Headache-Adviser.com

Headache That Burns

by alice s.
(fort valley GA)

tension headaches

tension headaches

I have told my drs when my blood pressure goes up to 125/80 and heart rate drop to the 60&50 my head burns and feel like like someone is tighten a rope around my head. I keep telling that I am not getting enough blood flow to the brain. I do have hardening of the arteries.

i been telling them this for 18 months and i have shortening of breath I think it is time for me to find others drs any advice from anyone else

Answer:

Hi Alice,

Although you are describing the classic signs of a tension headache, if you have hardening of the arteries it is important to have your carotid arteries checked with carotid dopplers. This would rule out any narrowing of the arteries, slowing blood flow to the brain.

Another test to consider is a transcranial doppler. This is also a sonogram or ultrasound study that looks at the arteries in the back of the neck.

If you feel you need to see a headache specialist, there are several in Georgia. Here is a link to the Headache Center in Atlanta.

Good luck
Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C

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Tight Band Headache

by S Wallace
(North Carolina)

Sources Of Headaches

Sources Of Headaches

"Headache regularly feels like tight band across forehead"

I have a headache almost daily. It usually comes on during the afternoon; sometimes I wake up with one. I have had a sleep study done for sleep apnea and was found I did not have this.

I do take BC powders and Excedrine Migrane meds. What else do you suggest? These headaches are really interfering with my daily life. I am 26 and began having them at age 13.

Answer:

Hi,

A headache that begins in the morning and worsens as a tight band around the head is a tension type headache. This is due to spasms of the muscles of the scalp. The most common cause of course is stress! Contributing factors include spasms in the neck which influence the scalp.

The main reason your headaches are now daily is the overuse of the BC powders (containing aspirin) and the Excedrin migraine which are causing analgesic rebound headaches. This is VERY common and about 75% of my new patients are doing the same thing so you are not alone.

Speak to your doctor. A one week course of very low dose steroid, called a medrol dose pak can get you off these anti-inflammatories which are going to affect your stomach. You know if you stop them you just get a worsening headache.

For the tension headache, a gentle anti-spasmotic taken for a few months helps the muscles settle down. A week or two of therapy doesn't work when you have had headaches for 13 years. You must look at the stress in your life and find a way to get away from it to relax..then you can cope with it in a better manner. Exercise really works well here.

The good news is that you are young and will respond to therapy much quicker than someone who has had headaches for 30-40 years.

Good luck!
Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C

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Chronic Tension Headache

by Jacob J
(Davenport, Iowa)

I am suffering from chronic tension headache. The duration of these headaches are constant (24/7).

I have tried everything from OTC to muscle relaxants, GABAPENTIN, amitriptyline, etc etc. I have had MRI/CT/Blood work done, and all came normal.

I believe my current headaches now are caused from the medications I take (rebound headaches) so I have decided to stop taking them in hopes of alleviating future symptoms. This has become a life crippling issue and I am not sure what to do anymore.

Jacob J.

Answer



Hi Jacob,

It has been my experience that the majority of people who have tension headache usually have moderate to severe neck spasms. We have had a lot of success in our clinic by doing trigger point injections into the spasms in the neck. Most people benefit from injections once a month for a few months.

Trigger point injections are explained on this page about cervicogenic headache. If you have not seen a doctor who has offered this, consider either a pain management specialist or headache specialist.

Good luck!
Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C

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Dull Headache

by Anonymouse
(Canada)

If I am having a dull headache everyday for a week should I be worried and ask a doctor about it?

Answer:

If you have never had headaches like this before the answer is yes. A new onset of headaches, no matter what the type of headache, should be evaluated by a physician.

Without more information I can't point to a cause so ask the doctor. It may just be a tension headache but it is better to be safe than sorry.

Good luck,
Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C

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Dull Throbbing 24/7 Headache for 8 years

by Amber
(Gillett, PA)

I have been having a constant dull throbbing achy headache for 8 years now. I have had a CT, MRI and ultrasound. I have also seen a chiropractor.

