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Occipital head/neck pain
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Occipital head/neck pain

Hi,
I have been having some severe pain at the base of my skull for 4 months now. Other symptoms include ringing in left ear,occasional facial numbness,disequalibrium,opague floaters in central vision worse in natural light, and aching in left arm and shoulders. My neck also started to grind and crack whenever I turn my head. PCP thought it to be brainstem related so I had a catscan,mri,blood work for lupus, lyme,thyroid,all which is normal. All this started shortly after giving birth. At first the pain and aching was thought to be caused by a epidural misplacement (had 3 all together) but the head pain worsened. It felt as if my brain was pushing down on my spine.  A spont. csf leak was suggested so I layed flat for 3 days and the increadible pressure lessened as did the facial numbness and disequalibrium and now I am left with the ringing and neck/skull pain w/cracking and grinding noises.  Somedays are better then others where my head feels so heavy and just aches.  I have been having PT for 2 months with no improvement and have a neurologist appointment in 2 weeks (I have been waiting 3mo). I am 29 and pmh of mvp and tmj. I have not sustained any injury to my head or neck.  Is there anything you can think of that should/could be investigated in order to relieve my pain? I have been unable to work for 2months and taking care of my family has been difficult. Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
Sorry to hear about your symptoms. The headache/pain could be due to a number of things. However, with the improvement of symptoms on lying down it sounds like you could have a CSF leak related to the epidural placement. This leads to low CSF pressures and severe headaches on getting up from a lying position. This can sometimes be picked up with an MRI of the brain with dye. One thing that could help is a blood patch done by an anesthesiologist or neurologist to patch up the leak. You could also try increased fluid intake and caffeine treatments. Another possibility is arthritis in the neck which can be evaluated with an MRI of the Cervical spine. This can also cause headaches. Hormonal changes following delivery can also be a cause. WHat will be important is the neuro exam to make sure there's nothing else going on to suggest a problem of the brain. Good luck.
9 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a 46 year old male with similar symptoms. I have been experiencing these symptoms for two years now and it has devistated my life. I just stumbled on this site while at work and I can't finish now but I will return to this site to share what I have found out about my condition and possible cures.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I am concerned because I have had occipital nerve pain for a long time. Five years ago it started and had gotten really bad. I had an average of seven nerve blocks and they lasted no more than about 2 months. Finally the doctors tried the root nerve block. Bless God!, it worked for 5 years. Since January of 2002,
the pain has returned. I have been to the er a numerous amount of times. They finally sent me 2 hours away to another er and they could not get the pain under control. They did 2 more nerve blocks and they did not even affect me. They tried a root block that in the past had worked for several years, it lasted 2 days.
We are at the point of talking surgery to take out these 2 nerves in the back of my head. In the mean time, I cannot get into to even see anyone until May. I cannot live like this any more. This pain is too much to bare. I contacted a clinic yesterday that has a very good reputation, and they were able to see me in two weeks, thank God. My question is do they do this type of surgery?, and are they willing? I have all my paperwork on all the doctor's notes, and what they have done, and now they are saying that it's time to do this surgery. I want the surgery.
they have explained it to me. I just want the pain to stop. Can you give me any advice?
                             Sincerely,
                            Diana Donaway
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Avatar_n_tn
I too have severe suboccipital headaches along with pain at disk ruptures c4-5 and c5-6 and a bulge at c6-7. All are stated to be in: "approximation of the ventral spinal cord". Can this be the cause of my headaches?
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Avatar_n_tn
I HAVE HAD NECK, SHOULDER, CHEST, HAND NUMBNESS AND CONTINUS HEAD ACHES FOR 8 MONTHS. I HAD SURGURY ON MY SHOULDER 3 MONTHS AGO AND THE PAIN HAS INCREASED I SAW A NEUROLIGIST AND HE RECAMENDS TEST AND A EPIDURAL SHOT IN MY NECK. PLEASE GIVE ANY IFNO SINCERLY HURTING JAMES
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,  I just found this group.  I've had occipital nerve pain for over five years.  It really has messed up my life.  A year ago I had a spinal cord stimulator implanted on my right side, and it has worked until recently.  My old symptoms have returned in addition to the help the transmitter gives.  I'm going to see a specialist in peripheral nerves soon, but in the meantime I suffer.  It took me over three years to figure out what the problem is and many injections as well as cryogenics.
Some treatments worked for a short time, once for two months, but we've never been able to duplicate them.  I'm so frustrated, and almost willing to try anything.  I guess I wonder what the next step is.  Any advice?
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear; Try pressure points nr 3 in both sides in time of headache and you will see how the headache will disappear all the time you do the pressure.
Please read about my new treatment for migraine headache,
http://alisultaneh.8m.net
This is the end of migraine headache, I know how it,s difficult to belive me , but you can easy see if what I said true or not, by trying the pressure points in time of headache and you will see how headache will disapear completely.
http://my.webmd.com/content/article/1826.50526
http://sehha.com/diseases/headache/migraine03.htm
http://my.webmd.com/condition_center/mig

