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Upper Back/Neck/Shoulder into Migraine ?
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A place for migraineurs to discuss anything and everything related to migraines. Topic suggestions: Think of this as a support group for migraineurs. Reach out to group members when ever you need support. Give your support to fellow migraineurs. You, as a migraineur yourself, probably have a wealth of knowledge to share with others. The knowledge that you have could vastly improve the quality of life for another group member. Share share share! Discuss your current acute and preventative treatment plans. Ask others about their current acute and preventative treatment plans. Discuss past acute and preventative treatment plans as well... we can always learn something from what didn't work! Discuss your own personal tips and tricks for lessening the severity of acute migraine attacks. Post about your upcoming GP or Neurologist appointments. Ask other group members questions about what to expect and suggestions on how to prepare. Update fellow group members on your progress... both on set backs (so that we can provide support, suggestions and hope!) and on successes (so that we can congratulate you and so that you can provide other group members with hope!).

Founded by marileew on September 27, 2009
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Upper Back/Neck/Shoulder into Migraine ?

Has anyone suffered from upper back, neck and shoulder pain, and then it goes into a migraine from your neck over your head and behind one eye?  This seems to be what I suffer from the most.  Sometimes it happens the other way around where the migraine begins the cycle and then tightens up the back, neck, and shoulder but most often it seems the other way.  I also suffer from migraines first thing in the morning when I wake up.  This started within the last three or four years.  I am a male, and I know this is more common in females.  I have tried many different medications.   Currently I am on Atenelol, Axert when I have a migraine, lydacaine injections once a month, Robaxin, Naproxen, and exercise.   I have tried Topomax (topamax), Neurontin, Amitryptaline, Savella, Effexor, and Nadolol all with negative side effects.   I have also done a steroid pack a couple times, topical cream from a compounding pharmacist, lydocaine patches, a Tens unit, ice, heat, chiropractors, massage therapists, physical therapy, etc.  I am 48 years old and I seem to be getting worse not better.   I now have pain in my right lower back/hip area and right quadricep which I never had before.  I have had all kinds of MRI's done, blood work, etc. and all comes back fine.  
Is there any help or advice you can give me out there?  Some say it might be stress, but I tried taking some time off from work and that didn't improve my condition any either.   I am going to a counselor to help manage the stress and anxiety as well.  She thinks my body is screaming at me that there is something wrong.  
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7 Comments
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910419_tn?1289487327
I recommend seeing a dentist. It sounds like you might have atypical TMJ. I do, and now wear a bite guard that helps relax all those muscles so that they don't trigger the migraine.
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768044_tn?1294227036
Hi there!

The majority of my migraines start in my neck and between my shoulder blades as "back and neck pain" like really sore trigger points, and then travels to behind one eye and feels like a regular migraine.

The space between my shoulder blades is the WORST problem area on me... it is where most of my migraines both start and end... where the tension starts and ends up. The migraines themselves always move to one eye, but... I get these extremely painful muscle knots on my back between my shoulder blades and that is where the pain travels from and then travels back to it feels like.

So, that was where my neurologist did some of my botox shots, between my shoulder blades, as well as the regular places they give botox shots for migraines (like in the forehead and back of the head). I believe it may have helped a little bit so far.

I also recommend physiotherapy to work the surrounding muscles to help support these muscles and then to eventually get more strength in these muscle areas as well.. to avoid tension and strain in them day-to-day.

Another thing I do is I use those muscle creams and patches over the parts of my back and neck that hurt... some brand names are: Myoflex, IcyHot and Deep Heating Maxx Patch. I prefer the Myoflex brand of creams and patches because they do not have any scent but they still have the medicine in them. Most of the other brands have a very strong mint scent, which can actually be REALLY nice if you have a migraine because it is very distracting... but if you are trying to go to school or the office or something then I find sometime other people complain about strong scents so it is better to have something scent free. If you are using a cream or patch at home it is fine to use one that smells strongly of mint though if that is helpful.

