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could c5/6 cause harsh headache?


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Old 03-10-2003, 06:45 AM   #1
mel333
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Question could c5/6 cause harsh headache?

Hi everyone,

I recently had c5/6 facet blocks for the third time, and due to right arm pain I also had a nerve block at c6. The arm pain went and my headaches which were shocking have gone on the right which seems odd?
I now have them on the left and upper left neck sharp jabs that lead to headache that spreads across both eyes.
I am wondering whether this c6 nerve could have blocked the head pain on the right side? The side with this nerve block has been virtually pain free!
I am very confused and was thinking about a c2 block but I am not sure which side to go for and niether do my dr's. Has anyone had a 5/6 disc that was the source of all their head/neck pain?
I am having another MRI as I have had 3 blocks this year and want to see if it picks up whats happening.
My last MRI (2 years ago) showed a reasonable bulge c5/6,small bulge at 3/4. Yet, since then the headaches have beem worse and arm pain started recently. Thankyou for any thoughts,
Mel
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23rd July 03, ADR c5/6
Also disc bulges c3/4 and 6/7. Numerous facet and nerve blocks along with extensive conservative treatment prior to surgery.

 
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Old 03-10-2003, 07:04 AM   #2
BABS42
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Mel, I am new to all of this, and can offer no precise info, but all I know is that my NS doesn't think my headaches have been directly related to my C5-6 disc hern which presses cord, or C6-7 which is buldging with spurs. I have had major headaches since Jan, with all the other symptoms too, but not sure whats actally causing the head pain. They did find a cyst and spot on my brain which NS is investigating further, but deep down I really think its from my neck some how. My Neck MRI showed C5-7 clearly, but the higher levels disc images were terrible,I think because I swallowed which caused movement. The myelogram is inevitable for me because of bad MRI. Glad to hear you will get another MRI, hopefully that will clear up exactly whats going on with your head. PS dont swallow!! Babs

[This message has been edited by BABS42 (edited 06-20-2003).]
__________________
Jan 03
C5-6 DISC Protrusion Touching Spinal Cord.
C6-7 Buldging Disc w/ spurs
2 types of Neuropathy on upper R-with some nerve damage. Nerve damage more severe on upper L.


Arachnoid Brain Cyst- Posterior Fossa

 
Old 03-10-2003, 07:15 AM   #3
winged phantom
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Sorry I can't help with the original question, but I wanted to comment on the bad MRI images. They never told me not to swallow, and you can't go through a whole MRI without swallowing. I'm wondering if they just have some old software that isn't really up to speed? I know my radiology place could not do an abdominal/pelvic MRI with (or even without) contrast, because of the breathing motions, gut motility, etc. And the explanation was that the software was not up to par, something they have recently upgraded.

But that is not your fault. It seems they owe you another MRI, or your money back to do it someplace else. That is, if you're sure you did not otherwise move during the procedure, and that should be evident by whether the entire upper images are blurry, or it's just the structures that didn't come out.

I'm just sickened sometimes how much we, as patients, lose in this "game". And sometimes the cost is prohibitive in terms of health as well as money. Good luck to both of you.
wr
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  • 12/29/89 C5-6 Microdiskectomy (no fusion)
  • 4/9/03 ACDF C4-7 with plating and donor bone

 
Old 03-10-2003, 09:13 AM   #4
SORENECKMAN
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I also have had headaches from my c 5/6 herniation. I always thought it was caused by the accompanying muscle spasms from my neck and upper back area. I usually have it on the right side and thats where the herniation was. The pain would start along my right shoulder and eventually end up right behind my ear. I figured it was just the tension from my back and neck causing it. The phs therapists could do wonders getting rid of the headache... Although it would last only a little time .. But sometimes you just need relief for a few minutes and it gives you the fortitude to be able to deal with it.
Hope this helps
John

------------------
ACDF WITH PLATING C5/6
2/25/03
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ACDF WITH PLATING AND DONOR BONE C5/6
2/25/03

 
Old 03-10-2003, 09:41 AM   #5
BABS42
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Hi Winged Phantom

Thanks! I had the neck MRI at the hospital (the bad one) and NS had me go somewhere else for my brain MRI ( which came out very clear). So maybe I will be able to have another neck MRI at the other place. Insurance probably wont cover it though. I like your idea about making the first place pay for another one. I dont want a Myleogram!
Babs
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Jan 03
C5-6 DISC Protrusion Touching Spinal Cord.
C6-7 Buldging Disc w/ spurs
2 types of Neuropathy on upper R-with some nerve damage. Nerve damage more severe on upper L.


