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Head pain/pressure from sneezing, coughing or laughing?
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joseph1974 posted:
I started having what has been diagnosed as chronic tension headaches last October. About the same time I noticed that bending down, sneezing, coughing or laughing caused intense pain and pressure in my head and often triggered a headache. My MRI and MRA were both normal. I've tried Nortriptyline and Topamax for the chronic tension headaches but neither has affected the pain while bending, sneezing, coughing or laughing. Any ideas what could be causing this and how to treat it?
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whitebear4 responded:
These are your personal triggers. Everyone has them. I personally have the same triggers, and becuase I get the migraines so often, there are a hundred others. If these cause your headaches, all I can say is try to get on a good preventative. That will at least cut them back. I don't even bend the slightest bit or I will get a huge headache.

There are many other preventatives besides the ones you mentioned. You could ask your dr for either a higher dose, or a new one altogether. Was it a nuerologist that ordered the MRI and MRA?
 
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lyds12 responded:
Hi, I was reading your post and wondered if you had any luck in finding out what was wrong? My husband has got the same thing and has had it for over 9 months now. He was also diagonosed with chronic tension headaches but these seem very unlikely and he has been presribed several different medications and none have worked, he has had ct scan which came back normal blood tests normal blood pressure normal eyes normal, he has tryed acupuncture, head massage, everything you can think of, it really is getting him down now and affecting our lives as we just don't know what it is or how to cure it. His head gets worse at night and pressure pain when bending coughing sneezing laughing, the pain is not to bad if he just stays still and eases with ibrupofen. His head feels ok in the morning but then as the days goes on gets worse. Hope your getting better. Look forard to hearing from you.
 
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carpetcrawler5 replied to lyds12's response:
The coughing, bending, sneezing and laughing are some of his triggers. It does sound like he is severely sensitive tho, meaning he isn't on a good preventative and there is almost certainly a lot of inflammation and nerve irritation in the area. You meant he had tried ALL of the preventative medications there are and did he get them from a nuerologist?

Also make sure he is supporting his neck at night, and find out if he has TMJ, where you are grinding your teeth at night, you can get a device to wear while sleeping.

You might want to try and get techni-ice so he can wrap it around his head and neck, which can help bring down some of the inflammation. I posted the information about it below in some earlier posts.

Does Imitrex work to abort his migs? If not, try using some Indomethicin just for days when he needs to function, but take it with food and don't take it often because it can cause stomach upset.
 
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joseph1974 replied to lyds12's response:
I wish I had a miracle cure for you but unfortunately I don't. My condition is only slightly better than before with more "not so bad" days. I've settled on monthly acupuncture and chiropractic care as I prefer not to medicate. This course of treatment seems to ease the pressure and diminish the sharp pains I was having before. I will be tested for sleep apnea in the next week or so as I often wake up with a headache. If your husband snores he may want to be tested. Many have suggested that the sneezing, coughing and laughing may be triggers but I disagree. The pain from these actions is in addition to my already existing headache. I'm not sure if it's the same for your husband. Keep me updated with his progress.
 
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Josephbilly replied to carpetcrawler5's response:
I have the same exact symptoms! There is a conflict between my neurologist and chiropractor. My first chiro session left me feeling much better. The problem seems mechanical. Is chemistry the answer?

In addition I went to an Ear Nose Throat Doctor and she said that was all clear in that department.

Has anyone gotten over something similar,..if so, what did you do??
 
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colleen11810 replied to joseph1974's response:
This past May 6th I bent over to pick something up off the floor and a pain shot through my head causing a headache that has never gone away. Bending forward, coughing, sneezing and laughing cause me intense pain (in addition to the always there headache). Over the counter pain meds have given me some relief, but the only complete relief I have had is from a Medrol Dosepak. I was pain free for 4 weeks following taking Medrol, but the headache came back. It has now been over 6 months and my quality of life has been severely affected. I've been to my PCP, a neurologist, an ENT doctor, my eye doctor and an infectious disease specialist. No one can figure out what this is... have you gotten any relief at all?
 
