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Severe headaches

txmemaw5ttxmemaw5 Posts: 35
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Chronic Pain
Had ACDFC5C6, with hardware + vertebre repair on 8-6-09..
ups and downs...last 3 months severe headaches..at times
sick stomach...pain pills have got to they don't work..ER twice in 4 wks...Imitrex is all that will knock the bad ones. I ride out the others.....Neurologist on 16 and my NS on 21...
Has anyone else experienced this?..daily headaches are about to get me down...could this be connected to my surgery?
Anyone heard of the plate causing this? The headaches usually start when I wake up?
Appreciate any input? Thanks!


  • I don't want to scare you, but I've had a headache for over a year and a half, since my surgery. How bad it is just depends on the day. I take Imitrex as well for the migraines. When I get those, my skull is very tender and hurts from even the slightest pressure on it. I also get what is called "ice-pick" headaches, where it feels like someone is driving a spike through my skull into my brain, and in behind my eye. These happen on the same side, but only the one side. Then the normal ongoing tension headaches, which I'm sure when those get bad, they trigger the other two types. I think it's pretty normal for us to get them, a lot of people here do. When it's just the normal tension headache (starts at base of neck and wraps up around) starts to get worse, I take 2 extra strength Advil liqui-gels. If I take them early enough, it calms the headache down. I also lay with my heating pad under my head and neck, and it seems to help as well.

    Hope the neuro and ns have some answers for you!! If so, do share!! lol Take care;
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • I get massive headaches as well. Most from my C2/3, and others from my C5/6/7. And like Kelly, if one gets going, Imitrex will catch em. My GP almost didn't give them to me because she didn't understand that "migraines" (which Imitrex is for) could be caused by cervical issues. Yeah, I don't get that either, but she gave them to me.

    Since you seem to be getting them upon waking or shortly there after. Have you tried getting a pillow wedge so you can sleep more at an angle? That has helped me immensely. I have an adjustable bed now, and I am always elevated when I sleep now. Too, do you notice them more sleeping on your side, back etc. I am going to assume you're not trying to belly sleep with cervical fusions.

    Hopefully your Neuro or NS will have more defined answers for you. I just thought I would toss what has worked for me as food for thought. Take care. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • A neurologist I saw several years ago, was key in finding out a way to break my years long headache and migraine merry-go-round. He said that irritated or inflamed nerves set off a chemical reaction that can trigger a migraine. So basically we could beat the migraine into submission, only for a short time before the irritated nerve set it off again. He did a series of injections to numb up the greater occipital nerve and was able to break the cycle. So then I was started on Tegretol (Carbamazepine) and it calmed the nerve and I steadily gained more and more days without a headache.

    Don't know if this helps you, but thought that I would share it.

  • I started getting occipital migraines last fall. I did the brain mri w contrast and w/out. Had my eyes checked etc. I tried Imitrex but it did nothing for me and I didn't want to take another med if it wasn't that effective. My headaches continued through my ACDF (still having them).

    I went on topomax to reduce the frequency of the "headache" and it worked pretty good for me, pretty fast. I just did about a month off the topomax due to a drug interaction and I had headaches 4-5 X's a week. Yesterday I started back on the topomax- PM changed my med so I should NOT get the over dose effect....

    Pretty much when I get going on one it comes on very fast and I use ice packs, absorbing jr (on my temples) heat packs, tylenol, advil and my regular pain meds.

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