Arachnoid Brain Cyst- Posterior Fossa

 
Old 03-10-2003, 10:40 AM   #6
melanie dawn
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HI Mel,
All of the research i have done clearly points to headaches from C5-6 and c6-7 as being entirely possible and often probable. There are many factors involved in the anatomy of a headache. Did you lood at the sites I gave you before?
The spasms alone can produce headache.Once again look up occipital neuralgia, there are so many nerves and blood vessels that exit through the cervical spine. Spasms in that area can certainly elicit pressure on these structures.
The new MRI is a really good idea. I hope you find the answers to your headaches, and are soon feeling better. How goes the studies? It must be so hard to concentrate with these headaches. Oh yeah!and tension and stress cause tightening and spasm in the neck. Can all be a bit of a snowball effect, cant it?
Take care of yourself, Mel
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Congenital Cervical Stenosis,complicated by:
Paracentral Disc herniations ,bone spurs C4/5,C5/6,C6/7
loss of lordotic curve
Advanced myelopathy inc. walking difficulty, loss of gag reflex with swallowing problems, neurogenic bladder, occipital neuralgia, spacticity

 
Old 03-10-2003, 07:29 PM   #7
winged phantom
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Babs, with a little doing, you may be able to get the second MRI at no cost. Try to work something out with the hospital, like a refund? Then you can go elsewhere. Good luck making it work!
wr
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  • 12/29/89 C5-6 Microdiskectomy (no fusion)
  • 4/9/03 ACDF C4-7 with plating and donor bone

 
Old 03-11-2003, 05:23 AM   #8
Nanner
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Just before my ACDF last June I began to have some headaches, not constant, but there. Following surgery I was okay for a few months, but by the end of October had severe pressure in the back of head and tingling up toward the top of the head.

My MRI now shows narrowed foramina at C5-6 and C6-7, some osteophytes. So even without herniations you can get headaches from the nerves being impinged. The surgeons both say C2 looks normal, so I am a firm believer that all those nerves back there can cause head pain.

------------------
Nancy D-ACDF C6-7 on 6/7/02. Donor bone with no hardware
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Old 03-12-2003, 05:11 AM   #9
mel333
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Hi Babs, John, Mel and Nanner,

Thanks for your replies. Babs I think you should try to get another MRI done. I asked my NS about swallowing and he said it shouldn't interfere with the pictures.
Mel, thanks for those sites re headaches and occipital neuralgia. I looked at them all plus more and now have a nice fat file of info. I think it is possible any of these cervical discs could cause headaches as it seems everyones anatomy is slightly different and that nerve block med can move into a higher or lower area after injection. It is interesting the c6 nerve block seems to help that side of the head. How are your headaches? Have you ever had ear pain from them? I am getting this now and I don't think it's tmj related.
I am back studying and it sure effects the neck/head. I hope you are still studying despite the pain.

Nanner, it's interesting that you also get headaches with lower cervical problems. Thankyou for letting me know. I think that the muscle spasms that Mel has always talked about and the postural changes over time do seem to lead to headaches. It is all so interconnected!

I am having a new MRI tommorrow and hope the discs haven't gotton worse. I hope everyone else is doing ok.
Mel
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23rd July 03, ADR c5/6
Also disc bulges c3/4 and 6/7. Numerous facet and nerve blocks along with extensive conservative treatment prior to surgery.

 
Old 03-12-2003, 10:22 AM   #10
Nanner
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Mel, you aren't alone with the ear pain. Some of my older posts (from November, mostly) indicate I began with ear pain. My ear canals always feel like there is pressure in them. Is that similar to what you are experiencing?

While the term for these symptoms may be occipital neuralgia, it most certainly has its origins in the cervical spine. I guess we all have a bad case of nerves, or a case of bad nerves.

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Nancy D-ACDF C6-7 on 6/7/02. Donor bone with no hardware
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Old 03-17-2003, 06:06 AM   #11
mel333
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Hi Nancy,
It is interesting that your symptoms began with ear pain. I was thinking of getting a c2 nerve block for headaches etc. My new MRI was similar to last time bulge c3/4, moderate bulge 5/6 some compression on thecal sac and bulge 6/7. I had a nerve block on the right 5/6 and wonder if this could have reduced the inflammation on the MRI as prior to this I had arm pain. So who knows it seems I am in alot of pain despite showing no nerves compressed. Could they still be ? I often feel silly with so many problems yet if the bulge is still there after 4 years maybe I should consider doing something. I hope you are going well.
Mel
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23rd July 03, ADR c5/6
Also disc bulges c3/4 and 6/7. Numerous facet and nerve blocks along with extensive conservative treatment prior to surgery.