Best regards
Ali

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Avatar_n_tn
I am so glad to have found this forum.  This is my first post.  I have been reading about occipital head/neck pain.  This is my story:  I am six months post op from anterior cervical diskectomy at C4-5 and C5-6.  I am now suffering from CERVICAL RADICULOPATHY AND OCCIPITAL PAIN.  I believe my surgery is wonderfully successful and I feel that my neurosurgeon did a fabulous job!  HOWEVER, after recovering from the surgery for six weeks, I returned to my job in a doctor's office, only to have severe pain beginning at the top of my head, radiating down my neck, right shoulder, arm and into my right hand and fingers!  The occipital pain is so severe I become nauseaous and dizzy.  I am using vicodin at least three a day and find that it only begins to touch the pain (at times).  I was forced to retire from my job (which I totally loved) because the pain is so intense.  The occipital pain is increased with movements like walking, driving, bending, looking up, reaching up, personal care like styling hair, shaving legs, placing my head/neck on my orthopedic pillow, lying on back, and other intimate activities.  Also I find that vicodin is somewhat constipating.  Would any of you have input with regard to:  l.  Any one else have this problem -- have you recovered from it?  2.  How long did you experience it?  3.  Any activities which might allow me to self-help myself?  4.  Other medication choices?  5.  Any other suggestions?  Thank you so much.
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Avatar_n_tn
My boyfriend has had pain similar to what you are describing for many years.  In the last two years it has become much more severe.  The strange thing is that he does not experience this pain until he goes to sleep and only after about 3 or 4 hours.  It starts as a burning sensation right below the left occipital condyle and spreads up his head around to his forhead.  He describes it as a wire running through his head.  In the beginning, he would then sit up in bed and sleep that way.  That seemed to relieve his pain but that does not work any more.  Additionally, he has had Botox, nerve blocks, steroid injections (both peripherally and directly into the facets), numerous anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodics, anit-seizure( on the outside chance it would work), tranquilizers, and physical therapy.  Nothing has worked.  some of the medication seemed to work for a period of time but always wore off and the dosage would have to be increased unitl a maximum was reached.  He is at his wits end.  The loss of sleep due to the pain is taking a huge toll.  Have you ever heard of this kind of pain and does anyone have any idea what this might be?  Again, it only happens after he goes to sleep.  I would appreciate any information you can give me.  Sandio
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Avatar_n_tn
My husband has had similar problem as Sandio's boyfriend for almost five years: severe pain wakening him after about 1.5 hours of sleep. Pain though starts from a point in the neck (right side) and developes through the side of the face. It lasts about 40-45 minutes, he must sit up in bed and falls back to sleep that way. Sometimes this happens more than once during the night. He has been on Isoptin (verapamil) and this helps slightly. At one stage he was diagnosed with Eagle's syndrome and underwent surgical operation in February this year. Until today no improvement is noticeable. If anyone has any suggestion ... please help
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
I have had two herniated discs in my neck for many years. A few days ago, something strange started happening. The pain seems to be coming from my neck and radiating down my sides and my chest. It even hurts to breathe sometimes. I can't get comfortable, and massage and heat don't work. It's pretty scary. I also have TMJ, but have never had anything like this.
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