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Headache that has lasted for 3+ years
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Promethazine posted:
For over the past 3 years (staring around July 2010) I have had a constant headache. It is not extremely intense but is dull and always present. Along with this headache I am also constantly fatigued and my head feels very fuzzy, like it's stuck in a cloud. I should also include that I am otherwise in good health, I am a normal weight, I eat properly, get enough sleep, can run around 7-8 miles without stopping, etc.
I have talked to a few doctors, had various tests done including a CAT scan but none of the tests every gave any results. I was diagnosed with migraines (even though its not plural, it's just one that has never gone away) and given multiple migraine medications. Sumatriptan does not work and actually makes my head hurt significantly worse. No pain medications have any effect on the pain, I have tried many OTC and prescription meds, from aspirin and ibuprofen to stronger stuff like norcos and precocet, but nothing has had any possitive effect. I have been prescribed two different antidepressants but they have the unfortunate side effect of making me tired and drowsy, which when added onto my already fatigued state makes it nearly impossible to get out of bed in the morning.
I am writing this because in the past few months my head has been hurting me significantly more and to be honest it is scaring me pretty bad. I have not had much luck with any of the doctors I have seen, they have no idea what is wrong with me and just give me scripts that don't work. I am not too familiar with migraines but I don't seem to fit the symptoms, except that my head hurts. A doctor at UC SF told me that migraines come in cycles but I could not find on the internet someone who had cycles with constant pain lasting many years at a time.
If anyone has and insight or suggestions I would love to hear from you!!
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KevJack responded:
From your description it sounds like we are having the same issue. My headache started about 1 1/2 years ago and is a constant dull pain. I have done the MRI, CAT Scan, spinal tap trifecta. I have seen two neurologists, two chiropractors, a biofeedback person, a neuro surgeon, a couple of sports massage specialists, and physical therapists (more if I go through my calendar but thats all I can think of off the top of my head). We probably have the same multiple bins full of prescription medication that did not work.
They eventually diagnosed me with tension headache (tension as in muscles are tense not as in nervous). My guess is that since my headache began after years of cycling training and the head forward position of the road bike combined with my desk chair posture, caused the muscle tension in my back, neck, which lead to the pain in my temples and across my forehead. I noticed that a good (and painful at times) sports massage would to some degree relieve the pain the next day, so at least I had hope that my actions could lessen the pain. For pain I have found that two tramadol's every 4 hours will help some. It does have side effects, but they are small compared to other pain relievers that knocked me out.
Through lots of research I found my current highly recommended neurologist who put me on lamictal, which doesn't have the bad side effects of some of the others. I also began working with a master trainer in the gym on a few exercises that target the specific muscles that are tense. The master trainer was recommended by the physical therapist, not a random guy assigned by the local gym. Previously I had tried the botox shots to relieve the pain, but it did not work for me. The new neuro had me try trigger point injections in the back/neck/head. No lie, it hurts like hell but it did work to a extent and are scheduled for every 2 months. Also found a doctor of chiropractic that did a blood test with results of about 10 pages, which showed specific vitamin deficiency along with a lot of other informatin I am still trying to understand, so I began a whole new vitamin regimen. Between all of this I have been able to cut my pain level in half in the last few months. Once I fully accepted that I was the only person who was going to be able to solve my pain by pulling medical advise and information from different sources and finding what worked for me, did my pain begin to reduce. I doubt either of us will find the cause of the pain, but you can find a solution. Hope this helps.
 
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Ginkgojones replied to KevJack's response:
KevJack,

Your story sounds exactly like the torture my daughter has experienced over the past three years and still no answer and no relief. She too, has had two MRIs, two spinal taps, 10 meds (all with side-effects and no relief). Biofeedback, Botox injections, acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, allergy testing, food-elimination diet, nutritionist, vitamins, physical therapy, headache diaries, food logs- the works. Her pain is mainly in her temples, behind her eyes and across her forehead. She is a collegiate athlete and with the increased training, the headaches are even worse, especially now that weight lifting has aggravated her neck and shoulders, creating more muscle tension at the base of her skull. The last couple of weeks she has had nerve pain and tingling in her left arm as well as flashes of light with excruciating headaches. Our next stop is an orthopedic spine doctor. Have you had X-rays or CT scan of your neck?


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