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DUKE MEDICINE
Timothy Collins, MD replied to joseph1974's response:
Your headaches with coughing and sneezing sound like a problem cause "tussive headache". This headache normally occurs intermittently in people without daily headache though.

Tussive headache (or cough headache) is a severe headache that happens when you cough (or sneeze)

Some patients with low or high spinal fluid pressre have similar symptoms to your headaches--a daily headache with more severe headaches with cough or some position changes.

The only other test your doctors can do is a spinal tap (lumbar puncture) to check your spinal fluid pressure. If it is over 22 (measure in cm of water) or less than 8, your headaches could be due to high or low spinal fuild pressure.

If you have low spinal fluid pressure you will need a special test called a "dynamic CT myelogram" to look for a spinal fluid leak. There are only a few places in the US that do this (Duke is one of them)
 
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Chelle471 responded:
Was wondering what the status of your head pain is almost a year later? I have the exact same symptoms. I've had a CT, an MRI and a Spinal Tap. I'm a week into a Topamax perscription and that isn't touching the pain. My pain started in early 2010 when I bent over to pick up something off the floor. Its been about a year now since the symptoms started. My nights are filled with pain. Just finding this thread of others who have the same symptoms is encouraging. My Neurologis wants to do an MRV next. Feeling frustrated at this point. Hoping you've found some answers.
 
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carpetcrawler5 replied to Chelle471's response:
I would give the Topamax at least 6 weeks before you know how it will effect you.
 
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Synergy0309 replied to Chelle471's response:
I hope you are giving your topamax time too, also it depends on your dose the doctor is giving you. medicine takes time to get in your system, and depending on the dose your doctor may put you on a higher dose if you talk to them. I had to do that once and now im on a dose thats perfect for me.
 
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Marilyn2d responded:
Chiari malformation type I
Headaches, often severe, are the classic symptom of Chiari malformation. They're typically precipitated with sudden coughing, sneezing or straining.
Have you researched this= there is also the minimal Chairi malformation that is sometimes overlooked.
Check it out!
 
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kkbuzz replied to Chelle471's response:
I'm not sure this will help but you may check it out. I have had a pain in my head( only on the right side) for about 1 1/2 years and the doctors can't figure it out as of today. The pain and pressure only happens when I cough and bend down to pick something up. I happened on an article on the web about coathanger headaches. I believe it said it can cause a pain from your lower back up to the neck, and also pain in the back of head, jaw area, and temple area. It has to do with the muscles in your back. I started phyiscal therapy last week and we will see if it helps. I have to do stretches 2-3 times a day to stretch the muscle back to where it needs to be. I never would have thought that all these problems might be caused because the muscles in my back. Some things that cause the problem is working on the computer, holding the phone between your head and neck, and there was a few more but don't remember them. I was told if this is the problem it can take awhile to fix it. I hope you get to feeling better.
 
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kkbuzz replied to kkbuzz's response:
I have been doing more studying on my pain and talking to the others with some of the same problems. I wanted to share another problem it could be, it is called TMJ. You may want to check it out too.
 
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evolving62 replied to joseph1974's response:
I've been having the same headaches. I go through cycles. They started in March 2007. Had an MRI, CT scan, spinal tap, etc. Was determined I had migraine. 3 years later, after daily headaches, and finally seeing a headache specialist, they weaned me off of Excedrin, etc, due to rebound headaches. I now take Relpax for my migraines - it helps, but takes a good 2 hours. I've been having the headaches when I bend forward, sneeze, cough, and laugh. It feels like a ton of pressure in my head. I'm going for an MRI/MRA this Saturday to rule out a bleed. I really don't think they'll find one. I always have sinus problems as well ... You should probably see and ENT, but keep up with the chiropractic ... That should help eventually. Also, try 400mg Vitamin B2 and 400 mg magnesium daily ... to help prevent the headaches. Good luck!


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