Pain in back of head? behind the ears area?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia and ME & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome' started by fibrobutterfly, Jan 26, 2007.

  1. Has anyone had this? It is behind the ear area on both sides / on the base of the head. OMG it is like a pressure /pain. My dr. said he thinks its muscle spasm headaches. He injected my neck, but a week later , no relief. It feels like someone hit me with a sledge hammer and its been going on for a month pretty regularly.
    I am going to try the tens machine on my shoulders and see if that helps at all.
    what is weird is at night the neck/shoulders hurt, then during the day the head pain starts.
    [This Message was Edited on 01/26/2007]
  2. charlenef

    charlenef New Member

    i think i have told you this before but im not sure this is caused fron chronic myofascial pain not fibro i also have both if you need more info i will try to post it charlene
  3. charlenef

    charlenef New Member









    Fibromyalgia

    Myofascial Pain Disorders




    What Is MPDS?
    Like fibromyalgia, myofascial pain dysfunction syndrome (MPDS) is a painful condition of the skeletal muscles. Many people suffer with both fibromyalgia and myofascial pain dysfunction syndrome (termed, FMS/MPS Complex) at the same time. One interesting difference between FMS and MPDS is that more women than men have FMS, but MPDS affects men and women in equal numbers. Usually, when we refer to MPDS, we are referring to the muscles of mastication as well as the neck and shoulder muscles. However, this doesn't mean that other skeletal muscles aren't affected for they may be. But the muscles of mastication and the neck and shoulder muscles seem to be most commonly involved. Some researcher feel that MPDS may be a minor or localized type of fibromyalgia.

    MPDS is characterized by the development of trigger points. A trigger point or sensitive, painful area in the muscle or the junction of the muscle and fascia (hence, myofascial pain) develops due to any number of causes. This trigger point is locally tender and when active, refers pain through specific patterns to distant areas. Occassionally, trigger points produce autonomic nervous system changes such as flushing of the skin, hypersensitivity of areas of the skin, sweating in areas, or even "goose bumps." Dr. Janet Travell has spent her life researching and describing MPDS by mapping the specific referred pain patterns of trigger points in skeletal muscles.


    Factors which cause trigger points are as follows:
    • Sudden trauma to musculoskeletal tissues (muscles, ligaments, tendons, bursae)
    • Excessive exercise
    • Chilling of areas of the body
    (e.g., sitting under an air conditioning duct; sleeping in front of an air conditioner)
    • Injury to intervertebral discs
    • Systemic conditions
    (e.g., gall bladder inflammation, heart attack, appendicitis, stomach irritation)
    • Lack of activity (e.g., a broken arm in a sling)
    • Muscle strain due to over activity
    • Generalize fatigue (perhaps, chronic fatigue syndrome may produce trigger points)
    • Nutritional deficiencies
    • Hormonal changes (e.g., trigger point development during PMS times)
    • Nervous tension or stress
    • Obesity
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Poor posture
    • Repetitive motion
    • Hypoglycemia
    • Menopause


    Treatment of MPDS
    Like many musculoskeletal disorders, MPDS can be managed but rarely cured. However, this pain and misunderstood condition can be managed! Treatment of MPDS can only begin after an accurate diagnosis is accomplished. Even today, some doctors either don't believe that myofascial pain dysfunction syndrome exists or they don't understand its symptoms and treatment. Briefly, MPDS may be treated in the follow manner:

    • Vapocoolant spray and stretching of the muscles involved
    • Injections of local anesthetic directly into the trigger point(s)
    • Chiropractic treatment
    • Medical massage therapy
    • Physical therapy
    • Exercise (swimming and walking are excellent)
    • Improvement of nutrition
    • Elimination of caffeine
    • Elimination of stress
    • Changing sleeping habits
    • The use of tricyclic antidepressants in low doses
    • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
    • Muscle relaxants
    • Biofeedback
    • Counseling


    It's important to understand that patients suffering with MPDS, just like TMJ, often need a multidisciplinary approach to treatment. In other words, one doctor or therapist can't treat all the symptoms and problems associated with this painful syndrome. For example, a TMJ patient with MPDS (which is very common) often needs to be treated by a TMJ dentist, a chiropractic physician, a massotherapist, and a psychological counselor. Depression is common with MPDS, and few doctors have the expertise to work with the physical and the psychological effectively.