Hope that helps. :)
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768044_tn?1294227036
Oh, sorry, you already tried physiotherapy! Sorry to suggest it again. I always hate when people do things like that. Umm. Okay. Well.... the other two things are still maybe suggestions to try. The over-the-counter muscle rubs and patches are different then a prescription lydocaine patch and even though they seem less intense then a prescription patch, sometimes I find that they can be more helpful then the prescription patches. And, botox is also different then the trigger point injections too... so, I might try the botox injections if you haven't already.

And, yes, your body is screaming at you... because it hurts! Not because you are doing anything wrong though. Okay? Migraines are often triggered by things completely out of our control, like the weather.... in fact, the MAJORITY of migraines are triggered by changes in weather and they really aren't sure if every migraine is necessarily triggered by something, migraines may come on for no reason at all. As long as you are making an effort to control your stress levels, and keeping a migraine diary (or a tracker, MedHelp has a digital online tracker you can use if you find it convenient)  to track possible triggers... then you are doing your part in controlling your migraines and you do not have to worry that your body is screaming at you because you are doing something wrong, okay?

Also, about these morning headaches? Do you ever wake up because of a headache? What I mean to say is, is the pain from a headache ever so intense in the morning that the headache itself is like an alarm clock and the pain is what wakes you up? Because, although you are right that migraines may be more common in women, another similar type of headache called cluster headaches are much more common in men and they are usually headaches that will wake a person up in the early morning as if the headache is a "painful alarm clock". These headaches are more difficult to treat then migraines and require a different type of treatment, so your current treatment plans would probably not have worked on a cluster headache. Medical oxygen is usually a better acute treatment for cluster headaches than any sort of pain killer. So, if your headaches actually wake you up from sleep, please inquire with your doctor about the possibility of cluster headaches. Although, a cluster headache usually starts specifically in the eye and the pain is very localized... so, your headache does not really sound like a cluster headache, I just always throw that out there when a man mentions morning "migraine" headaches just in case.

P.S. I'm not a doctor or anything like that at all. Just a migraine sufferer like yourself. And I've also tried lots of preventatives and acute treatments and had lots of them fail on me too. We sound like we have similar headaches, that start in our upper backs and necks... well, keep in touch! I hope you find something that works. If I think of anything, I will let you know.
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762446_tn?1271716450
I have the exact same problems. Daily migrains that start from the upper back and neck, up the left side and behind the left eye. Sometimes the pain is so bad my eye quits tracking normally. My doctor put me on Propranolol a blood pressure medication. It helps some, but I still experience daily headaches. I wish I could tell you something better to cure it but I have not found it yet.
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764912_tn?1322715443
Hi,
Yes I have some like this too.  I do go to the Chiropractor and this seems to help me, especially between my shoulder blades.  Like others I use a cream too, call Biofreeze, love it. :)  

Wish I had some profound solution. Sounds like you are keeping track of it well and that will help you to figure out what works, but it is frustrating.  Hang in there
Tracy
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for the suggestion.  I have had TMJ problems a long time ago, and had an orthodontic appliance 15 or 20 years ago.  I asked my dentist about it, and he suggested trying one at CVS for $25 instead of the $400 or $500 it would cost for him to custom fit one.  So far since I have used it 5 days of no migraines.  I also tried magnesium pills at the same time.   Could be just a coincidence, but I am hoping for the best.  I can't believe that may be it after all these years of trying different stuff, but I am hopeful.   Thanks for all the suggestions.  
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1052851_tn?1307744760
I have the same problem you have. I have TMJ and suffer from severe migraines, so far I have found that Botox injections in the neck and shoulders relax the muscles for up to 3-4 mths. This is not a cheap proceedure though, roughly 300.00 Cdn. unless your benefits covers it.

If you can afford it, I would recommend it.

Daily I also take Fiorinal C1/2, and between the two, I am doing good so far. BTW, botox is highly recommended for TMJ and severe migraines.

Let me know if you give it a try.
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