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Onset of vicious headaches after Cervical Epidural

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
A couple of months ago, I had an MRI where my spinal MD diagnosed me with degenerative disc problems in C5 and C6. Since then I have received 3 epidural steroid injections in my neck. The problem is, now I have horrible debilitating headaches 2-3 times a week which can last as long as 25 hours (most often 6-12 hrs). I always wake up with these headaches, they do not start during the daytime and my pain meds cannot touch them - pain meds I've had include Norco and Oxycodone (not at same time). They are much worse than the original neck/shoulder problems that I was trying to get fixed! The pain seems to center at the base of my skull on the right side and there is no position or medication that can give me relief; I just have to wait it out. I also have incredibly sore jaw muscles when I awake - even after using a night guard to prevent teeth grinding. I never had any bruxism or headache problem before the epidural so I'm sure it is the cause. I have some Flexeril but it doesn't help the jaw tension. I thought at one point that these symptoms could be caused by my pain meds, (3 months continuous use) but as of today I haven't taken any in 2 weeks and just had the worst headache yet (25 hours of pain and puking) My current pain MD is a "volume dealer" type who sees 60 patients a day - he sees me for 2 minutes and then just keeps giving me stronger meds, I'm seeing a new one next week. If anyone has experienced this or has input I would appreciate it.


  • I had one after my first cerivical epidural. The punctured something in the process. I also found out I had a Chiari Malformation which means I should have never recieved this epidural. I know how you feel, it is the worst headache imaginable. No pain med can take it away, there is fluid somewhere. Lay down as soon as possible to help it go away. make sure they check to see if you have a Chiari problem.
  • first of all i want to welcome you both to this forum. i'm rather new here myself but there is a vast abundance of info in the form of articles , videos and conversation with others who suffer pain.
    i too have neck issues and used to suffer headaches like the both of you. my dr finally put me on a beta blocker that gave me relief. before that i got minor relief from ice.
    i was listening to the news recently and heard that drs discovered oxygen could help. why not check with the dr to see what would be a good thing to try.
    pain like that is terrible. its the only time in my life i hit a ten on the pain scale.

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  • Is it possible for you to get a referral to see a neurologist? I suffered for years with headaches that started at the base of my skull and radiated forward. I had been in a motorcycle accident where my head impacted a car and then the pavement. The occipital nerve had been injured in the process. The first neurologist I saw threw all kinds of drugs at me and said it was some kind of migraine brought on by tension. The second one I went to took the time to find the root cause and within days started getting the headaches under better control. The key is that a fresh set of eyes and a fresh set of ideals, can go a long way to getting proper treatment.

    Best of luck and Welcome to Spine Health.

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