 
Old 03-17-2003, 03:46 PM   #12
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Add me to the list of those with C5-6 and C6-7 problems who experienced severe headaches. I used to have them 3 or more times per week, so bad I had to leave work often and go home and curl up in bed. Sometimes they were so bad I would start to panic because I couldn't get relief. They felt like my head was going to literally explode. They would start with a stiff and hot feeling in my neck, then after a few hours I'd start getting a headache right at the base of my skull, which would expand up the back of my head and at my temples. I'd stand under a hot shower and it would help a lot, but as soon as I'd get out of the shower, within a minute or two I'd be right back into the headache with the accompanying nausea. Sometimes I'd be in and out of the shower 8 or 10 times in a couple of hours I was so desperate for relief. Only time (4-8 hours) would seem to help. Since being put on neurontin in mid December, I have had only 2 of them, and they were not as bad as the earlier ones. Both came in the last 2 weeks, accompanying a noticeable lessening of the pain killing effect of the neurontin. I think my body must be getting used the stuff and overriding it. I have to conclude that those headaches are directly related to my neck problems at those 2 levels. The doc wants to up the neurontin to 500 or 600mg 3 times daily, but I am really reluctant, they fog me up pretty good as it is. I'm hoping to stop treating the symptoms of the problem here soon, and have the surgery to eliminate the problem itself. I can really relate to all the frustration felt by many of you on this seemingly never ending road to permanent (hopefully) relief.

 
Old 03-17-2003, 04:23 PM   #13
Nanner
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Have you had any EMGs, Mel? You mention the MRI didn't show any compression, but an EMG should show if there's any significant nerve problems.

And while you may not have any herniated disc, was there any mention of foraminal narrowing on your MRI results? Right now that seems to be the cause of my current difficulties.

------------------
Nancy D-ACDF C6-7 on 6/7/02. Donor bone with no hardware
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Old 03-17-2003, 09:49 PM   #14
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Hi mel333

Add me to the list, as well, of those with C4-5 C5-6 and C6-7 problems (as seen in my signature) who experiences severe headaches. Mine usually come when I'm in a bad flare and my whole back and neck are hurting. They would start(as Keith said) with a stiff and hot feeling in my neck, then after a few hours I'd start getting a headache right at the base of my skull, which would expand up the back of my head and at my temples. I sometimes also get the accompanying nausea. It usually last anywhere from 2-4 days depending on how bad the flare is. I don't get ear pain but my ears do feel like their clogged sorta and sometimes a ringing in my ears (don't know if it's connected).

Well not that I've been any help but I just thought I'd jump in with my two cents.

Hope you find an answer to your suffering!

Take Care,
Joanne

------------------
  • At the age of 8, Sept 63, bad fall on back on stairs compression fractures of D6 and D8
  • Diagnosed DDD 1993
  • C4-C5 posterior osteophytic bar effacing ventral thecal sac Mild stenosis of neural foramina
  • C5-C6 posterior disc protrusion effacing v t s .Mild stenosis of neural foramina
  • C6-C7 posterior disc herniation effacing v t s . Mild stenosis of neural foramina
  • C7-T1 Small perineural cysts present in both neural foramina.
  • left convex scoliosis of mid thoracic spine. wedging of T7. wedging of T5 .degenerative end plate changes at T8-T9
  • L4-L5 diffuse disc bulge effacing v t s. hypertrophy of facet joints, minimal central spinal stenosis.
  • L5-S1 posterior disc protrusion with associated tear of annulus fibrosis. hypertrophy of facet joints.
  • S1-S2 Perineural cysts involving S1-S2 nerve roots.

 
Old 03-18-2003, 05:46 AM   #15
mel333
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Wow this is interesting as so many of us with lower cervical disc problems seem to experience the awful headaches. I was doing lots of reading about this (you could also read forever!) and there seems to be more research to support these headaches from a huge variety of cervical problems, not just the upper levels.
Did anyone get headache releif from epidurals?

KeithEugene,
You mentioned neurontin helping. Does it help with arm pain also? It sounds like a better alternative to nerve blocks with cortosone. I 'm glad it offers some releif for you at least.

Joprud,
What do you take for your headaches?

Nancy,
I am seeing my ns soon and await his interpretation of my MRI as only have brief report mentioning the disc protrusions and will ask about the foramen and EMG.

Mel


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23rd July 03, ADR c5/6
Also disc bulges c3/4 and 6/7. Numerous facet and nerve blocks along with extensive conservative treatment prior to surgery.

 
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