    Examples of Skeletal Muscle Trigger Points

    Trapezius Muscle Sternocleidomastoid Muscle

    Note the areas of pain in the trapezius muscle (noted as an "X") and also see where pain is referred into the head and face. These trigger points are VERY common when one has a TMJ problem. Therefore, TMJ doctors should work with and refer patients to chiropractors or physical theapists. The sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM) is a large muscle on either side of the neck. It attaches to the sternum, the clavicle (collar bone), and the mastoid process of the temporal bone of the skull, right behind the ear. This very important muscle often develops trigger points (with or without a TMJ problem) and frequently causes forehead headaches, which are often misdiagnosed as frontal sinus headaches. Also, trigger points in the SCM may cause pain in the ear, over and around the eye, the chin, and below the eye (which may cause a misdiagnosis of maxillary sinusitis). Again, you can see how important consultation with a chiropractic physician could be when one is suffering with trigger points in the SCM.


    Masseter Muscle Medial Pterygoid Muscle

    Note that trigger points in the masseter muscle often refer pain into the upper jaw (maxillary sinus area), frequently causing a misdiagnosis of "sinusitis." These trigger points may also refer pain into the ear, TMJ, above the eye and even into molar teeth. As with all skeletal muscles, trigger points in the medial pterygoid muscle (which helps move the lower jaw sideways) refer pain to very predictable areas. Note that the medial pterygoid refers pain up into the TMJ, the nose, ear, lower jaw, and even the lateral neck


    Excellent Books
    TMJ: Its Many Faces. By Dr. Wesley Shankland, this book discusses TMJ problems, causes and treatment. MPDS and FMS are also discussed. Click here for further information: TMJ Book

    Fibromyalgia & Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome: A Survival Manual. Written by Devin Starlanyl, M.D. (a sufferer of FMS/MPS) and Mary Ellen Copeland, M.S., M.A. (also, a FMS/MPS sufferer). Published by New Harbinger Publications, Oakland, CA. ISBN 1-57224-046-6.







    ©2005 drshankland.com. All Rights Reserved
    Designed & Maintained by Goyam Technologies




    [This Message was Edited on 01/26/2007]
  4. paulmack

    paulmack New Member

    Hi Charlene,I've suffered from neck & head pain for years but assumed it all was due to the Fibromyalgia.Thanks for posting the info on MPDS,very interesting,as I've seen it posted on the board a few times but never really known what it mean't.
    Regards,Paul
  5. I am desperate, I will try headon. Anything is worth trying. Also try the bending.
  6. JaneSmith

    JaneSmith New Member

    dear fibrobutterfly - I have the same thing. It's been going on for months it seems. I thought I was alone. It's just comforting to know someone else out there has the same thing as me. I tend to agree with the muscle spasm headaches. That's how I describe it. Sleeping with the heating pad helps a bit. I find the more stressed out I am the worse it is. For me, stress is the wrost culprit on my body.
  7. AllWXRider

    AllWXRider New Member

    Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum's book: From Fatigued to Fantastic" mentions that in some of his patients, the top neck vertebrae, C1 or "Atlas" is displaced or grows into the spinal cord.

    One test is to stand up straight, slowly bend your neck backward and if you see stars or get dizzy, then its time to mention this to a neurologist.

    My cousin had this, they had to remove a little bit of bone to relieve the pinched nerves and it made a real difference in her life.
  8. Shalala

    Shalala New Member

    I have lived with this exact same thing for years ... and at times it gets worse. I have really bad migraines also and have trouble with my vision. I take skelaxin (sp) when it is soooooooooo bad I can't deal with it and I think it helps only because it makes me loopy and sleepy ... lol. I was going to therapy for it and massage. The massage helped me a lot. At times the pain is so bad my arms and hands feel numb. This is no fun.
    ((((((( I understand ))))))))
  9. Like I said the weird thing is, I have trouble sleeping at night, if lucky I sleep 3 hrs. then toss and turn or get up, thats why I think this all flared up. At night my neck/shoulders hurt, but the worst is the pain behind the ear/base of skull during the day. Nothing seems to touch that pain. I go again to the rheum. dr. this week and pray he can help me. If nothing else let me go to PT. I need some relief. I wish I could get them to give me something for sleep, I think thats why my muscles can't relax if you don't sleep. Somedays I think I will lose my mind .
    thanks for all the replies.
  10. Lynikins

