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Cervical Headaches: Help!!!

lisa burekllisa burek Posts: 855
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi Fellow Spineys,

Haven't had time to post lately. Had my second opinion last week. Interesting: my left/right/arms/legs reflexes are out of sync, which explains most of my clumsiness. This Dr. advised to hold off on surgery as long as possible and in the meantime PT and meds. My surgeon agrees. Knowing my spine history thus far, its probably inevitable that more surgeries above and below the fusion will need to be done. Thankfully my Dr. isn't stingy with pain meds.

Anyway, as far as my topic title: In the past month or 2 I have had some killer headaches that I can barely function and need to lay down. I'm figuring they are caused by my mess of a neck, as I normally don't get them. Any neckies out there have any advice on dealing/preventing them??




  • Howdy Lisa,

    I get them pretty fierce with my C2/3 issues, and sometimes with the other levels. I concentrated really hard on what I was doing in the past hour *prior* to the headache forming and made notes. After a short time I was able to determine what positions and activities brought them on.

    For those I can't catch with say Aspirin, I have Imitrex now. The key is if they are coming from your cervical, try to figure out what brings them on as I did myself. It really helped me a lot. *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Good thinking. Last night was a doozy! When the headache started coming on was when we were leaving the inlaws' house after a visit. Makes sense to me that theres a connection, lol.

    I'm going to try that and see if I can find some common denominator. Thanks for the help. I'll report back if I figure something out.

    Take care,

  • Hopefully it will be of help once you figure out when, and what activities cause them. I think I've figured out about 90% of mine. I get those flukes once in a while, and have no idea. It's kind of like when your neck or back kicks your butt, and you actually have been behaving! Vs doing all manner of housework or playing with the grands - you KNOW you will pay in the morning for it! (G) Fingers crossed for ya woman!! :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • yes, i have severe cerviogenic headaches, the pain starts at the base of my skull and moves up and on top of my head then down my forehead to my eyes, it is unbearable.
    i have issues from C1-T1 up top

    what i do is pack my head in ice and lay down, it can take many hrs, or days for it to go

    i found over the yrs that i cannott keep my head turned or look up , i need to keep my head looking foreward, also i have to be very carefull with pillows, when sleeping, only one pillow, 2 pillows and i will get one of these nasties

    so really , i think its a positional thing ,(of course apart from the actual damage) to work out what brings them on , like aviatrix was saying

    i take an anti-inflammortory, opiates dont touch it

    but of course, sometimes no matter what, you can still get one

    lol @ the parents in - law


  • I seem to wake quite often with one of these headaches! #:S
    Sometimes even in the middle of the night.
    I now only sleep with one pillow, as flower suggests, and that seems to help a bit with the frequency of them.

    I find that if I take them early enough, asprin help more than some other meds (anti-inflamatory), but of course I am trying not to take NSAIDs because of my fusion (or lack of it!).

    Something else I find that seems to help, is to put my hands around my neck just under my ears and lift slightly. This seems to take some of the pressure off and gives quite a bit of relief.

    Also sitting in a chair with a neck support and staying still and relaxing can sometimes help it.

    I haven't tried icing, because I think the cold would probably make it worse.

    BRENDA ?? What are the things that you have noticed that bring on one of these headaches?

  • jellyhall said:

    BRENDA ?? What are the things that you have noticed that bring on one of these headaches?
    Howdy Ms. Jellyhall!! :)

    Like Flower, if I do a lot of looking up (like when shopping) that will bring one on. I now back up to the other side of the isle and look - less "up" for the head.

    Sleeping flat - 80% chance I will wake with a roaring headache regardless of pillow. Sleeping in a reclined position (memory foam pillow) they are reduced around 90%!!

    If I do a lot of left/right/left turning with my head (to picture - like watching a tennis match for movements), that will flare my neck over all, then a headache follows shortly there after. Had one during the holidays when I goofed and sat 'in the middle' of a discussion, and kept turning back and forth to reply or show interest in the speaking person! I now position myself to allow me less side to side changes.

    If I have my head "looking down" when working with beads too long, that kicks one in. I now use an adjustable table stand with bead mats. This way I bring my 'work' (hobby) up to me, not my head looking down to them!

    Sometimes doing a lot of bending (dish washer, laundry, litter box cleaning) that will kick one off. Of late my back got into the 'fight' first, so that activity isn't as bad for the headaches anymore! Wow, (being sarcastic here) there IS something good about herniated disks in the back after all! (j/k) But sort of true! (G)

    Sometimes reading magazines or newspapers - I unconsciously put my head in a slightly 'up' tilt position. I try to catch it, but if not - headache. I now hold the area I am reading fairly horizontal to reduce this problem.

    I guess for me it all comes down to being "aware, aware, aware" of what I do with my head. Sometimes if I get tired (but don't drag myself off to bed) my posture gets crappy, and yep, headache. Aware...:)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.

  • A lot of the things that cause you headaches, cause me neck and shoulder pain. (aren't we lucky!!)

    I do get these headaches during the day, but I haven't worked out what causes them yet. As for waking up with them, I assume it must be the position my head is in, as I'm not doing anything!

    At church I always end up with neck and shoulder ache just from looking at the overhead projector. Luckily, we have 2 on either side, so I change which one I look at to keep changing the position of my head. I also keep looking down for a few seconds to try to ease things.

    I also notice that if someone comes and sits next to me for a chat, very quickly I have to move because having my head turned and holding it for longer than about 30 seconds will cause me pain. This is especially bad if they sit on my right. Turning to the right definately is more restricted than turning to the left.

    Even sitting at the computer, after a while, my neck starts to hurt. I have noticed that I change my sitting position to enable the position of my neck to change.

    When I get them during the day, I am going to try and note what I have been doing to see if there is a pattern.

    Hope today is a good day for everyone. :-)
  • Oh Lisa and everyone with the headaches from our necks...I am sorry that you, we, are having to go through this!!!

    I am new to the necky side of the spine but WOW do the headaches knock me on my butt!!

    I will be reading more on everyones post!!
  • Nodding, my headaches started ramping up on me about 5 to 7 months ago (course,...feels like years!!). I did have them before these, but not commonly and not so recurring. Since they (most) almost always start just behind and below my left ear, I give the C2/3 credit for those puppies!!

    Like you've described, I too end up with pain in my neck, and a bit of my shoulders when rigidly sitting, or moving my head around a lot - sometimes that pain moves into headache mode!

    I hope you're feeling better today Ms. Jelly!! *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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