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Cervical Headaches, best meds for them?

ButterflyPainBButterflyPain Posts: 290
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
In my signature are my test results. My doctor says I have 3 to 2 mm ruptured disc at C5-C6, C6-C7, some nerve compression, osteoarthritis in those disc, some DDD in one or two other disc, and bone spurs. Spasms in the neck.

I have headaches that are typically an achy pain at the base of my skull and neck and goes up on the top of my head mainly on the left side and sometimes down around my left eye. I also have ache behind my left ear, and of course left sided neck pain, shoulder, arm, hand, leg pain. My doctor says it is all mild to moderate and says it isn't a surgery case...

Anyhow I've had a constant headache problem for a year now...Tried Tylenol with codiene 3, Darvocet, and Fiorinal with codiene 3. Sometimes those work for awhile, but I have to take at least one pill everyday. This can't be good. Has anyone gotten a headache prevention med for cervical headaches?

What has worked best for you?
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Comments

  • Sorry to hear you are in such pain!

    I would try a certified acupunturist. We have one in our town who actually works at the hospital. I would not go to one who also dabbles in Feng Shei and reading tea leaves. You know what I mean? I would go to someone who speciailizes in this.

    I have 2 friends who gets botox injection for headache pain-maybe you can look into that as well. One does it for migraines, the other due to cervical neck pain. Good luck!
  • The key is to identify the type of pain and treat it accordingly. I've suffered headaches for many years. Once they were identified, the correct medication was prescribed and they were controlled nicely for several years.

    Acupuncture is also a good route. I had Chinese Scalp Acupuncture which is a specialty that many acupuncturists don't do. It worked great on part of my headache.

    "C"
  • I have been suffering from almost daily "cervogenic headaches" since I was hurt last spring. I ended up going through a couple of RF neurotomies (I believe it is the occipital nerve that is killed) and this has greatly reduced my headaches. Something to consider.
  • Butterflypain-
    Your "findings" on the images sound a lot like me. I also have spondylolisthesis at a couple levels. I'm getting a lot of nerve pain. I've tried a lot of different meds and am having trouble w/side effects. I've been to umpteen specialists and have recently gotten started with a headache specialist. Perhaps this might be a route you could go down as well. My problems are compounded by recent past history of cranial surgeries too. so I have two separate problems that play off each other in the area of my head and neck. Still your pattern sounds a lot like mine...ear pain, eye pain, neck pain, lots of cervical spine pathology but don't have stenosis. My point is, I've tried a variety of treatments ...injections, botox, med, acupuncture. Each helps somewhat but nothing has been a magic bullet yet. We all react differently so sometimes you have to try this and that. Its very annoying and time consuming for sure. And even though a majority of docs do not recommend surgery, I'm really struggling and this has seriously impacted my life. I wish/pray I knew clearly how to help myself. Sometimes I wish it was like some of the people on this site who must have surgery or else. Still, that would be awful too and can easily open another can of worms like what happened to me when I had cranial surgery. Anyway, your struggle is my struggle too. Certainly leaves us very connected to the human race!

    I hope you find something that suits your needs very soon. If so let me know and visa versa!
  • Your Dr. can refer you to a pain management Dr. They do injections, some botox or other ways to treat your pain. Take care and hope you feel better. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Try PT, I had 24 hr headaches on my right side for 4 weeks straight and my doc sent me in for neck massage/traction. Headache stopped after first session when she broke up the knot. I still have problems with the stenosis/ disc bulge, etc, but the headache is gone. Also on Skelaxin.

    Good luck!
  • Thanks guys for all your helpful comments! I will see what I can do/get.
  • Butterfly- I have problems with c5-6, c6-7,and, c7-t1. I get bad headaches also. When my shoulder and neck muscles spasm I get horrible headaches. What has worked great for me are stretches I learned at pt. Once my muscles toned up enough most of my headaches are gone. Acupuncture works great also but a little expensive. I just bought a prickly pad which is acupressure you can do at home. I haven't tried it just yet due to surgery I just had but I've heard it is great. I hope you find some relief soon.
  • cla_gua said:
    Butterfly- I have problems with c5-6, c6-7,and, c7-t1. I get bad headaches also. When my shoulder and neck muscles spasm I get horrible headaches. What has worked great for me are stretches I learned at pt. Once my muscles toned up enough most of my headaches are gone. Acupuncture works great also but a little expensive. I just bought a prickly pad which is acupressure you can do at home. I haven't tried it just yet due to surgery I just had but I've heard it is great. I hope you find some relief soon.
    Thanks for your advice. I am going to PT right now...Not sure if it helps my headaches. It certainly makes the radiated pain in my left arm hurt more. I'll keep stretching. I'm looking to buy a new foam pillow maybe...

    The doc's Pa-c gave me a prescription for midrin for the really bad headaches, especially the ones that seem like migraines or tension related. I havent taken it to the pharmacy yet...We'll see.

  • I forgot to add that I've been getting trigger point injections. These help a lot. They really help the muscles relax.
    The pt took about a month before I got any relief for my headaches. If I don't keep up with the exercises I get the horrible headaches back.
    I do get nerve pains but they seem to be only when my muscle are really tight. My PM doctor has explained to me that the muscle can cause all the nerve pain.
    Everyone is different but this is what has worked for me. You have to give pt a chance before you are certain it isn't working. I hope you get some kind of pain relief. Keep in there.
  • I have 3 cervical bulging discs that cause some headaches, but I had no idea that many of my "constant" headaches were coming from Rebound headaches from my medications (narcotics...percocet). So, when I saw a neurologist about my migraines and headaches and cervical tension headaches, he changed a couple things around that helped me TREMENDOUSLY! He switched my pain meds from oral percocet to fentanyl pain patches...therefore a constant amount of medication, no highs and lows, so it does't cause rebound headaches. And he also put me on Topamax for migraines. Now, I seldom if ever have to use my migraine medication b/c I rarely have a migraine.

    Other than that, if I am getting a tension headache from muscle pull/strain...I use a muscle relaxer.

    I really hope you feel better! Merry Christmas!!
  • tarheelgirl said:
    I have 3 cervical bulging discs that cause some headaches, but I had no idea that many of my "constant" headaches were coming from Rebound headaches from my medications (narcotics...percocet). So, when I saw a neurologist about my migraines and headaches and cervical tension headaches, he changed a couple things around that helped me TREMENDOUSLY! He switched my pain meds from oral percocet to fentanyl pain patches...therefore a constant amount of medication, no highs and lows, so it does't cause rebound headaches. And he also put me on Topamax for migraines. Now, I seldom if ever have to use my migraine medication b/c I rarely have a migraine.

    Other than that, if I am getting a tension headache from muscle pull/strain...I use a muscle relaxer.

    I really hope you feel better! Merry Christmas!!
    That's great for you. I talked with the PA-C about prevention meds or rebounds, and well basically she was like well there really isn't any prevention medicine and rebounds happen, but you know if you are in pain take your pain meds. Are rebound headaches generally pain on the forehead? or the pain you normally feel? I still have pain no matter if I take two tylenol with codiene a day or one. My headaches lessen when I take a muscle relaxer or am moving, but when I can't do either it is a bit hard. I don't think I have "Migraines" so is the a prevention medication for tension or whatever? I could ask my doctor about it next time I see him.
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