Constant Unilateral Head pain

by Vicky Moore
(Bennett, CO, USA)


I'm a 57 year old female, who has had a constant 24/7 Unilateral
head pain for almost 6 years. It is significantly worse upon waking in the morning. It never goes away, but subsides a little as I move around. It runs from the top of my head to the occipital region, down my neck and into my shoulder (all on the left side).

I've been to many doctors and had many tests and medications (MRI of head and cervical, CT's, xrays, nerve blocks, cervical ablations, botox, etc) nothing helps. I'm at my wits end trying to find and answer. This is so debiltating!! Any suggestions?




Hi Vicky,

It sounds as if you have been through a lot, but have you seen a headache specialist? It does sound as if it is coming from the neck and you need a specialist to pull it all together so to speak. Most people respond with a combination of physical therapy, injections, anti-spasmotics and perhaps a short round of steroid.

I am not trying to sound dismissive as you have probably tried many of these things but a headache specialist might have some different ideas for you. Here is a list of headache specialists in the US. Hopefully someone is near you.

Good luck,
Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C

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Constant headache after sinus infection

by Yannick Doucet
(Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

Hi, my name is Yannick Doucet, 23 year old male living in Canada.

I seek your help and advices for I have been experiencing headaches EVERYDAY for the past 7 months. It seemed to have started with a bad cold or sinusitis at the beginning of February.
The pain level can go from 2-3, (usual daily headache), to about 6-7 where it’s close to a migraine and I can’t concentrate or do anything.

- I have had a MRI in 2009, due to a swimming accident where I hit my head on the side of the pool, but nothing showed up.
- I have had a CT in April 2011 and nothing showed up either.
- I’ve seen a Sinus (ORL Specialist) and said that my headaches didn’t come from a sinus infection. I was prescribed various Antibiotics for sinus infection and didn’t seem to help either.
- I’ve seen a Neurologist and she prescribe me Elavils, which I took for a month and then stopped because it didn’t help the headaches, only made me sleepy all day and even more depressed.
- I’ve tried chiropractic (for months with 2 different chiropractors)
- I’ve also tried Acupuncture, physiotherapy, osteopathy and nothing seemed to help.

Nothing seems to directly trigger my headaches so please take a look at my symptoms that I’ve summed up over the past 7 months since February. I am fed up, sick and tired of this, I shouldn’t live like this at 23 years old. I used to exercise a lot and be active but can’t anymore. So please..

Symptoms :

Headache everyday 7 months - No relief (No completely headache free days)
Forehead headache sometimes, pain when touching forehead.
Headache can vary from the back, lower back, sides, temple, and back of the neck.
I sometimes wake up from sleep when headache is too strong.
Dizziness when getting up after lying down. Also, wind sensation in my head. (Dizziness, heaviness)
Swollen Lymph Nodes (Armpits), it happened 7 to 8 times during the 7 months
Stiffneck every 1-2 days.
Running eye sometimes
Back pain (lower back), could be due to my work in the past.
Sometimes I get depressed when headache is too strong.
The headaches causes extra stress and I’ve had about 4-5 sleepless nights in the last 6 months.
Loss of appetite sometimes when headache is too strong
Sometimes headache is worse when bending down. (Pressure is worse)

Advils, Tylenols, Motrin does not seem to help at all.

Please, any help or person with same symptoms is more than welcome.


Hi Yannick,

Clearly the initial infection triggered a headache syndrome for you. Many times I have seen this happen and it triggers a migraine which then goes into status migrainosus.

It is also quite possible that you are having post-viral syndrome which is a daily headache and breakthrough migraines. Either way, a short course of steroid for a week or two may break the the headache.

The doctor gave you Elavil because it works well for migraine, daily headache and back pain. Try cutting the dose in half and give it a few weeks..take it 2 hours before bed to avoid over sedation. If it is still not effective or making you moody call the doctor and stop it right away.

If you have not been seen in a headache specialty clinic then I think you need to get to one. Here is a resource of headache specialists in Canada.

I am not sure if your insurance will allow you to travel, but one of the best clinics I have heard of is in Toronto. Headache and Pain Relief Center, Toronto, CA

Good luck!!

Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C

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Constant Headaches

by Anonymous

(these constant headaches are) daily, unexplained headaches that are debilitating and getting worse.

what is it and how can i make it go away? I've had MRI's (clear), on various meds (now indomethacin).

i'm convinced cell phone use triggers them but no proof. the pain goes around my head and is constant and daily not like a migraine. i feel I'm losing my cognitive abilities and vision gets blurred. any help/guidance would be appreciated. found your site looking for the best clinic to help me as i'm increasingly getting desperate.


Without more information it is a little difficult to say what is going on. I do not believe it is the cell phone (studies have shown that they don't cause headaches or brain tumors), however the way you hold the cell phone could be causing neck and head pain.

It sounds like a severe tension headache that is causing these constant headaches.

This type of headache can cause nausea and any chronic pain results in a decrease in cognitive abilities. The pain becomes quite distracting over time and makes it difficult to think about other things.

If you have not seen a neurologist yet you do need to do this. Also ask your doctor about spasming causing this and what anti-spasmotic medications are best for you. You may also benefit from physical therapy and massage.

Good luck!
Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C

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Constant Pain

by Allison
(Virginia Beach, VA )

Causes of Headaches

Causes of Headaches

For about 2 years now I have been getting this headache. The pain is localized on only the upper right side. The pain is sometimes sharp and throbbing and with Tylenol dulls down to a throb, but never really goes away.

I am an other wise healthy 20 year old. I exercise 3 times a week,I eat healthy, and I only drink water and juice. Is there something I can do about it or should I be worried? At least knowing the name or type would help me.

Thank you.


Hi Allison,

First of all, if you have been having a headache everyday for 2 years, you need to see a doctor. This needs to be examined in terms of ordering tests such as a CT or MRI of the head.

I suspect if you are taking Tylenol almost on a daily basis you have some form of analgesic rebound headache that is part of what is going on. The key of course is to stop all use of the Tylenol as it is actually making the headache worse.

A headache that is purely on one side could be a couple of things including TMJ syndrome causing pain, or even pain from neck muscles radiating up to the side of the head. Since you do not complain of the light or sound bothering you, or nausea, it does not sound like migraine headache symptoms.

Keep up the healthy lifestyle! That will only help a headache profile.

Good luck,
Mary Kay Betz, MS RPA-C


My neurologist gave me the medrol pack you mentioned on 5/8 & I didn't get better. He's now advising dhe iv for 3 day hospitalization. My head and neck always hurt...hasn't stopped since mid April. I've had numerous scans and many med tests...carotid artery indicated 40-60% narrowing on left side which interestingly correlates w/my migraines being on left side, albeit now...both sides. Had injection in c3-c6 left side and it helped my muscle spasms in shoulders d/c end of april and head pain lessened for about one day yet continued relentlessly to this day to a point where i have had 2 er visits...i'm in so much pain...my whole body feels likes it burning. Any experience, w/latter? Share your thoughts...I'm hesitant to do dhe iv...from what i've read and my neuro doc saying i may get worse plus his poor bedside manner. trying to obtain cpt codes from his office to get approval from my insurance (if i finally cave in). My migraines have been dxed as chronic, intractable...waiting to mt. w/a TMJ specialist. Do you know of any other way to break non-stop migraines/headaches beside dhe iv? thank you for your help. blessings, h.



In the presence of carotid stenosis an IV of steroids might be effective. We generally give methyprednolisone 1.0gm IV x3 days and then have the patient on either a dose pak (which you had) or prednisone for a week.

I also add magnesium 2.0gms into the IV which you can have as long as you don't have a cardiac arrythmia.

If your neurologist can't do this on an outpatient basis then you have to be inpatient. An infusion center that does IV's for chemotherapy could probably do it outpatient.

I don't think the stenosis is related to which side the migraine is on, as migraines originate from an area near the brainstem.

If your neurologist is not a headache specialist, I would consider seeing one, but sounds like he/she is.

Good luck,
Mary Kay

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Does the scenerio above sound like you? If not, or if you think you need more information please read about different types of headaches to find out which type of headache you are experiencing.

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