I have been having this same headache appear over and over again. It starts in my neck but only on the left side. It is in my neck near my spine and also right where my neck hits my head. (If I push on the area near my head it intensifys the headache.) Then it radiates up my head near my ear and then continues to my eye. It is like a throbing pain and I swear I can feel my heartbeat in the pain. All on only my left side. It is so horrible that I am completely unfunctionable. It also wakes me up from sleep. After about 24 hrs it becomes less intense but lingers for a couple of days. I have noticed that my neck just doesn't feel right sometimes when I move it it grinds. I also have frequent just neck aches. I also have had comments from two different massage therapists that I should get my neck looked at because "it didn't feel right" I brushed the comments off because they weren't doctors but maybe I should get it looked at. What do you think my problem is and what kind of doctor should I see.
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Based on your symptoms it's difficult to make an exact diagnosis without being able to get more history and doing a physical exam. That said, many of your symptoms sound consistent with cervicogenic headache. This just means a headache that is initiated by neck problems. Another but seemingly less likely possibility includes migraine (given the headache's throbbing quality) but people with migraine generally have problems with light sensitivity, loud noise, nausea and vomiting, and usually have a family history of migraine. Cervicogenic headache can be treated with a number of possible therapies drug injections in the neck to other muscle relaxing medications to more traditional headache medications. A headache specialist (which is a subspecialty of neurology) would probably be the ideal person to see as they usually able to do these neck injections themselves if they feel it's appropriate and are most well versed in other medicine options.
I have similar issues which started three years ago with Lyme Disease so I would rule that out if I were you from your internist. If infection is out, I would see a neurologist who can make sure you don't have any growths pressing on nerves. If not, sometimes the nerves get irritated and the pain can shoot up in the head for whatever reason... sometimes an inflamed blood vessel pushing up against the nerve, sometimes sitting in one position too long like working on a computer. In any case, there are medications they can prescribe for nerve pain and I've even had a nerve block at the base of my skull which worked very well but only lasted about a month. Good luck to you.
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