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Injections - Migraines?

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Up until a month or so ago, my neck has been fine. The ACDF's 1996 and 2000 took care of everything and the only time I had problems was IF I did something stupid.
But now I am having all sorts of problems with my neck. Some of muscle related some are disc related, some are nerve related, some are shoulder arthritis related... A good blend!
4 weeks ago, I had Acupuncture on my neck. The following day I started with miserable migraines, that resulted in my vomiting all day long. For a week I had strong migraines all day long and stomach problems to match.
My neck still was causing problems. Over the weekend, it was the first time in almost 30 years that I was thinking of going into the Emergency Room because of my neck and pain level. I held off and saw my Pain Mgt doctor yesterday. She saw how tight my neck and shoulders were with knots up and down my neck. Se gave me 5 trigger point injections, each one did relieve some of the trigger point knots. I went home and iced my neck the entire night. This morning I woke with a minor migraine which has been building all day. I called my doctor and we discussed it (Yes, I am fortunate to have a great pain mgt doctor, that not only returns my calls, but calls me weekly to see how I am feeling) She believes that both the acupuncture and trigger point injections set of my migraines. She is more concerned about some nerves in there that is allowing this to happen.

I am curious to know of other members here that have cervical problems, if they had problems after any type of injection
Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com


  • I was having horrible migranie headaches that would run from the side of my head at my jaw line all the way around to the opposite jaw line. The acupuncturist placed some needles right where my jaw joint is. He had to have hit some nerves on both sides of my jaws. The next day I had nerve pains running from my jaw down to my face. The nerve pains went away a little but I have had jaw and chin pains since. When I didn't have it before that visit.

    I hope your migraines get better. You try and take care of yourself.

  • Sometimes we get "blockages" along our different meridians. Through acupuncture these can be cleared and the body "reset". I have had this done and it is absolutely amazing!

    "To restore the balance, the acupuncturist stimulates the acupuncture points that will counteract that imbalance. So, if you have stagnant Chi, he will choose specific points to stimulate it. If the Chi is too cold, he will choose points to warm it. If it is too weak, he will strengthen it. If it is blocked, he will unblock it, and so on. In this way, acupuncture can effectively rebalance the energy system and restore health. The points that the practitioner chooses to stimulate may not necessarily be at the site of the symptoms."

    Here's a chart of the meridians as they pass through the head, neck and rest of the body.

  • Hey Ron,

    Sorry to hear your going through this bad spell of pain. When they did the trigger points did you follow that with a massage. I Have had multiple trigger points done over the past several years. While they are painful the relief is well worth it to me. On each round they have sent me to a therapist to rub the meds in within 24 hours of having them done. I have never gotten a migraine from any of them but rather a headache, which i think was more related to me trying to work after having them done. Now the last sets of them didn't get headache cause i didn't go to work. But I'm curious about the massage as they won't do anymore for me as work comp not paying for a therapist. Right now i would almost kill to get the pain from the injections for the relief. Hope your starting to feel some relief and the migraine is gone.
  • I can't chime in here, don't have any of these problems and have never tried Acupuncture, but I want to give you a "gentle" hug, PapaRon.


  • The following is a message I wrote on another forum January 11, 2009!:
    Now I'm certain of the connection. When I have manual cervical (neck) traction or when the therapist tries massaging my scalp--- within 24 hours I develop a severe headache to the level I can't stop vomitting for several hours. This past week I went to a new therapist. She got the idea I'd be helped by breaking up adhesions in the area I had surgery and the infection site. Its been some time since I've had a therapist try this technique. I decided not to freak her out about my usual reaction and I thought maybe it wouldn't happen this time. (denial) I've recently gone off MS Contin, have tried topamax w/out success and was given a rx for Imitrex. I'd not used the Imitrex to abort head pain before but I was hopeful as I've seen it work well. I'm not convinced I have classic migraines but with the notion I likely have post craniotomy headaches with components of migraines (G44.30) accordng to the International Classification of Headaches I figured the Imitrex was likely my ace in the hole so I stayed open and did not warn the therapist.

    Anyway it felt good while she was working with me. But soon after I felt awful. It wasn't until several hours later that the pain ramped up. When it did I could tell I was in trouble and took an Imitrex tablet. I've observed Imitrex kicking in fairly quickly for others. I waited an hour and no luck and that's when I began to vomit and began hitting myself with anti-emetics. If I'd known the Imitrex was not going to help I'd have taken the anti-emetic much sooner. Once the vomitting gets started its very difficult to get it to stop. I don't really get nauseated just have the urge to retch. When I threw up my last dilaudid I figured I'd have to head to the ER but finally my husband had me take another anti-emetic and said to try to keep it down for 1/2 hour. Soon I fell asleep and woke up hours later with a diminished headache. I took more anti-emetic and took an old MS Contin for good measure. After awhile I was back to baseline.

