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Neck pain, Daily headache, arm numbness?
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Neck pain, Daily headache, arm numbness?

Hi, I'm a 41 yr old mom of five. I'm normally very healthy, on Sept. 30, 2006 I got what I thought was a horrible migraine. I'd had migraines very infrequently since 1995. The pain seemed to emanate from my shoulder and neck. I was treated at the E.R. for the migraine but nothing worked and I was sent home.
   I have had a headache EVERY day since then. The pain in my shoulder is daily and increases with use of my right arm, tingling and numbness down my arm to my finger tips are apparent when I turn my head toward the right. I can increase and decrease the pain in my head by the position of my head on a pillow or will get a headache if I preform different tasks such as vacuum, rake, or drive my husbans stick shift car. Eight days a month are severe (an 8+) but there appears to be no pattern, all headaches present with increased shoulder and neck pain first. I've had several medications from Topomax (topamax) to Lyrica with no relief and am currently taking Zonisamide daily (9 weeks) with Naproxin and Imatrex as needed. I graph my headaches daily and average a 5 on a  0 - 10 scale, no changes noted with Zonisamide treatment. No days are 0. I avoid taking any OTC medications and use the Naproxin and Imatrex very sparingly.
   An MRI a year ago showed bulging but it was discounted as unimportant by my neurologist. A week ago my PT however suggested an exercise  for correcting a bulging cervical disc that she feels I may have. She knew nothing of the MRI results. It seems to help my neck thus helping reduce the severity of my headaches. Last summer I  wore a clavical  support for two weeks which I purchased myself as an experimental treatment  and the headaches were greatly reduced, but again my Dr.s believed it had nothing to do with my headaches and that  I am suffering from common daily migraine. Very recently I have even been diagnosed with Fybromyalgia by my Neurologist although I have only pain in my neck and shoulder with no other symptoms and the Lyrica did nothing for my pain.
  Can the pain in my neck and shoulder be linked to my headaches as I've suspected? I have seen a Chiropractor and PT for many months, it may help for a day but the pain soon returns. Is there something being overlooked? What can I ask my Doctors to check? What tests should I suggest?
Is there something more I can do?
  I am getting desperate. My children need me to be healthy. I can't be a mommy when my head hurts day and night. I'm on my second Neurologist this one is from Dartmouth Hitchcock in Lebanon, I was told he was one of the best, but when I call he does things like tells his nurse to take me off the Lyrica then two weeks later when I call again because the severity hasn't improved he tells me to increase the Lyrica and needed to be reminded I'd been taken off of it so he increased the Zonisamide?? I'm confused, It has been 17 months of unending headache, I need some advice please.
   Thank you, Karin
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
I just read your comment and it sounds very familiar.  I was injured with a "whiplash-type" injury in June and have had the same symptoms.  I have been to Orthopedic, Pain Management, and 2 Neurologists.  Dr. Pamela Blake in Houston who is with Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital believes that my occipital nerve is compressed.  She and a local plastic surgeon have been curing peoples headaches with this procedure. They have patients come from all over the U.S.  You can google her name or The Headache Center of Northwest to find her.
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Avatar_n_tn
One of the most common causes (frequent because we are all leaning over computers) is a posture problem called forward head position. You cannot underestimate the pain this can cause. If u do  have it u usually have hips that are rotated forward, when one goes out of balance the other compensates to balance us.It's called lordosis (mild-type) or swayback.There are tons of good resources & exercises online.
A less common cause is Chiari Malformation.Thousands of us have been misdiagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia because this is missed on brain mri's more than it's not. If the pain reaches the very bottom (or more) of your head, I would look into that. It can have serious consequences, people range from asymptomatic to debilitated. Pain in the back of head & neck are the main symptom. If you have a brain mri u can get it on disk & can compare it to images online.
Also I would ask to have my T-spine scanned if u don't get anywhere, it innervates part of the arms too.
Good Luck
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Avatar_n_tn
One of the most common causes (frequent because we are all leaning over computers) is a posture problem called forward head position. You cannot underestimate the pain this can cause. If u do  have it u usually have hips that are rotated forward, when one goes out of balance the other compensates to balance us.It's called lordosis (mild-type) or swayback.There are tons of good resources & exercises online.
A less common cause is Chiari Malformation.Thousands of us have been misdiagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia because this is missed on brain mri's more than it's not. If the pain reaches the very bottom (or more) of your head, I would look into that. It can have serious consequences, people range from asymptomatic to debilitated. Pain in the back of head & neck are the main symptom. If you have a brain mri u can get it on disk & can compare it to images online.
Also I would ask to have my T-spine scanned if u don't get anywhere, it innervates part of the arms too.
Good Luck
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144586_tn?1284669764
A clavical support is contraindicated. It causes loss of muscle tone and you end up worse than when you started.

Assuming there is no degenerative disease, the general protocol is to purchase an axial traction device. Use it for five to ten minutes with an hour or so in between and perform "range of motion" exercises, rotating the head 360 degrees through the limits of pain. So you will start using axial traction a dozen times a day. Usually, for the first few days oral prednisone is prescribed 20 mg per 100 pounds of body weight. Meanwhile stay well-hydrated. Do not get ultrasound therapy. It merely inflames the area. Consult your physician before attempting this.

I am concerned that something else may be going on. You have had an MRI, but an MRA would be more important to rule out problems with circulation. You may have more than one problem going on.
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Avatar_f_tn
Im a man, 30yeas old with the same problem and I tihink its a problem with stress and diet.  I use a te the name is root of ila and valeriane. Works really good . And the time on comouter increase the pain and also do your mealsbon time go bed early and wakeup early. I hope you find a solution .
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Avatar_f_tn
I have similar issues. After years of migraine treatment I was sent to a pain specialist who performed a cervical ablation to basically burn the nerve ending in the between the disks neck area. It has helped a lot but after 9 months I need it done again. How are you doing now?
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Avatar_m_tn
This was recommended to me for neck and headache issues.  Did it help neck pain?
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