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Migraine and Neck Muscle Spasm
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Migraine and Neck Muscle Spasm

I get Migraines every month with my period.  This time I'm not on my period and it's not due for a few weeks, but I have another one.  The migraine is always on my right side and always accompanied by a severe muscle spasm in the right side of the back of my neck.  I feel the lump there and when I don't have the migraine the lump is gone.  When the migraine goes away my neck and upper shoulder muscles are very sore.  

I had whiplash from a car rear-ending me in 1991 and the migraines have been occurring ever since.  I have degeneration in two discs in my neck.  

Is there anything I can do to get rid of these migraines?  I usually take 3 to 4 advil, then a few excedrine (4 hrs later), and alternate until bedtime.  At bedtime I take an Rx for migraines.  I don't take it during the day because it makes me sleepy and I get other symptoms, so I try to save it as a last resort.  Please help if you can!
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449909_tn?1233413497
There are many causes for pain in head and neck region. If no cause is found, we try the 'straitjacket' diagnoses of primary headaches, like migraine.

Your pain in the neck and shoulder on one side, and the history of whiplash many years back, points to a headache caused by injury to the cervical spine or its neighboring structures. (Cervicogenic Headache)

Even among doctors, this is a controversial entity. The level of expertise to deal with this depends on the geographical area  you live in :-)

Try to meet a neurologist or orthopedic surgeon...

Best of luck.

Rgds,
Thomas Antony
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Hi,

Thanks for writing in.
Migraines can be triggered by physical or emotional stress. It is quite possible that your migraines were triggered by car accident and neck injury as that was a form of physical stress.
I would suggest you to try magnesium supplements and herbal preparation known as Migravent both of which have been known to prevent migraine attacks.
You can even think about using a cervical collar if the disc degenerations in the neck are causing discomfort. This may also help you with the migraines as well.
Hope this helps!
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Would the cervical collar be temporary, or an item needed long term?  I have had some success with magnesium suppliments, but unfortunately I forget to take them daily.  You would think anticipation of the migraine pain alone would be enough to remind me, but daily hustle and bustle makes it hard to remember.  I'll look into Migravent, I haven't heard of it before now.

The neck is always uncomfortable.  I tried Facet blocks and cervical cortisone injections and the pain got worse when the injection wore off.  It also got to be way too expensive.  At one point the medical bills were $2500.  I would pay that for a guaranteed cure, but the treatment had only just begun and it wasn't doing enough.

Thank you for your advice.

Tomsant - I appreciate your input as well.  I'll be researching Cervicogenic Headaches to gather additional information that could be helpful.  I've seen a neurologist, who gave me beta blockers, but didn't seem to know what to do.  It's such a long, drawn out process!  I'll have to start the process again when I have more time and a better idea of who to turn to!  

Thanks!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,

Thanks for writing back.
Cervical collar in the beginning you may need to use it on a daily basis but not for prolonged periods of time. However if your symptoms get better you can use it as and when required. It provides support to the neck and may even help in aligning the spine. Make sure you check with your doctor first before using one.
Keep us posted!

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449909_tn?1233413497
If it were cervicogenic headache, you would have got relief by the facet injections. The nerves in the upper cervical spine refers pain to head and 'neck pain' will be felt as headache, similar to pain of heart sometimes felt in the arm.

Best of luck

TA
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