    Lynikins Member

    I have the same pain. My chiropractor pulled and jerked my neck too hard I've had sharp pain for a week. I have had the same type of headache that can last for weeks. If it was 24/7 365 days I don't know what I'd do.... I don't take pain meds because of rebound headaches,, don't take trycyclic antidepressants for pain because it causes thoughts of suicide. If any one has a med suggestion for pain that don't cause rebound,, muscle relaxers don't work for me. I am on a sleeping pill.

    AllWXRider, I would love to know the surgeon your cousin went to. I would like to ask your cousin some questions about her surgery. Could you ask her if I could email her? My atlas will not go in place because of my skull on one side pushing it out of place, an atlas chiropractor told me that, and that he couldn't help me. I go to chiro twice a month, helps me alittle. still have daily headaches dizziness, seeing stars ect. I don't know what kind of Dr. to go to, been to a few neurologists.... Thanks hope you see my post.
  11. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Active Member

    Lynikins: that's an old post so you won't get a reply. I go thru a lot of headaches/neck pains, shoulder pain. I had neck traction and PT for l4 sessions but it made the TMJ flare up. I take ibuprofen and tramadol when it gets really bad but for the most part I use those freezer gel packs that you can buy at CVS pharmacy. They measure about 4 x 7". I drop one into a knee high stocking that I've sewn on a piece of velcroe. And I alternate with a rice sock with the velcroe. That way I can walk around with it on my neck. I feel very sorry for you. That's one of the reasons I won't ever go to a chiropractor.

    May I suggest an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in neck and back. You probably need an MRI for him to see what's going on.
  12. Lynikins

    Lynikins Member


    I am sorry, I can sympathize with you and your pain, and not sleeping. I have had a hard time sleeping since my early twenties. I tried some sleeping pills over the years but they didn't work long term. With this type of headache, c1 atlas out, my chiropracter says the symptoms of the atlas being out is insomnia, migraine headache, there are others but I lost my paper he gave me (sigh). But I did get a new sleeping pill to try, I've been on it for almost 2 weeks, It is working ,, I get to sleep and get up earlier. But I do not feel rested, probably due to my headache. The sleeping pill is called Zolpidem.

    I so understand about feeling like your losing your mind,,, so many countless days I just want to give up. The depression from pain can cause so much torment when hope is gone. I found this quote recently.

    Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying. I will try again tomorrow.....
    Hope you had a good apt. with the Rm. Dr. Keep us posted
  13. Lynikins

    Lynikins Member

    Thank you sunflowergirl, I have had mri and cat scans . But it may take an orthopedic surgeon to catch it. I would of not thought of that type of Dr. Sometimes I think my brain is fried and I can't think straight any more.

    I agree with you with chiropracters! Only they do sometimes help me with the severe Ice pick back of the head pain. I think I'm going to do massage instead for awhile. I sure wish there was permanent relief for us. The depression from the pain can be bad, and I am so unmotivated to do anything around the house, or even socialize.....getting older doesn't help either.

    Thank you for your advice, I've never tryed the freezer gel packs , I've done homemade rice socks,,, maybe the gels will work better. I'm glad you replied to my post, Wouldn't of thought to check the dates, would of thought people were ignoring me, would of made matters worse , I'm afraid with my state of mind in pain.

    This is my first post here in years, I used to be on alot. I need to talk , feel so alone there are alot of functioning healthy people. Look forward to talking to you on the forum.

    L.
  14. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Active Member

    I sure hope the gel pack works for you. Some days I rotate continually. I keep 8 of them in the freezer. Come back often and share what's going on.
  15. RENA0808

    RENA0808 Member

    Hi Fibrobutterfly
    I hope your head pains have calmed down now.
    I had these severe pains for 2 days non stop and every few seconds......like ICE PICK headaches!
    The Doc I saw said it was fibro...........were the muscle is attached to the skull???He gave me strong painkillers.
    I thought it was a brain tumour....the pain was horrendous!
    The pain still comes back as twingy shocks every now and then but Hope I dont get it bad again!
    Best wishes
    Rena