Two weeks ago I was diagnosed with severe cervical spinal stenosis. I was put on steroids for 10 days and during that time, the frequent migraines I have been suffering from for years were completely absent. As soon as the steroids wore off, the pain in my neck and the migraines returned. Could the migraines be related to my spinal stenosis, or did the steroids inadvertantly provide relief for my migraines?
The steroids reduced swelling and were responsible for the reduction in pain and the migraines. They work quite well. The downside is that they have terrible long-term side effects. They cause atrophy of the adrenal glands, long-term disc deterioration and increase the probability of developing cancer. In other words, the bad news bears.
You should have been prescribed axial traction to go with the steroids. And told to do "range of motion excercises". Turning your head as far as possible in all directions clockwise to the limit of motion, then counterclockwise, through the limits of pain. Normally pain tells a person "not to move" but in some cases, it causes the person to "self-splint", and end up immonilized. An axial traction device costs about $35 U.S. and can be obtained without a prescription. You need to use it from six to fifteen minutes eight to ten times a day for starters.
You may find that using a cervical traction device a few minutes a day will relieve your migraines without use of steroids. Throw away the water bottle and hook it up to a large hook in the beam above a door. Gently lower yourself (not fully suspending yourself) until you feel relief. Do not suspend your entireweight.
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