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Diamond123DDiamond123 Posts: 13
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Anyone else have bad headaches that radiate from your neck.I have DDD with c3-c4 being the worst area from MRI report.I have read of many problems with DDD but most people have arm,hand & neck pain.Just wondering if I am the only one with The headaches?I noticed the muscles in my neck get realy tensed up when the headaches come. Thanks


  • for me the headaches were the first symptoms of cervical degeneration. then the arms followed. if the mri shows that deterioration chances are that is the cause of headaches....have you tried ice?...pete
  • No, I have tried heat and traction it helps some what but very short term. The percocet pills help the most but also short term relief. The dock will only give me so many pills and it's never enuff to last until the next month so I usually spend half of my day in pain.I just noticed my hands starting to feel like they are falling asleep, not realy painful yet but I hope in is not a sign of more bad things to come.I am only 34 years old and 30 40 more years of pain is depressing.Thanks for the ice tip I will try it.Heck i think i will try anything. Thanks, Any more tips from anyone will be helpfull.
  • on a daily basis and some go into full migraines which are horrible and make a person very sick. For a light headache i use store brand migraine pills and they do the trick pretty well they also have tension headach pills out there so if your stressed and then the headache follows i would try the tension ones first but be very careful with the dose because of the meds you are on you may not be able to take any but then again maybe a couple every once in a while would be okay ask your doctor thats what i did and he gave me an actual script for strong migraine pills since one of my eyes only half of it and the white part only has turned red and stayed that way for over three weeks. the ones he gave me have acetominophen(spelling?)caffeine and codeine and these are my life savers. My hands and arms shoulders and neck tingle and go numb plus cause me pain all the time. i also have to deal with inflammation on top of that so hopefully yours wont get bad for you theres always that possibility so keep an open mind. sorry your doctor doesnt give you enough to get by have you asked for your dose to be increased do to increased pain? Does he just give you a script of so many and expect you to skip some days? Your doctor probably doesnt understand you need it on a daily basis or doesnt want you taking it as often i dont know but i definately think a conversation with him is in order. good luck
  • Here is a link that might help.


    For me these flare just like the rest of my problems. The last one finally ended last night sometime (Thank God :O))

    I find that on top of the pain meds I take either advil or tylenol and use ice packs at the base of my head for 20 minutes or so will help get some kind of relief if only a reduction in the level for a short time.
  • Thanks to all. That link from JulieA describes my problems to the tee.Great info now I have something to go to my doctors with.It is sort of funny that someone on this forum found more info on my problems than all the doctors I have seen.It seams like most doctors only spend 5 min with you and don't bother to do some research. they don't realize that a persons hole life may be affected by there treatment or lack of correct treatment.I have been in daily pain for almost 2 years now and can't even work beacuse the headaches come on without warning and are hard to get rid of I would have to call out of work every other day.Once more Thanks,
  • ON is a real bad one to get, and hard to get relief from. Throbbing pain, tender scalp. Sleep is best for me, but it needs a strong muscle relaxant and max pain meds dosage to occur.
    Bombing out! Otherwise can last for days.

    I had these sorts of headaches for years, but have now been clear of them for about 4 months.
    The secret?
    Remedial massage to the back.
    My back muscles are a mess and were so knotted and contracted that they were pulling very tightly on the neck muscles, causing long lasting headaches in the occipital area, usually on the left, and along the base of the neck.
    When the back muscles have been massaged they relax and strengthen, letting go of the neck muscles, so the pain goes.
    Absolutely amazing.
    So, I'd very strongly suggest that you include your muscles in any medical diagnosis process.
    Look for the simple explanation first.
    My pain doctor put me onto this way of treating chronic headaches.
  • I, too, have the headaches. That link is vey helpful, as you said, that's one of the first things I searched when I started getting them. The headaches can be caused by tension and spasms in your muscles. Are you on any muscle relaxants? Also, nerve block injections can help with them as well. I've been getting shots once a week since Aug, and my headaches have decreased incredibly. I still get them, but not every day like before. For me, they don't help so much with the spasms, they only last for that day, but it has helped with the headaches longer term.
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • When self-diagnosing from something you read on the Internet. There are many many different types of headaches and triggers for those headaches. A good doc should be able to help you get them sorted out. I found a neurologist to be worth his weight in gold when it comes to headaches!