Recently I have been persistant on bugging my doctor to figure it out because it is getting worse. I also have been having other symptoms that may be related. My left eye has two freckles one on the iris and the other in the back of my eye that I am unable to see.

At night when I go to bed all that I can see are flashing lights as if Im watching fireworks. I see spots and shiny glitter all around me. Now when I wake up in the morning I have a limb whether it is my arm or my leg feel like the entire thing is kindof numb and tingly it doesnt really hurt it is more of an annoying achy feeling.

My vision is getting worse by the day in my left eye and my eyeball feels like it is literally bruised. For the last week now I taste metal in my mouth I try chewing gum and it just gets worse. I have been researching lately on line and have found that a lot of my symptoms are related to eye cancer but if that is the case why hasnt any of the doctors including my eye doctor picked up on this? Are they not listening to me or do they just not care? Im very frusterated and dont know what to do. Can you please shine some light onto the subject?

Amber

Hi Amber,

An MRI or CT would have spotted any cancers, especially if done with contrast.

What is a bit concerning is the flashing lights at night and the limb heaviness. These may be signs of partial seizures which can happen at night. Metallic taste (without being on certain meds which can cause this) could also point to seizure.

If you have not seen an eye doctor, start there and get vision and retinal problems ruled out.

As far as the headaches are concerned, with an 8 year history, you should see a headache specialist. There are no headache centers near you, in fact I believe our office is closest. We now have an office in Batavia, NY. Call 716-250-2000 if you want to be seen there.

There are two headache centers in PA. First is the Jefferson Headache center in Philadelphia and the other is the Pittsburgh Headache center which is part of the UPMC system there.

Either way, a good headache specialist should be able to get things under control for you.

Good luck,

Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C

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Pressure in head

by Amber
(Albuquerque)

Main symptoms: pressure in head, mostly around temple area and in the back. When I lay down, pressure seems to be in the temple area and around my forehead/ nose.

Went to doctor, do not currently have pcp, and she didn't really Check me out. She looked at my ears and throat, but said everything looked ok. She said I should try zyrtec-d or claritan-d for a week and if the pressure worsens or doesn't go away I should have a CT scan.

I tried excedrin tension headache yesterday, only one dose, which didn't really work. Helped a bit, but not much. Started zyrtec-d about 4 hours ago, and it hasn't really helped yet... Probably takes more than one dose of this stuff.

I also have somewhat of a headache, but mostly pressure.

I'm just scared that this is something very serious, I.e. Tumor, aneurysm, intracranial pressure...

I should mention, I have had a lot of anxiety lately, and OCD has been flaring up greatly. We also just moved into a new house.

I just would like to know when or if I should go to the er? If this is something that needs to be looked at immediately, or if it were more serious if there would be other signs and symptoms.

Thank you in advance.

Amber

Answer:

Hi Amber,

Well it sounds like you are under some stress at the current time. They say that moving into a new house is one of the biggest stressors in anyone's life, right behind marriage, divorce and family death.

I suspect you are having more of a tension type headache if the pain is all around your head and feels like "pressure". Many times people will describe a "band like" sensation as if they are wearing a hat that is too tight.

Unfortunately this is something you really should see a doctor about. Going to the emergency room may end up with getting a CT of the head but they really will not give you any other treatment that could prevent the problem. If you have time (in between unpacking boxes!) find a good primary care doctor who can help you with the headaches and address the OCD. This type of condition does flare up with major changes in life and could be the underlying cause of the headache.

Good luck,
Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C

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Burning Headache

by jan
(austin, tx,usa)

I woke up last night with a headache I have never encountered before. A ring around my skull was burning. It was a severe sharp, burning ring around my head.

Answer:

Hi Jan,

Without more information it is a little difficult to tell what is going on. On the surface it sounds like a classic tension headache.

If this is the first time you have ever had a moderate to severe headache I would urge you to call your doctor's office.

Good luck!
Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C

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