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  1. #1
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    Jul. 11, 2005
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    Default Migraines?

    I have recently (Last 2 months or so) been getting incredibly bad migraines. They feel like they go from the back right side of my neck where my skull and neck connect to behind my right eye. It feels like my right eye is going to come out of my face.

    I have been going to a chiro and my neck has been all sorts of out - it usually gets better after an adjustment but not always. The chiro and my initial DR. consult both suggested a pinched nerve in my neck - I've also had pain and tingling in my right hand and thumb with no injury which they said would correspond to a pinched nerve.

    Ice, dark, advil, help a tiny bit, but not really. I've had to take several days off of work in the last month (phone and computer based job) because the light and noise is awful and the pain is excruciating.

    I have two ruptured discs in my back (L 4/5 and L6) and the pain from that is nothing compared to these migraines.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for dealing with them or making them manageable at least for work? Anyone else dealt with seemingly sudden onset migraines? I am 26, if that makes a difference, and haven't changed my diet (I eat fairly healthy and work out 3-4 times a week). I have not really had migraines like this before ever.

    TIA!
    It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.



  2. #2
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    Apr. 27, 2003
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    Default

    I'm not sure its much help, but I use to never have migraines and I get them often now. Same thing, lots of pain, lights too bright and can often cause me to take a day off work. I actually have prescription medicine to help with them and while they do work it causes me to be sleepy and sometimes nauseous but it is the lessor of the two evils.

    I do find that mine are stress or weather related (when the barometric pressure drops or rises suddenly). Many people I have talked to said that lots of caffeine can help when you feel one coming on as well as water. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. They are just plain terrible
    Forrest Gump, 15, OTTB
    Little Bit Indian, 27, TB

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  3. #3
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    Mar. 6, 2002
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    Default

    Do you drink coffee?

    I had (still have, once in a while, because I haven't completely quit coffee) migraines that sound very similar. When I cut out coffee completely and replaced it with water, they went away. My Dr. said they were tension headaches.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson



  4. #4
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    Feb. 18, 2003
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cswoodlandfairy View Post
    I'm not sure its much help, but I use to never have migraines and I get them often now. Same thing, lots of pain, lights too bright and can often cause me to take a day off work. I actually have prescription medicine to help with them and while they do work it causes me to be sleepy and sometimes nauseous but it is the lessor of the two evils.

    I do find that mine are stress or weather related (when the barometric pressure drops or rises suddenly). Many people I have talked to said that lots of caffeine can help when you feel one coming on as well as water. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. They are just plain terrible
    Yours are exactly like mine......lots of days of work this year when our weather would go from -30 to +15 in a day!

    I have 2 prescriptions: 1 that I take every day to help lessen the effects of my auras (topomax) I now only get light headed like I'm not here when one is coming, and then I take a Relpax when I feel a migraine coming on (these have been absolute life savers). I also drink up on electrolites when I have a migraine and drink caffeine (don't always help but many times they do).

    I feel your pain.....they are awful.
    Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!



  5. #5
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    Apr. 28, 2008
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    Default

    Find a neurologist ASAP to check out why you are having these sudden onset migraines to see if you can figure out your trigger/what happened. And that can help you see if yours are responsive to the triptans (I use sumitriptan/aka Imitrex nasal sprays and shots). Others come in pill form. I also take an anti-nausea med with the Imitrex (reglan or phenergan, depending on whether I can be sleepy or not). My migraines scoff at Advil.

    Some common triggers for me: stress. not getting enough sleep/overtiredness. Dehydration. Not eating regular meals. Eating too much sugar. Eating too much dairy. Weather changes. Flashing lights. Fluourescent lighting. Hormone fluctuations.

    Some common other triggers: red wine, coffee, cheese.

    I hope you find some relief soon.

    Some are easy to eliminate/manage, others simply impossible.


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  6. #6
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    Default

    What seemed to work for me was getting pregnant and taking blood thinners. But that's probably horrific advice, huh?

    Back in the day I did have some luck with triptan drugs, too. You might want to check into those if you haven't yet.

    Sorry you're dealing with this, migraines are the worst. I used to get them very frequently, and it's astounding to me that I've only had one really bad one in the last... damn, almost two years.

    If you are on BC, maybe consider getting off or switching to something else, that can play a pretty big role too.
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

    My CANTER blog.



  7. #7
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    Pregnancy is not a surefire solution -- I'm now pregnant, can't take any of my regular meds and have had a migraine pretty much 24/7 for 4 months. I've been in the ER twice with dehydration from vomiting. I'm getting my tubes tied after this baby -- I don't think I can stand being pregnant again!



  8. #8
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    Default

    Get an MRI of your neck, I bet the farm you now having bulging/heriated discs in your neck too. Sounds exactly like mine.



