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Foraminal stenosis causing migranes?

edited 01/31/2016 - 7:27 PM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi everyone,

I am brand new to this forum but really excited to have another outreach. I have had back problems for a couple years, starting with spondylolysis, then arthritis added to that, SI joint dysfunction, now recently the problems have moved up my spine. Into my thoracic with severe degenerative disc issues, and in neck. I have protruding discs and bone spurs all throughout my upper and cervical spine.

Now I have just been told I have bilateral foraminal stenosis, on multiple levels. Im in pain all the time, I am only 26 years old. The last doctor I saw didn't seem to think I should be in any pain and thought I was just having muscle spasms. I have chronic complex SEVERE migraines. I am miserable. Should I get a second opinion? Can for animal stenosis in neck cause migraines? Any advice is appreciated.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • PlumbTuckeredOutPlumbTuckeredOut Philadelphia, PAPosts: 325
    edited 02/01/2016 - 11:27 AM
    I have had severe migraines for a very long time. I get classic migraines with an aura. Also, if I sleep "wrong" which is anyway but the exact right way, and that changes daily (I sound like a politician here!) I awaken with horrendous migraines but no aura. Doctors have been happy to toss all the migraines into one category and be done with it. Like you, I have foraminal stenosis. I think when I sleep in a way that further occludes the nerve I wake up with a whopper migraine.

    What I do is I use pillows, stuffed animals, ice packs, whatever works that night, to keep my head in a position that feels least painful. Sometimes I'll awaken in the night and need to readjust the "sandbags" but I definitely have had better relief from the migraines with this method.
    I'm in search of a doctor I like for my neck surgery. I've been attending a pain clinic for 18months or so.

    I'm skipping details and saying my initial injury was when I was 8 years old. Doctors said I couldn't be in pain. Trust me, I was In Pain! Going through my 20's though and trying to get someone to listen was nuts! NO ONE would listen! I'm really sorry.

    I will update things as I get more facts about my own bulges, herniations, stenosis, etc. Try the pillow thing though. Make sure your head and neck are supported while you sleep. And sleeping with multiple dogs and cats helps too!


    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by...... (Robert Frost)
    I still don't know if I should have taken the one that said, "Caution! Dead End" (Me)
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