTHING!

    Quote:
    I seem to have lingering pain. I believe lifting much of anything may be contributing at this point to.
    Lifting anything aggravates mine too.

    Quote:
    So Im hoping those of you who have experianced any headaches will share. Im trying to pinpoint what could be causing these to return. Had fusion at C5-6 in dec. & know C7 & 4 are not in great shape. With C7 being the worst of the 2. Much of my ongoing pain & symptoms would indicate it could be the 7 but Im curious to see who else suffers with headaches & the type & cause if known.
    My last mri showed bone on bone c5-c6 with my original c7-t1 "unremarkable". huh? I don't get it.

    Quote:
    The headaches can be much like a migraine type pain. Anyone else?
    Ive learned by sharing on this board we can learn more from each other then the doctors at times & I plan on putting up a couple posts as some of us seem to have the same problems but have not been told or had confirmed these are linked to cervical injuries. Headaches are the worst so thought I would start with this first. Thank you all for you time, its always appreciated more then you know. Sammy
    Thank you for sharing.
    I hope some of this info. turns out to be helpful.

    Talk at you soon.

    matt

    P.S. Nortryptiline has helped a little recently. It has not eliminated them, but somehow it seems to have lessened the intensity just a little - I'll take it!

    Last edited by matt3507; 09-26-2009 at 09:48 PM. Reason: Spelling

     
    Old 09-27-2009, 05:33 AM   #4
    sammyo1
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    Re: Who has headaches here

    Yes Matt it does feel like my head may explode, the pain can be one sided, seems to start out that way or the entire head. Also I can feel it right behind the eyes as Binx stated & even feel pain around my ear. In fact sunday & before surgery it hurt just to move my eyes, strange. I Also can have pain under the scapula. This area I believe effects my hands.
    I have worked through alot of pain but headaches are not workable with me.

    Binx, if you want my honest opinion I dont believe for one minute any doctor can be positive of whats causing what when it comes to the spine. There are always things that dont show on film. If it makes you feel any better I was told the headaches were not caused from my original injury but they were & after surgery they headaches (for the most part) went away.

    Im curious if you've ever had your lumbar checked out? When you have one area with injuries its not uncommon for another to develope problems. I have urinary urgency to & was told my problems are not causing this, if its not the spine Im assuming its the meds. Are you on any meds?
    Keep in mind many people have symptoms disappear after surgery that they were told were not related to their injury so you never know.

    I do know if I dont take me muscle relaxer before bed it increases my chance of waking up with a headache. I spent yesturday with a travel pillow, the kind that wraps around your neck & off my feet for the most part. For some insane reason I needed that support & bit of pressure at the back of my neck. As long as I kept the pillow around my neck & stayed off my feet I felt I had control of this headache from progressing. Cant continue doing that everyday all day. Out of everything I have been through, cervical, lumbar & shoulder the headaches worry me the most.
    I also think if your in need of fusion delaying puts you more at risk.
    For some reason I think this is related to the C7 area & my next PM appointment Im going to go over this with my doctor.
    This was helpful & I firmly believe through talking to others you learn. Thank you both & hopefully others respond. god bless, Sammy

     
    Old 09-27-2009, 01:09 PM   #5
    binx
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    Re: Who has headaches here

    sammy, in addition to my cervical spine problems, i do also have L4-L5 bulge, L-5-S1 herniation and DDD in the lumbar spine. that was all diagnosed 15 years ago when i was in my mid-20s and determined to be congenital. i have kept the symptoms at bay and avoided need for surgical intervention by walking, yoga and keeping my weight down. now that i have been sidelined with my c5-c6 herniation, all of those preventive measure have gone out the window. i am unable to walk more than a block at a time due to my fatigue and muscle weakness, and yoga has been ruled out completely given the nature of my neck injury.

    i am not currently taking any medication since, aside from my debilitating headaches, i do not suffer from the typical pain one would expect from a c-spine herniation. my root nerve on the right side is minimally impacted, but the primary issue with the herniation is the spinal cord impingement at that level which is exacerbated by bone spurs. when i am plagued with my headaches, i use an icepack on the back of my head, elevate my feet, and try to take ibuprofen sparingly since it tears my stomach to pieces. (it doesn't really do much anyway.)

    in spite of the textbook diagnoses we receive from doctors, after hearing about everyone's experiences on this board, it seems like there is no bright-line rule that would apply to the range of symptoms that those of us with cervical spine injuries/disease. i wish there were more medical professionals who would allow themselves to think outside of the box and spare individuals like ME the anxiety of thinking that i have some horrible neurological or autoimmune disorder that is being masked by my herniated discs.

    ALSO--i found this link to a closed thread from this board from 2003 that i thought might be of interest to those presenting not only with headaches, but also with other less "typical" symptoms resulting from c-spine issues.

    http://www.healthboards.com/boards/archive/index.php/t-97168.html

     
    Old 09-28-2009, 01:23 AM   #6
    matt3507
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    Re: Who has headaches here

    Quote:
    ALSO--i found this link to a closed thread from this board from 2003 that i thought might be of interest to those presenting not only with headaches, but also with other less "typical" symptoms resulting from c-spine issues.

    http://www.healthboards.com/boards/archive/index.php/t-97168.html
    Wow thanks binx!! Great link. I feel like some doctors do make spine patients feel stupid and crazy. I have such wild fluctuations in my symptoms it really is maddening trying to explain. But my headaches are the worst also. Can't move. I usually just try to freeze my head and neck with ice packs.

     
    Old 09-28-2009, 10:05 AM   #7
    HarleyLdy61
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    Re: Who has headaches here

    Sammy,

    I know I mentioned headaches in a previos post - but I now believe they were from the gabapentin the dr prescribed for the tingling. Which i stopped because I wasn't going to be adding headaches to the list.

     
    Old 09-29-2009, 05:51 AM   #8
    sammyo1
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    Re: Who has headaches here

    Im glad HL your headaches are not from your cervical.
    Thanks Binx, I checked that post out, sounds alot like what I experiance, as Im typing this I have the tingling pins & needles up the side of my face. Makes me nervous having any symptoms at all in that area. Never know if a headache will follow. Ive had alot of cracking going on lately in the cervical to so who knows. I use ice packs over heat to. Strange although the headache this morning is left sided, my shoulder & neck were driving me crazy on the right side last night.

    As you can see Matt your not alone when it comes to having wild symptoms. I tell my PM it all depends on what day it is for me. I have to say this is getting to me. I usually take it in stride & say hey could be worse so deal with it but lately since the headaches want to kick in again that hard to do. Before surgery I had my ears, sinus, throat & teeth all checked for problems because the pain was all over the place. All checked out fine. I do get some swelling if the pain is bad on the left side, its visable around the eye area more. It can be one sided like a migraine or it can be the entire head, its driving me crazy. All meds Ive tried for nerve pain I have to many side effects to take.
    Binx I have herniations at L1-2 & L5-S1 along with the facet joint. L1-2 have a mass effect on the nerve. My legs are being effected more & more but the cervical thus far trumps the lumbar as far as pain & problems.
    Ive found when you have multiple problems its difficult to get answers as to whats causing what. This can consume your entire life & thats what gets to me. If I lift it flares everything up, so alot of what I need to do at home requires lifting. With attempting to work I have no energy left for anything else at all. Everyday is a guessing game, should I do this? will I pay tommorrow for it? Its getting to be alot to handle & Im presenting this to my PM. Maybe try ESIs at the C7 level, anything that will find what causing the headaches. I'm bummed having these return after surgery. The headaches were the one thing the fusion took care of. I wish you all the best of luck & god bless, Sammy

     
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