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headaches and joint pain
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headaches and joint pain

hi,
I am struggling with a constant headache I have been having since Feb 2007. The neurologist indicated that it was due to inflamed meninges but unfortunately has not been able to find a cause.  Lately I have started having pain in my joints - particularly my right knee joint. I have not bumped it or strained it at all.

Could joint pain be related to my headaches in any way?

Thank you,
Joe
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6 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,

These two conditions  may not be likely related.

However, just a few questions:

Have you experienced joint pains prior to what you have now?

Do the joint pains immediately follow the headaches?

How would you characterize the headaches?

What triggers their onset?

Is there any associated swelling or redness in the knee?

Any other associated pain in other joints of the body?

Do keep us posted with your answers.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,

Thank you for your response. Here is some more information on what has been going on:

* This is the first time I have ever had joint pain. It appeared out-of-the-blue one morning about a 4 days ago. I have never experienced anything like this, and find it quite unusual.

* It is an excruciating pain in my knee. But it is not a constant pain. It just comes on its own throughout the day.

* I cannot pin-point what exactly triggers the joint pain. For example, putting weight on the knee or twisting it from side-to-side does not trigger the pain. I poke and push on it but cannot reproduce the pain.

* The joint pain does not follow a specific headache -- my headache is a constant pressure in my head, and it pretty much always there.

* The knee itself does not seem swollen, or have any indications of redness. It is only my right knee, left one is fine. I have been watching to see if the joint pain progresses to any other joints, but it has not so far.

Thanks,
Joe
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Avatar_f_tn
Also, it seems that the joint pain in my knee is starting to be less and less with each day . -Joe
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,

I feel that your joint pain and headaches are separate complaints. At this point, the knee pain may just be musculoskeletal or arthritic pain.  I suggest that you refrain from abrupt knee movements which may usually be experienced in certain sports such as basketball ,football and the like. Swimming and brisk walking may be good alternatives for exercises to improve your circulation.

As with this constant pressure headaches, are you taking any medications?

When was the last time ,you had your consult with a physician?

I suggest that you get a follow up consultation so your headaches may further be  evaluated and classified. Is there any neck stiffness and associated fever?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,

thank you for your response. I do appreciate it. I started taking Neurontin for my headache - prescribed by the neurologist last summer. It has been helpful in managing the pain but I am also interested in resolving the cause of the headache. Both my pcp and the neurologist have not really been helpful for this. My last visit with my pcp was last week, and she is not very invested in trying to help me with this. Actually, I am now switching pcps.

When my head issues first started, (about 1 year ago) I do remember having stiff neck issues. At the time I had assumed that I was just sleeping on my pillow the wrong way. But this only last for a week or so. I do not have a fever but am not sure if I did when the headaches started.

The only tests conducted on me so far was a cat-scan on my sinus area which showed nothing. Is there any tests which can see if anything unusual (virus/bacteria) is in my system? Even if it is just to rule things out.
thank you,
-Joe

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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,

Actually when inflammation of the meninges is being considered, a lumbar tap is the diagnostic tool of choice to rule out any increase in intracranial pressure due to an underlying infection.

Apparently, this was not done in your case. Your CAT scan probably gave within normal results and your physician did not see any further indications for a lumbar tap.

At this point,a primary differential will be a cervicogenic headache or a headache secondary to a possible cervical spine disorder .A tension headache may also be considered.Tension headaches involve the muscles of the neck and shoulders as these may present with tightness and pain over these regions.The pain of tension headaches is bilateral ad nonthrobbing.

Seek second opinion with a neurologist. A complete neurologic examination may be necessary.Bring the results of the CT scan with you.
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