  • I got my first injesction about two weeks ago and no relife at all I feel like the doctors are not listing to me my headaches are defentaly conected to my neck muscles flaring up and becoming very tence.I can always tell when a bad headache is coming beacuse my neck gets stiff and the main muscle on either side of my neck gets tight like an over stretched rubber band I can put my finger on it and feel the muscle.i take a boat load of muscle relaxers and pain meds they barley even touch the pain.I went to see a NS a few weeks ago and he wanted to go strain to fusion surgery and never could explain how that is going to fix the problem.My MRI did show mildly advances DDD for my age 34.But i had several doctors say the MRI didn't look that bad just some mild disc bulge at c3-4 and even milder disk bulge at c5-7.But nothing that screamed out surgery.I would realy like if someone could link the muscle tension and headaches to my disc to justify surgery.Nothing I have read directly linked muscle tension and headaches to DDD.Most people with DDD have hand and arm pain and or weakness i have none of that.Sounds like massage Remedial massage to my back and neck may help but my insurance won't cover it and i have been out of work for over a year and can't afford it.I am so confused and frustrated.Pain sucks for the people who have it and it is even worse to the people in your life that dont understand how much it takes out of you and affects every aspect of your life.
  • This sounds just like what I used to get-awfully sore neck muscles, then intense headaches, particularly on the lower 'corners.'
    Tried facet injections with some success, but not complete or lasting.
    With a new pain doctor he diagnosed my headaches as being muscular in origin, and put me onto a clinical physiologist. He in turn suggested an exercise/ stretch routine for the rest of my life, along with remedial massage to bring things under control initially.
    Worked like a charm.
    My back muscles were very unwell, to put it mildly, with knots and tightness everywhere.
    They were pulling down on the neck muscles, causing the headaches.
    Once the back muscles were relaxed and stretched back to where they should be, the pain just went. easy as that.
    I now have a fortnightly massage. So after 4 months of this I hardly ever get those sore neck muscles and headaches at all.
    Only if i really overdo it.
    But i now know how to cure it-remedial massage.
    I'd very strongly suggest you try this treatment as well.
    Must be remedial massage, not the feel good type.
  • Thanks Peter,I think i will give it a try.My crappy HMO insurance won't cover it but what the heck I already spent most of my life savings going through this ordeal why not the rest.I hate HMO insurance but it is all i can afford.There poclies are so backwards they will pay for me to go to a pain clinic every month and will even pay the Thousands of $ for fusion surgery but they won't pay for a chiropractor or massage therapist.
  • Same here. I can have unlimited facet injections at around $600 a time, and for only partial relief, yet can get no refund on remedial massage which costs only $1 a minute and gives almost complete pain relief.
    It is seen as alternative, that is the problem.
    Chiropractic is covered though.
    Makes no sense. I guess they are worried that they would be flooded with claims for the dodgy massages.
  • I have been suffering years, have known about C herniations and DDD, with spinal stenosis for years too. I was told my headahes were not from the discs, but from the muscle tightness that was being caused by the discs. I'm 7 1/2 weeks post op, I'm still getting quite a bit of incompasitating headaches, but am starting PT with massage again next week and am hoping that this helps them. I was told that the muscles should be able to relax once the disc was taken care of but that they will never be "normal".

    I use ice when I get them, one pack at the base of my neck, and usually another where ever it is pounding the most,I also take a muscle relaxer and sometimes a painkiller,.

  • Sounds like you are on the right track.
    With the massage, ask about the condition of your back muscles in relation to what is causing the neck muscles to tighten.
    My masseuse says that there is nothing to massage in the neck, it all needs to be done in the back.
  • Diamond, I've had total disc replacement for C5-C7 but still have sever migraine like headaches that flare up due to bulging of now the C3-C4 discs and C7.

    The pain radiates from my neck through the side and back of my head, behind my ear, into the left side of my face, jaw and eye.

    What I have medication wise found most useful so far is the combination of nerve and muscle relaxants. I'm currently on Soma for muscle and Lyrica + Valium for the nerves. I also take Lyrica and Cymbalta for nerves and inflammation. On really bad days, I add a pain med such as Vicodin.

    According to my surgeon, I should no longer be experiencing any of this pain and yet, 4 years after my initial surgery and after 3 more, I still do.

    I would highly suggest you ask to try Lyrica or Neurontin for the chronic pain and Soma and/or valium for acute pain.

    Also, I notice my pain flares up worst after strain from things like driving which require alot of neck movement.

    Good luck
  • I never used to get headaches, only rarely and tiny ones that Tylenol would cure. However, after having had two ACDF's headaches are pretty much a weekly occurrence for me. I get these "electrical shocks" in my head, just above my right ear - feels electrical, like the feeling you get if you touch a filling in your tooth with a spoon/fork...OUCH! The shock lasts a few seconds, sometimes makes my eye water. Pain starts at the base of my neck and runs of the side of my head, ending with the shock. My pain mgmt. doctor gave me sample migraine med called FROVA which does help lessen the headache, just gives you a break-through headache feeling (if that makes sense). I use a heating pad to try to ease the pain also.
  • Hi Diamond123
    I used to have constant headaches mainly from neck tension. They diagnosed me with migraines, because I'd have to have the shots and had all the symptoms, but they believe these are caused by my neck. I have since stopped working and no more constant typing and looking at my monitor all day and my headaches have decreased dramiatically. I used to get headaches from my neck when I sleep wrong and wake up with them. So you can definitely get headaches from your neck. Thanks for the link JulieA. My doctor gave me migraine meds imitrex, and they work wonders. Reliving the tension in your neck and shoulders is definitely key. My insurance (HMO)does not pay for massage, but they do cover medical massage. You may want to check into it. It helps tremendously. So does the ice pack and sometimes heat pack for tension before the headache. Some physical therapists do the side neck stretches or sweeps to relieve the tension. Being away from the compuer helps too. I hope that you will find relief from your headaches. The pain clinic I go to now, they not only do pain meds, but he does radio frequency which has helped, facet injections, trigger point injections, and nerve blocks. These have helped my neck pain and headaches considerably.
  • Thanks to all the replies.Some good news! I finally have got some pain relief.I am not sure if it is the injection I got finally starting to work or other things I have been trying like better posture no more using the laptop computer while laying in bed witch did make my neck in an bad position.But most of all I have just been trying not to think about it so much witch has cut down on my stress.I have spent the last 2 years constantly stressing out about my condition and the unknown future. I think the pain relief may be temporary and I still have some pain but I have cut down on the pain meds and that is always a good thing. Thanks to all.I hope your pain will decrease like mine. Even if only for a short time but hopefully FOREVER!!!
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