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Pain from Neck to Head
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Pain from Neck to Head

My grandfather is 82 years old and for 3 weeks now, he has been suffering from pain. The pain originated in the back of his neck and is now felt all over his head (no one particular location or side). His neck is now fine. He describes the pain as a "sticking pain" rather than a throbbing pain associated with most headaches. He hasn't been feeling 100% either. He has a little loss of appetite. The pain is intense and severe. It keeps him up at night, but he does experience it during the day too. It was thought by his doctor that his high blood pressure was causing it but his pressure is normal now. He's going for a MRI next week, but until then, do you have any suggestions as to what this can be? Thank you!
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Scott:

Sorry that your grandfather is experiencing headaches/pains.  I am not sure if I can help.  Is he on medication?  How high was his blood pressure?  Has he had any previous history of such pains?  Did the pain get worse with any movement of the head in a particular direction?  How is your grandfather's general health other than the high blood pressure?  Did he just wake up with the pain-did he get the pain from a particular movement-did anything make it better-did anything make it worse?  Does he have a history of migraines-or other types of headaches?  Has anything been going on in his life such as a tramautic stress or stressor?  Along with the pain, did the scalp hurt as well?  Were there any skin changes on the scalp?  As you can tell I am alittle handicapped in trying to figure out your father's headache.  I agree that the MRI might show something-I would include the c-spine along with the brain.  This might be a cervical spine problem, it might be a severe tension headache, it might be shingles (long shot), etc.  Sorry, I am not much help.

Sincerely,

CCF Neuro MD
3 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Have them do a spinal tap and check the spinal fluid pressure.  If there is a restriction the fluid may not flow down the spinal column but cause a pressure build up and pain.
The MRI should tell if there are any disc problems.

Try heat and/or cold.  Vioxx may help if it is joint related if not try the barbituate/ASAP/Caffine they use for tension/migrane headaches.

Don't let them tell you it is habit forming.  At his age that really dosen't matter that much.

I've had C3-C4 injury for years and live with it but use Vioxx and a lot of Darvocet.

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Avatar_n_tn
I know this may sound simple but some of the best answers are. My father had very similar symptoms, as it turned out his lack of sleep had him up watching TV in his recliner chair. Due to the design of the comfortable chair and the location of the TV his head was at a "bent down position" this caused severe headaches and a sore neck. We repaced his chair with one with better postier and mounted the TV on a wall mount (after he had extensive hospital testing). The doctor gave him a perscription for a home(hanging from a door frame type) neck traction device that is used about 30 min's a day. All has been very well since.
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