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occipital headaches

pocahauntisppocahauntis Posts: 2
edited 05/25/2015 - 7:47 PM in Chronic Pain
I am about 10 days post-op on a cervical fusion, C4 thru 6. I had high hopes that this fusion would alleviate the debilitating headaches I get a night in my occipital lobe.
I was ok for about a week but the lat 2 out of 4 nights I have gotten the same old excrutiating occipital headaches. It feels like someone is putting an ax in my head. Pain relievers, nerve blocks, ice, nothing helps.
The surgical team is now telling me that the headaches continue because of the irritation of my nerves after the surgery. I can live with this if there is some hope that they will eventually go away. Will I have to live the rest of my life like this? I'm only 59 and just can't bear the thought of continuing to get these hellacious headaches 4-5 times a week. It used to be that exercise or driving exacerbated them. Now they come randomly for no particular reason at all. Nerve blocks or anti-depressant medicine seem like just a bandaid--is there anyone in the US or the world who can actually treat the root cause of the headaches and help them???
Desperate in CO


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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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
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    Ten days out of surgery is not that much time.
    It sounds good doctors are paying attention to you and trying to relieve your pain.

    It's good to keep good communication with doctors.....continue to tell of your symptoms and effectiveness of any treatments or meds...as they continue to investigate source or cause of your pain. Ask your docs about pain subsiding or continuing for life.

    If they were to say you need to handle for life...that is big if.....you may want to ask if they think referral to pain management would be beneficial.

    I don't know that anyone could respond to ...any doctor in U.S. Or in the world to treat the cause.

    Hang in there!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • rtconant1rrtconant1 Posts: 348
    edited 05/31/2015 - 3:27 PM
    I get a few different types of headaches including those(cervicogenic, ice pick, migraines). The occipital types started after surgery for me. I went through a month of those that were absolutely awful. I barely left my bed. I have been taking gabapentin, cyclobenzaprine or tizanidine, nortryptiline and a rescue for the headaches when they cant be controlled by all of those. I have also had 2 rounds of oral steroids. The PT did dry needling, that didn't work. We are still trying to get it all worked out. I still have headaches 24/7 just not completely severe every time.
    It will take time to find the right combinations that will work. My headaches are also caused by the nerve damage in my neck. I am limited in my choices because I cant have any injections with cortisteroids in them.
    Tracie C
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