  9. #9
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    That also sucks

    Maybe it was just the lovenox/heparin. heh.

    And actually... if it was related to that, there are some less drastic measures regular people can try - a baby aspirin every day, or herbal supplement like feverfew. IIRC there were actually some interesting study results on feverfew.

    Another thing (sorry, I've had migraines forever so have a bunch of coping strategies) that used to work decently for me was taking a regular otc painkiller like advil along with a big dose of B vitamins.
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

    My CANTER blog.



  10. #10
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    Oct. 12, 2001
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    are you sure they are migraines? it would be unusual to have migraines suddenly start up at your age- most migraine sufferers have them start up during the teenage years, rage through the 30's, and then gradually start to get better as the person ages.
    I would suggest consulting a doctor- a really severe headache suddenly starting up at your age could indicate something nasty. Or it could just be a tension headache. It could even be a chronic sinus infection, or a tooth abscess with referred pain. Could be referred pain from your neck. Or it could be migraines.
    There are some rather effective drugs for migraines these days- ones that stop them from developing, and others that treat the pain and associated symptoms. Need a doctor to prescribe.
    If it really is migraines, the best way to stop them is to figure out what your triggers are, and avoid the triggers. Examples of triggers include cheeses, wines, stress, hunger.



  11. #11
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    Oct. 15, 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post
    are you sure they are migraines? it would be unusual to have migraines suddenly start up at your age- most migraine sufferers have them start up during the teenage years, rage through the 30's, and then gradually start to get better as the person ages.
    Not true at all. I started getting them at 30, my internist as well as neurologist at Johns Hopkins both told me that was in the sweet spot for starting them (for women)... mid 20's to early-mid 30's. Between the symptoms (aura/nausea/pounding headache/hangover) and my age at onset, the neuro said it was a classic presentation.

    OP, get yourself to a neurologist to make sure that it really isn't anything more nefarious than a migraine.
    Last edited by wanderlust; Nov. 6, 2012 at 04:22 PM.



  12. #12
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    Apr. 11, 2001
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    Default

    Not to freak you out or anything, but a stiff neck/neck pain and a migraine are classic symptoms of meningitis. I speak from experience.

    If you do think it is a pinched nerve try to find a therapist that does active release technique or find out which therapist the pro athletes in your town use and go see them. I speak from experience on that too.



  13. #13
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    Default

    I have had chronic muscle tension headaches since I was in my early teens. I've had relatives and SO's and co-workers with true migraines. The noise and light sensitivity you mention suggests to me that you may, too.

    Mine aren't migraines or cluster headaches or any of the other flavors, and I manage them with fiorinal or fiorinal w/codeine. (They were better managed years ago by Equagesic, a 3-layered tablet the FDA said was "less than effective" and because that denied some Rx reimbursement, Wyeth removed them from the US market. So in a very real sense, the FDA has given me headaches for many years.)

    Once in a while my headaches slide over into being a sick headache with nausea, and maybe 20% of them have a 'poker in one eye' component, but again they aren't true migraines. Headaches of any kind are debilitating, but I am fortunate that I escaped the migraine bullet.

    My SO had hers assessed by a neurologist and had either a CAT scan or an MRI performed. This was in the first two weeks of our relationship so I didn't think it appropriate to probe for details. The scan was unremarkable and soon her headaches went away and the meds she'd been prescribed proved unnecessary after that. This correlated with her former SO finally being well removed from her life, though I don't think psychological stress is typically a predisposing situation for migraines.

    My aunt tried everything known at the time -- many years ago -- but the migraines continued until menopause at which point she finally was rid of them.

    I believe a neurological exam is a simple, key place to start.

    It's also possible that there is more than one kind of headache going on. Everyone tends to assume there is only one cause for everything. Sometimes there are two different mechanisms in play at the same time, which makes it complicated to sort out.
    "Things should be as simple as possible,
    but no simpler." - Einstein

    “So what’s up with years of lessons? You still can’t ride a damn horse?!”



  14. #14
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    Default

    Have you tried Excedrin Migraine? That helps a bit with mine. My big triggers are fluorescent light and artificial sweetener, have you changed anything about your diet lately? Sometimes if I can feel it starting OTC pills and a big Red Bull will head it off.
    Quarry Rat


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
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    Oct. 16, 2008
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    Default

    My first onset occurred when I was around 25, which quickly turned into chronic Migraine. I was submitted under a series of tests but all tests said I was healthy.

    It sucks. Big Time. In those time when I was in bed two weeks straight in a dark room, I started to understand why health was more important than being alive.

    Anyway, right now, I manage it with daily Amitryplin, as well as Maxalt when symptom worsens. And then, believe it or not, Qc10.

