Cervicogenic Headaches

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Yucca13, Sep 14, 2003.

  1. Yucca13

    Yucca13 Member

    I am curious to know if many of you have disabling headaches that cause excruciating pain the neck and shoulder area and behind the eyes and in the forehead.

    I've been reading up on the symptoms and they fit the cervicogenic headache description very well. The pain is referred from neck problems which can include muscular trigger points in the neck (related to fibro) and also the shoulder-blade area. Degenerative disk disease and arthritis in the joint facets can also cause this type of headache.

    For a long time, I thought it was my sinuses, but now after reading the symptoms of the pain behind the eyes, etc. I really feel that they are more related to my neck. If I could afford insurance, there are procedures to block the pain.

    I find these headaches more disabiling than any of the other pain of fibro as I cannot even keep my eyes open when they are at their worst. Anyone else with similar problems?
  2. Susan07

    Susan07 New Member

  3. Yucca13

    Yucca13 Member

    Went to the dr. yesterday and asked about these type of headaches. He said that they may be caused from a pinched nerve in the neck. A few years ago xrays showed that I had moderate disk degeneration, spondylyosis, and spurs, so I think that would be a good guess.
    He said that he has been trying a drug that has been used for epilepsy on this type of pain and it works for quite a few people. One of the drugs in this classification is named Zonegram. I took 100 mg. yesterday and the same today and I feel some relief, but the pain is not all gone by any means. It is like I can hardly keep my eyes open . In fact, I keep them closed as I type because it hurts so much behind the eyes. He said it might take three days to see more of the effect. I'll let your know.

    Since the migraine med Imitrex works great for me (can't afford it) there must be some correlation between what it does to the blood vessels in opening them up. I can relief in about 20 min. with injectable Imitrex. If this country wasn't so screwed up health care wise for small businesses, I guess I wouldn't be applying for SSDI at 56 because of all the pain. Maybe if I had the right meds, I could keep going more! Hope this helps
  4. Yucca13

    Yucca13 Member

    Sorry about that - I meant Zonegran. Fibrofog and headache bugging me!!!!
  5. mamacilla

    mamacilla New Member

    i have this type of headache also. dx'd as migraine, and neuro put me on topamax for prevention and imitrex pills for when a migraine hits. could not take maxalt. the topamax worked better the first few months i was on it, seems now i am getting migraines much more often, or is it just one long one? ............. i went for years thinking the headache pain and the neck/shoulder pain were not related & no doctor ever told me they were, i discovered that reading migraine literature. i just want to get out of my skin when this happens. .......i';ll have to read about cervicogenic headaches, i am not familiar with them.
    i hope you are feeling better today.

    mama c
    ps, heat seems to help the shoulder, so i sometimes use a therma-care pad. kind of pricey, so i use them sparingly, but the heat lasts for hours. they are otc at drug or grocery stores
  6. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    This is an interesting discussion. I have cervical disc disease (C5-6, & 6-7) and last summer was helped a lot by 2 epidural injections; however, I had the injections for neck, sholuder & arm pain, not headaches.
    I also get migraines; to me, they seem like classic, half-headed, migraines (always right side, for me). My previous pain last summer from my discs was primarily on the left side, not right.

    I take Maxalt for the migraines, & it works reasonably well for me. But I do wonder if my headaches are related to my neck issue---the epidurals helped, but the disc disease is still there....

    Thanks for raising some good points---the next time I'm at the doctor, I will mention this & see if she has any feedback.

    Hope you feel better!

    Pam
  7. baybe

    baybe New Member

    Several chiropractors that I have spoken to about fibro and myofascial pain syndrome, some on a professional level and some as personal friends' have told me that if they are able to cure the discomfort and pain of a situation like we are talking about, that they believe the people must have been misdiagnosed, all of them agree that they are unable to cure fibromyalgia or MPS.
    There in is the catch. If you are talking fibro and MPS chiropractic is not the treatment. But it certainly can help some of the companion complications that are found in conjunction with our diagnosis.
    I personally take pain medication or DRUGS for pain and have no other expectation of it. I am often just trying to survive long enough for Medicine to catch up with my diagnosis. Thanks
  8. coping1961

    coping1961 New Member

    has the zonegran help with any othe fm symptoms? my rummy gave this to me to try instead of neurontin. said it had helped others, it was also to help with sleep. i tried it for 3 nights and could not sleep at all. hope it helps you. one of the side affects was weight loss.
  9. trasestry

    trasestry New Member

    I never heard of cervicogenic headaches. I will have to do a search on this. I have 2 herniated discs and a bulging disc in my cervical region. Migrane like headaches started from that..a car accident. Had epidural injection to help ease the pain..only the doc that did it..injected the wrong area. I never went back again, because I developed severe leg pain the night I had the injections, and to this day..the leg pain continues. My family doc. just dx me with "migranes", and started me on imatrex. Going for a mri with contrast, to make sure there isnt anything else wrong.
    Imitrex really seems to help..so far..
    Tracy
  10. Yucca13

