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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

Hi Kortney,
You can certainly have some wicked headaches from neck injuries,
I have a permanent low grade headache, it is always with me, about once a week i get the Killer headache.
These are commonly called "cervie headache". For me the headache starts at the base of my skull(occiput), as an incredible sense of pressure, which increases continuosly. When it peaks, it is the base of my skull on the right, with a bizzare sense of pressure over the right side of my face. At its max., it extends thru the eye,and the temple to some extent. I have explained this to the doc. as someone ramming a sword thru the base ofmy skull and pushing it out of my eye.
When I get one of these headaches, i am crippled with it.There is no way to sleep, because of the pain.I am on a long acting morphine, and have a short acting for flare up of pain. I have been unable to obtain relief from these headaches with pain medication. One of the only things that helps me, is to take my muscle relaxant at the first sign of it(valium), and keep up with regular doses for 24 hours.This will help me keep the headache from hitting full blast. With it I use ice or heat, and lay in a darkened room for the duration.
These are known as occipital neuralgias(that is what i was diagnosed with). The muscle spasm gets so severe that it feels like a walnut at the base of my skull. The occipital nerve leaves the spine at C2-3. When the spasms get that severe the occipital nerve gets irritated.
I have had trigger point injections of cortisone for these. I find that the headaches dont come as often after the cortisone. I was getting them 2-3 days per week, and after the cortisone they came once every 2-3 weeks. As the cortisone wears off, they start up again.
They used to think that this form of headache only occurred with damage at C2/3. But in recent years they are finding that these headaches can occur from herniations as C5/6 or 6/7. The reason being is the severity of muscle spasms. If the spasms are severe they can extend up to the base of the skull and therefor effect the occipital nerve.You can have tenderness in parts of the scalp with it also.
My heart goes out to you with these headaches. as i said they just cripple me. One of my biggest hopes with surgery is that these headaches will disappear or at least become very infrequent.
I hope you find some relief from these, and that you can find a good pain mangement Dr to help you with the medications and ordering the right tests.
Take care of yourself , Mel

Congenital Cervical Stenosis,complicated by:
Paracentral Disc herniations ,bone spurs C4/5,C5/6,C6/7
loss of lordotic curve
Advanced myelopathy inc. walking difficulty, loss of gag reflex with swallowing problems, neurogenic bladder, occipital neuralgia, spacticity

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