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do you have migraines that start in left shoulder, up back of neck, into left side of head?

kkfoster76kkkfoster76 Posts: 10
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
For the past couple of years I have been having these migraines that start out in my left shoulder, move up the my back of my neck, into the left side of my head like a knife is stuck in it. I cannot stand light, sound, or smells. I break out into full a full sweat then I freeze. I'm also very nauseated but most the time I will vomit for 12 hours and it also seems the migraines last about the same but some longer. I just want to be left in a dark, quiet, and cold room. I know I have issues w/ my C5 trough T1 but docs have never been able to pinpoint exactly how to fix it or why I get my migraines. I do try and go to my PCP when they are open and get a pain shot and this use to work but now it doesn't even touch it. I've had to go to the hospital several times due to it being so severe and as long as they give me something to relax my muscles it seems to go away pretty quick. Does anyone out there have anything like this or simular? What worked for you? Thanks


  • I have had minor cervical problems though from C6-C7 nerve impinging and I used to get major migraines with an aura also. I found one Physiotherapist where I had ultrasound back of neck and she did mild gentle traction with my head on her lap no weights or pulleys. I also took Imitrex for migraines with good effect. I don't get them much anymore thank goodness but stay away from MSG in flavored chips and some soups and oxo that contains MSG. That's my experience and not medical advice. Maybe your Primary could work with you. Take care. 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
  • i've had problems with migraine headaches for years my pain managment dr put me on topimate it works for me, ask your dr if he would asdvise you on what med's would help you. best of luck
  • I have the same problems. Mine are cervical with Fibromyalgia aggravating it.

    What works best for me is a good muscle relaxer, lying with my neck in neutral position in a dark room with ear plugs---and keeping my thoughts floating around either good things or nothing at all.

    I'm able to sit 10 minutes or 2 hours before the sweating starts. The sweating is instant when I do cervical strengthening exercises. Ugh. Can't stay clean. Just depends upon the day.

    I agree that talking to your primary care doc may be productive.

    Hope you find relief soon.

  • I get these quite frequently these days. Nothing helps but laying down and the next day hopefully it is gone. My doc recently prescribed prednisone. He said take one at the first sign and it DID work! Getting a scan done next week to check everything out. Been two years next week since my surgery. Good luck all and take care!
  • Your symptoms mirror mine...I was totally beside myself after suffering from migraines-left sided only for years and years. Even to the point of hospitalization, lumbar punctures, etc. Was referred to a Neurologist by PCP of course and my Neuro referred me to a pain management doc. Within literally 5 minutes after him listening to me about my history I was diagosed with Occipital Neuralgia. Research this and see if your symptoms match...I bet they do. Of course the shoulder/arm pain along with the tension does bring on the migraines. The way to diagnose is to have a Occipital Nerve block done...if you are symptom free after the block-the diagnosis is made...I am so thankful for him and his knowledge. Just my opinion, but I would definately look into it...sounds just like me....
  • One other thing....does the pain on the head form a "ram's horn" type ring? Classic for occipital neuralgia. starts at the bottom on the neck/head and forms upward until it gets to the front. Mine settles behind my left eye and feels like someone is stabbing an ice pick in my eye...hurts horribly....
  • solsa55ssolsa55 CaliforniaPosts: 2

    Your migraine symptoms sound pretty similar to mine.   Pain starts in one shoulder and moves up the head.  Followed by nausea, vomiting, and hot and cold flashes.   For what it's worth, here is what I have been doing:

    Permanent Solution:
    I've been getting results with a dentist, who is working to move my jaw forward and realign it with a dental appliance.  I've never had any TMJ symptoms, but I do have an underbite and apparently this can irritate the trigeminal nerves near where your jaw attaches to your skull.   About 10 months ago, I spent all my time either in the nausea-hot-cold-migraine phase or else recovering from my last migraine.  Migraines were lasting between 2 and 3 days.  After 10 months of wearing the dental appliance, I have about 1 migraine per month, lasting about 4-8 hours.   Notice that I am re-aligning my jaw non-surgically, I don't think surgical realignment would fix the trigeminal irritation.   It will take another 6 months before we have my jaw completely re-aligned, and I'm seeing constant improvement in my symptoms.

    Temporary helpful tip:
    I also find that capsaicin cream ($15 at Walgreens or CVS), applied to my sholders and back of neck, helps me.   This stuff is super strong, so not everyone can take it.   It's an extract of hot peppers.   It burns your eyes in exactly the same way hot peppers do, so you cannot touch your eyes while you are using it.   I wear vinyl gloves to apply it.    I recommend you test it out by applying a small amount  (1/8 teaspoon) on your arm.    It takes about 30-60 minutes before you can feel the heat on your skin, do not overapply!   Capsaicin has been shown to turn off substance P.   Substance P is one of the major pain transmitters in the body.   It lasts 2-3 days on your skin and is difficult to wash off.   Water reactivates it, so if you take a bath or shower your skin will get really hot wherever you've applied it.   With all these caveats, capsaicin cream has worked wonders for me.   If I apply it right when a migraine starts, I can either eliminate or strongly diminish my symptoms.   Since I am now used to the heat, I apply lots (maybe 1 tablespoon) of this to my shoulders and back of neck whenever I feel a migraine starting.  By the way, do not pet your dog or cat when using this or you'll get hot pepper cream on their fur.  Works great on sciatica also, apply to side of leg or lower back -- wherever the sciatica is bothering you.

  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Hello Solsa55

    This is an old discussion created by a member no longer on the forum so I am closing it.

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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