Unrelenting Headache: Please Help

by Carrie
(Mobile, AL)


I am a 28 year old, non-smoking female with constant headaches that are consistent with both tension and migraine specific symptoms. Quick history- car accident with CSF leak 18 years ago.Constant headache from 2007-2008 and constant headache from 2009-2010. In 2009-2010 I had an MRI which showed an arachnoid cyst on my right temporal lobe. My neuro said that my headache pain was independent of the cyst. After trying numerous meds, I was put on a low dosage of topomax and the headaches subsided with exception of occasional menstrual or hang-over headaches. About 16 months ago, the daily chronic headache returned with a vengeance. During this "cycle" I have tried a number of NSAIDs, Amitriptyline, Topiramate XR, Bacolfen,Indomethacin Tizanidine, and physical therapy/chiropractor. My neuro has assured me that we will find a remedy, but so far the medications have made me feel worse than the headache alone. Fortunately the persistent headache no longer occurs every day but will come in monthly cycles and the headache appears like this: pain slowly begins upon waking and occurs on either side or both sides. The pain is usually accompanied by temple sensitivity. It doesn't go away with a temple massage but the temples and other parts of my head are extremely sensitive so this provides a small sort of relief. Also, I have noticed that when moving my eyes peripherally, they are also very sensitive.

About 3 months ago, I started getting a tingling sensation and muscle spasms down my right arm into my fingers. Assuming this was independent of my headaches, I went to an ortho, which an MRI showed that I had a herniated disc on C7 and pinched nerve. Since then, I am in my most recent headache cycle (another 3 week one). My neuro scheduled me for an epidural next week to see if this will help the pain go away.

I will also say that I am sometimes a very anxious person. Wouldn't really say I suffer from depression but can easily get overwhelmed with life, and the headaches don't help with easing that anxiety.

Since I have symptoms of numerous types of headaches, what kind do you think is most predominate and what would be the best relief?

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by: Mary K

Hi, First of all, anxiety fuels headaches of all types. If this is not under control, please ask your neurologist about treating this. Next, start exercising as tolerated and give this 90 days to affect headaches. Finally, I would recommend 3 days of IV infusions of magnesium and steroid to break daily headaches and then try Botos. In my experience, patients who received 200 units of Botox every 3 months really responded well to this.

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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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