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Neck Pain and Headaches

I am hoping someone can give me some advice.

For the past couple of years I have been experiencing neck pain that radiates into the base of my skull and results in a bad headache. Bad enough that every time my heart beats, it feels as if someone is punching me in the back of the skull. Every now and then, the headache is also accompanied by a low-volume high-pitch ringing in my left ear. And at times the pain will radiate into my left shoulder.

I could live with the pain and discomfort if that's all that was involved. But the pain also comes with severe dizziness and light-headedness. Dizziness to the point that I have fallen several times, and it makes everyday life very difficult. The pain usually comes along after I turn my head and hear and feel a popping sensation in the left side of my neck.

I have been told I have some bone spurs in my neck and something wrong with a disc or two, but I can't remember what it was. I had surgery five years ago for syringomyelia (SP?) and the headaches and pain have gotten worse. I have grown rather distrustful of doctors where I live, because all they want to do is send me for an MRI, then charge me $1000 to spend five minutes with me and not tell me anything new.

Has anyone else experienced these symptoms? If so, have you received any kind of diagnosis, or any kind of relief? I'm to the point that I don't know what to do, and it's starting to affect me mentally and emotionally as well.



  • I do have headaches with my neck pain but not nearly as bad as you have them. I do get some lightheadedness and little bit of ear ringing but most of it is just the all over pressure lately. I was told that they sound like occiptical nerve headaches. They bite but I was told that they should get better after my surgery when they relieve the pressure caused by my herniated discs. I am sorry you are not getting the help you need. I hope you find help soon though. Keep looking and don't let up
    Tracie C
  • Yes, I don't get them now but I did! I freak out every time I get a headache worrying that its gonna be one of those. I had a c6 -c7 disc herniation, fixed it with fusion. But I was on a medication for headaches because it was so bad. The list of side effects worried me but I was willing to try anything to keep them at bay. I wasn't able to look forward and forget about looking up, I could look down and just move my eyes to see were I was going. If I would look up I would get migraines that would knock me out almost. The rest of the day was gone, I was bed ridden if that happened. The last time I had one I was laying on the couch all day and kept running to the toilet throwing up from it. Thats the last thing you want to do is throw up with a migraine. Thankfully after my surgery that went away. I was hesistant to get off of the headache meds but its great now.
    Most doctors will order an MRI to figure out what is going on, those aren't cheap but "usually" don't require contrast.
    Best of luck and godspeed
  • Hi my name is Kev Thompson, i had a prolapsed disc removed 6 years ago and a bone fusion. During the op the surgeon made a hole in my spinal cord sheath, which resulted in a serious scf leak, the 3 hour op ended up lasting over 7 hours and the leak was not stopped completely. for several days after the leak continued and i had a large ball of fluid at the front of my neck. At no point was i offered the use of a collar or told i needed bed rest i was encouraged to get up and move about as quickly as possible. The leak stopped after a couple of days. Since the op i have never been pain free not for a single day , i think i now have another prolapsed disc and i am due for another scan next week, oh i forgot to mention that i have a bone spur growing down into my lower vertebra. any advise or ideas as what i should do would be great thanks Kev
  • by a car accident or some other way. occipital nerve damege both sides or one side.
  • i have the same exact pain. it hits either side because i have nerve damage on both sides. i have a medtronix nerve stimulator that helps.
  • Gumby345GGumby345 Posts: 1
    edited 09/12/2014 - 1:37 PM
    Just FYI! I have had 3 cervical fusions involving C3-4,C4-5,C5-6. I have 3 kinds of hardware being a plate, 2 screws and a spacer. I have had headaches chronically before and after surgeries. I have not been to pain management. Instead I exercise with therabands or in a pool using cut up water noodles. I CAN NOT handle free weights at all. I am also on 300mg of Gabapentin(Neurontin) 2-3 times a day. This is an anti seizure med that calms down nerves which, in my case, eases the head aches. I do take a combo of valium 5mg and flexeril 10mg when headaches are bad. The most important thing I do is the exercising! I can't stress this enough! I exercise EVEN THOUGHI have a bad head ache because it helps! Don't let this rule your life! Figure it out. I have. I hope this helps, I really do! By the way, the pool noodles are almost cut in half, then sealed with a lighter or the turn into sponges! I exercise with water up to my neck. I have tried the foam water dumb bells but they are too heavy in the water. Try it. Let me know if I can help you. Thank you
  • I had similar issues while playing football in college and for years after. i know all to well about the robot type movement needed with a tight neck. i also used to get exertion headaches while doing slow HIT training sessions which was the training scheme of choice at my school. those headaches always originating in my neck and radiated up to the back of my head. these could persist for days.

    also, i am a stomach sleeper. i am way more comfortable when my head is facing left. if i face right all night, i can wake up with a pretty tight neck.
    If your medicine cabinet is stocked with any kind of drug, it's likely some type of over-the-counter headache relief product such as Advil, Aleve, Excedrin or Tylenol – or maybe all of the above. While each claims to relieve throbbing pain. If you need more help please contact us

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