    These incidents are horrific. I feel like I don't want to live and can't imagine living like this while its happening. The above incident last nearly four hours. The act of vomitting while I have such great pain only makes it worse due to force and pressure. My new headache specialist does not prescribe narcotics to his headache patients so we don't get rebound. I stopped taking MS Contin so I could follow his regimen whole heartedly. He'd rx'd Topamax and Imitrex. I tried the Topamax for three weeks. Right away I began losing a drastic amount of weight. My PCP was seeing me every week for a weigh in. Finally he took me off it. Now I'm pretty sure the Imitrex is not right for me either. This guy does not like to prescribe narcotics. I can appreciate that and am glad to not take narcotics if there is something that will help me not get these episodes. Like many here I get a low grade headache all the time or jabs and stabs or zinger pain by touch in certain places around the surgery site and can simply ignore the pain. But when it turns sour as I've described its impossible to use an avoidance technique and I'm forced to address the problem.
    I've also had this samething happen the three times I've tried acupuncture as well. One time the head pain lasted several days. ITs so upsetting to have a procedure that is supposed to be easy to tolerate but turns around and creates a big crisis! I'd written the above on a forum with others whom have had surgery like I have. Since I wrote the above message I visited my headache specialist and figure I will not return. Fortunately one of the members called me, she is a surgical nurse and has had the samething or similar thing happen to her when she had physical therapy. She ended up seeing a Plastic surgeon that performs peripheral nerve surgery for headaches with a mechanical component. Just today I mailed my records for this doctor to review my complicated case.

    So Dilauro, I hope this helps you know you are not alone! I've been trying hard to manage my head pain and neck pain now for about 4 years. The trouble with my headache specialist is that he is too limited by his scope of practice and will not even recognise a mechanical problem even when someone like me comes along and my mechanial problem practically comes out to bite 'em! I do think the pain docs have more to offer medically. I'm getting my hopes up about getting this surgeons opinion.

    PS To answer your question about having trouble with injections. This happened to me last year after a botox injection for my head pain. An entire vial was injected into my temple area just above my right ear. He really roughed me up. I did end up in the ER later. Had to have pain meds injected. After that my PCP rx'd several meds which has become my emergency "kit" in case I have one of these head attacks. This way I'm less likely to have to go to the ER. I have to be pretty desperate to go to an ER no matter. It would be such a miracle to find a fix for this problem. Also my neurosurgeon might place a titanium plate where a circle area of bone was removed on the side of my head. This way I would have padding between my adhesions and my dura that surrounds the brain. This may be one source that activates these horrific pain episodes. The other source is a "scar neuroma." If I can get this under control I would be able to get a hearing implant so I can hear again or at least somewhat. I can't wear a regular hearing aide. They would place the implant in the skull where I have the scarring now...which is why I've not done it yet..as it (implant) may create even a bigger pain problem and a serious hardship.

  • I used to get terrible migraines with auras but I tried Imitrex and it took the migraine away in half an hour. I also quit all MSG-flavoured potato chips, hickory sticks, flavoured crackers and alot of oxo cubes and certain soups have MSG. I know most of the pain is due to cervical issues Ron. And one time I had problems with my arm due to DDD in my neck, my physiotherapist held my head in her hands and gently tractioned my neck and it relieved the pain in my elbow. I know you've had surgery so don't know how much physio you can have. I had trigger points 8 shots 8 weeks in a row low thoracic and lumber and it never helped. Also accupuncture helped my anxiety and I felt relaxed after, but not worth the needle pain. Tylenol sometimes triggers a migraine. But I haven't had a migraine since Physio did that technique with me. I hope you're feeling 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
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    for your posts. I am still going under different tests to isolate this most recent problem. We currently believe its nerve problems associated with my neck. But what complicates things, is that my ACDF's were in 1996 and 2000. Since then, no real cervical problems. This just flare up again... Sort of saying "It woke up the sleeping giant"

    Thanks again for your input and well wishes
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Ah man,when I read your post I almost felt your pain.I used to suffer terrible migraines for years-with the vomiting and all too.I don't get those too often now(knock on wood)

    Monday,the 19th I had 12 TPI's that started from my neck to left shoulder,and I've been suffering with a headache since-not migraine(I wouldn't be typing if that were the case),but a pretty constant headache that changes from not too bad to pretty bad..to the point where I begin to feel sick.The hot flushed feeling in my head and ears is getting worse instead of better,and I don't know how long those should last.

    I didn't think the needle pain was that bad,but maybe I was comparing it to the ESI's-and I had nothing to relax me for mine,so I was expecting a lot of pain.

    Here is how I feel about this;The symptoms that I get from these injections(TPI's & ESI's) simply don't seem to be worth the little bit of pain relief that I get.The exception to that are the ESI's that I got in my hip-those worked like magic! But even just now,as I type-the flush is coming up again,and it feels like my head/face/ears are going to catch on fire,and actually causes my eyes to burn and feel painful.

    I do hope that you get relief from your migraines/headaches..those are no fun at all! I tried the Imitrex years ago,but had an allergic reaction.In Nov of 07 I started taking topamax,but only at night because it knocks me out-and my migraines have been few & far between since then.However,that is also when I started taking pain medication on a regular basis so...?
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