    Yucca13 Member

    Hi Ralph,
    I have tried chiropractic treatments and acupuncture for my neck, shoulder and headache problems and they did not work. In fact, the DC scare me pretty badly when he took a towel, wrapped it around my neck and snapped it quite violently. That was the third treatment and I did not go back after that.
    In my younger years, chiro did seem to help back pain to some extent. I've had a laminectomy (when I was 28) L4-L5 and that area is not too bad. The upper back area and neck has taken over big time painwise. It makes sense that the pain travels around to the eyes and face when the joint facets are arthritic or there is pressure on nerves from narrowing of the spinal canal. Not all of these conditions can be "fixed" with chiro. I wish it was so.
    BTW, I grew up in Connecticut, and used to go to travel around New England so know what you mean about missing it - especially at this time of year. I'm stuck in a desert in CA and am trying to bloom where I've been planted for 30+ years. Ugh!
  11. Yucca13

    Yucca13 Member

    Dear Coping,
    I think that the Zonegran is helping somewhat with some of the symptoms of fibro - at least those awful tender points at the top of back and neck. They were so sensitive I could hardly stand anyone to even touch them very lightly and now they are a lot less sensitive. This is the third day on Zonegran and I don't feel like I may have to shoot myself to get our of my misery. The pain is still there behind my eyes (I think it has a lot to do with it being peak allergy - ragweed season), but it is bearable.

    I can't get Imitrex (which works - no ins.) and the package warns that it really shouldn't be used more than 4 times a month. When you have a rotten headache almost every day, I guess that is not the answer. Thank God my doctor gives me samples of the Zonegran.

    I don't like to be a person that needs to practice "better living through chemistry", BUT, if I am in PAIN, I will do what I have to do to feel better, otherwise I cannot function and I really dislike being a veggie.

    I take 1 mg of Xanax to sleep and haven't noticed much difference in sleeping. It always takes quite a while for me to get to sleep and if I can get 6-7 hours I feel very lucky. If I lose some weight that would be cool. I don't move around as much as I should. Hopefully, when it cools off, I'll get on my treadmill more.

    Hope some of this information helps someone to feel better.
  12. CelticLadee

    CelticLadee New Member

    Interesting...never heard of cervocogenic headaches.

    Before I became ill with CFIDS/FM symptoms for years I went to a chiro for migraines and he did relieve them everytime. It was almost magical. Anyway, I do have some genetic defect problems with my neck.

    When I became ill with CFIDS/FM I was going to a chiro and she could not alleviate my headaches. After time it proved out that the progression of this disease made me food intolerant to dairy, nuts, & other foods. When I eliminated these foods most of the headaches went away.

    I had also seen a neurologist who told me these head aches had nothing to do with any of my other symptoms. They were a new type & pattern headache due to perimenopause.

    If I sleep on my back I get the worst spinal headache in the back of my head and a stiff neck so I avoid sleeping this way. This may be from the defective neck vertebrae but before I had this illness it never bothered me this way.

    I think my headaches come from multiple reasons and try to keep on top of the reason each time. Very difficult and sometimes I just don't know. In the years between my initial chiro visits and this illness I was almost headache free. Therefore indirectly this illness has stirred up the pot so to speak if you ask me.

    CelticLadee
  13. DarleneWSerrano

    DarleneWSerrano New Member

    Funny. I normally thought my headaches were migrains. Recently, my doctor indicates exactly what you mentioned. Same area. I am being referred for another MRI and EEG for Headaches and Degenerative disk disease. Nothing helped when the pain hit last. At one point, I actually thought I would just about do anything necessary to stop the pain. It lasted over 7 days. Close call for me.
  14. Yucca13

    Yucca13 Member

    I appreciate the information about adjustments, Ralph. If I had insurance that would pay for part of the treatments, I might consider trying a chiropractor that used different methods. I am in a rural area though, so there aren't a lot of docs to chose from.
    We have a small business and insurance in California for the self-employed is outrageous - $800 a month for an HMO and that doesn't include any "extras" like Chiro, etc. When your income is limited, the cost of treatment is definitely a consideration.
    Actually, in the past, I have been to quite a few different chiropractors and they weren't able to help me enough to keep me from having a laminectomy. There are limitations in chiropractic adjustment just as there are in any other treatments.
  15. mamacilla

    mamacilla New Member

    ralph,
    i used to see a chiropractor who used the activator. the
    machine you are talking about sounds similar.
    also, how would one go about finding someone who does
    cranio-sacral work?
    thanks,
    mama c

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