    I read about it (QC10) in the last Migraine thread at the last Off Course days. Can't remember the poster but I decided to give it a try, even though I truly didn't believe it would make any difference. I have low cholesterol, low blood pressure, and am in perfect health. Anyway, weird again, on the days I took it, I woke up without the normal dead weight feeling in my head. Now I take it nightly. It makes a huge difference.



  16. #16
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    Apr. 28, 2008
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    Some other easy potential helps are 500 mg of Magnesium Oxide daily, and a daily B-complex vitamin. I do both of those and while they are not perfect, the Magnesium especially seems to help a little.

    I am also currently undergoing acupuncture for migraines since I can't take any meds right now. I'm desperate to try anything. I'll update next OT Day about whether it helped, if I can remember! I haven't had enough sessions yet to make any impact (it takes 3-4 supposedly).



  17. #17
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    First, thank you to everyone who replied. I'm going to go through all of the replies and make a list of questions to bring to the Dr - and I am going to try and get an appt with a neurologist (now y'all have me freaked out!). To answer a few questions:

    - I have had an appt. with my regular Dr. They seemed to think it was a pinched nerve mainly due to the wrist/hand pain that sometimes corresponds to the migraines. They gave me some suggestions (caffeine when you feel one starting, avoid bright light and loud noise) but other than that didn't really do much or suggest further investigation. They also suggested stress related - and while I am currently under a lot of stress (and have also found myself having anxiety for the first time ever) I have definitely been as stressed or more stressed for longer periods of time before and not had the migraines. The Dr. told me to follow up if they were still a problem in a few weeks, which I will be doing soon.

    - Coffee - I do drink coffee, usually 1 cup per morning at work only (so not on the weekends). My mom has been urging me to "Get off the Coffee" for quite some time now. I have gone 3 weeks without so far, and have not found it to make a difference for me (maybe it just hasn't been long enough?). I do feel like if I start to feel one come on, and drink a cup of coffee or a soda, it does help. I do not otherwise drink soda, only coffee, water, and juice that we make ourselves with our juicer.

    - Sleep - have not been sleeping as well lately - pretty sure this is stress/anxiety related. Also having lots of nightmares/bad dreams. But, I'm in bed pretty early. I get at least 8 hours of sleep a night, and lately have been trying to give myself at least 9 in bed to make up for when I am waking up during the night. Some nights are like this, and some are totally fine and I sleep through the night.

    - Eating - we eat pretty healthy, and have not had any major diet changes. I will try cutting back on sugar and see if that makes a difference ( I do have a big sweet tooth - but my sugar intake has not changed - it's always been on the high side).

    -Pregnancy - not an option/interest at this time

    Birth control - I have been on the same one (nuvaring) for the last 4? years. Previous to that I struggled with various bad reactions to a lot of the different options out there (though never headaches or migraines). I will bring this up with the DR, but again, not a recent change.

    Laurierace - I was wondering if the lower back changes could be causing issues with the neck. Will ask about the MRI - would need to be covered under insurance as I know how expensive they are and that wouldn't be something that I could afford on my own at this time.

    wendy - I was told by the Dr. that they do sound like migraines, especially with the light/sound sensitivity, and not tension headaches.

    subk - will ask at the Dr. about this - any other signs of meningitis you could tell me about ? (PM is fine too)

    Excederin Migraine does nothing for me (tried it an a variety of other over the counter migraine specific medication.

    Interestingly, I have a strong pain killer rx for my chronic back issues - which I rarely take, only when my back flairs up. I tried taking this for relief from the migraines (Percocet) and it actually seems to make it worse, not better.

    Fordtraktor - I tried acupuncture with my back and did not find it to be helpful for me personally for that issue - would love to know if you find it helps with the migraines.

    I will look into the various rx's suggested as well.

    Thanks again!
    It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.



  18. #18
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    I had meningitis (viral, not bacterial) and the main symptoms were neck pain and excruciating head pain. I threw up from the pain every couple minutes for a day before I went to the ER, then spent a week in the hospital. It was so painful that Dilaudid (basically imitation morphine) did not touch it. If you can function at any basic level I doubt it is meningitis but again, another reason to get checked out.

    The neuro rec is not to scare you at all -- they are pretty standard for migraine sufferers as they know more about the issue and the options than a GP.

    I hope you can figure it out. I also would not be surprised if it is tied to your back issues/neck issues so get on those too!



  19. #19
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    Feb. 12, 2005
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    The pain you described is exactly how my doctor described occipital neuralgia to me. I would suggest mentioning it to your doc, not many think of it. Physio around C2 can help, as can cortisone shots to the area. If the cortisone shots work, its apparently like magic, so definitely worth checking out.
    Best of luck.
    Edited to add, occipital neuralgia also causes awful sensitivity to light.
    GP



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