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Pressure in head
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Pressure in head

Hello doc and thanks for taking my question. When I first found this site I was amazed at the number of people who share symptoms very similar to mine with no clear answer. There is a thread in the Family Practice forum with about 25 different people discussing mysterious head pressure. I appeal to you please to help us find an answer, I lost a good job in the airline industry and my friends and family have given up on me, and I've had to switch doctors 3 times due to them trying to psycho-analyze me and basically ridicule me, since my MRI was negative but I still insist there must be an explanation. I have seen a top University neurologist who specialty is headaches, plus another neuro.

I woke up with day with an intense pressure deep in my head, extend to top of head and at eyebrows level. waves of anxiety, dizzy, nausea begin at same time.

One clue seem to be a "trickeling" or "squishing" sound when I stretch my neck out or move my head around. If I extend my head upward and hold it stretched (like giraffe neck) and the sound happens I get temporarily great relief from the pressure...I must hold my head in the extended position to maintain relief but when I relax it comes right back. I can 99.9% say this sound is connected to symptoms because there is occasional day when pain/pressure is less and this squishing sound is hardly present.

I was wondering first do you think my CSF could be somehow being blocked or slowed between cranium and neck (hence squishing sound) or perhaps poor blood circulation?

Please help me return to my family and life, Paul/31,Toronto
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Avatar_n_tn
I have not heard any reports of interupption of CSF flow by just movements of the neck. Movements of the neck can compress the vertebral artery in older people with bad degenerative joint disease, this can be assessed by doppler ultrasound techniques. The symptoms would be more of fainting, or loss of vision, double vision, imbalance or weakness on one side etc, rather than just headache.

The routine MRI is usually negative in most headache disorders so this should not be seen as atypical. Sometimes a high sensotovoty MR venogram can reveal clots or occlusion of the cerebral venous sinuses in patietns with new onset intractable headache and other signs - if an MRV was not done in your case, ask your doctor about it.

The neck is intimately connected with headache, and pain in the neck can casue referred pain to the head, or trigger other forms of headache you are predisposed to  ie tension or migraine headache. Evaluation of your neck anatomy, posture, muscles etc and treatment by a physical therapist sepcializing in the eck might be helpful.

I cannot give you a formal medical opinion based on the internet, but one could be obtained from the Cleveland CLinic Headache Center for a second opinion if you so wish

Good luck
20 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
http://www.medhelp.org/forums/FamilyPractice/messages/558.html


I would encourage you all to read this thread. Myself and others have written extensively about this phenominon.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hey, well since this persons symptoms have been discussed alot, I was hoping maybe someone could help me (ive tried to post for 1 month now, maybe its because im on the West Coast?)

Anyways, I am 20 years old and had a concussion in February 2005 where I was knocked out and suffered headaches for quite a while. They went away, and everything seemed to be good. Then, in September, I started having painful headaches which seemed like migraine headaches. They would last a few hours, or a couple days. Some days I would wake up and have a headache which was very dull, only hurting if i coughed or bent down to pick something up. These also went away, but my doctor noticed I had high blood pressure, 155/100 to 145/89. Ran a bunch of tests, EKG, blood work- nothing. Then, I began to have tingling on the back left of my head, which would come on and off without headache, and lasting a short time, and leave. Then the tingling would radiate into my shoulder, arm and then I noticed when i look down (bend neck), the sides of my trunk tingle. I've gone for a CT scan and waiting for the results...any ideas?
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Avatar_n_tn
Or if someone can post my information I just wrote into a thread that would be awesome, because I've tried all hours of the day (and night) here on the West Coast with no luck...Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow, I thought I had something unique! I just started having head pressure about a week ago... it really freaked me out. I thought I might be having a stroke! Along with the pressure in the temple area, my ears kind of clogged up similar to what happens when on an airplane. My clogged ears seemed to clear and come back with each heartbeat, or at a similar interval. If I bend over while this happening the pressure gets worse, and it moves to the back of my neck as well. It's lasts for about 45 seconds and then it's gone.
There are no indications that it is coming on. Although, it seems to happen if I have been sitting down for a while, and then stand up and walk a short distance. Very strange.

Has anybody experienced the bending over pressure or ear throbing?
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Avatar_n_tn
I have a similar problem. It feels like my ears close up and when that happens I get intense head pain very similar to when you eat ice cream too fast. Alot of times when this happens , my legs feel like they are going to buckle.  If I lean my head back or forward this will happen.  I pinch my nose and blow and work my jaw back and forth to try and open my ears so the pressure in my head will ease up.  The pressure in my head is so great, I can't describe it. but when my ears open , the pain slowly goes away.  I have been to specialist and my primary care doctor, and they can't find anything wrong. One doctor did say it sounded like a Eustation tube,  I don't understand how something can be so painful and the doctors have no idea what it is.
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Avatar_n_tn
I FELL ON 11/19/05 DOWN A FLIGHT OF STAIRS.  I HAD AN MRI DONE ON 12/05 OF MY HEAD AND THEN ON 1/12 FOR MY NECK. MY HEAD MRI IS FINE, MY NECK MRI SHOWS A HERN. DISC. I HAVE SINCE A CHIROPRACTOR WITH NO RELIEVE.  MY HEAD PULSATES, THE PRESSURE IS CONSTANT SINCE I FELL.  IT FEELS LIKE ALL THE BLOOD IS RUSHING TO MY HEAD. I AM CONSTANTLY DIZZY AND OFF BALANCE. MY DOCTOR DOES NOT KNOW WHAT ELSE IT COULD BE.  THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON STRAIGHT SINCE 11/19!  MY BLOOD PRESSURE IS NORMAL.  I AM 57 YRS. OLD.  HELP!
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Paul/Toronto

losing a good job should be first blow. Then, subsequent cases will happen to you and finally, Pressure in head become major case.  Based on my experience, your case seem to be more bias on mental issue. Physical issue is losing job, wealth, friends..and pressure in head...etc.  Many people do not want to make friends with poor man (mental & physical).Mental and Physical are related.  Continuous pressure in head is physical weakness.

I also, going to post my issue of 'ringing noise in head' in this forum. Then, I found your problem which 'i think' is quite similar to me. As per human being, we never accept our present situation. We have our pride, our dignity.  We try to pretend ourselve.

Dear Paul,  i may not help you. Please, forgive me.  Since, I try to pray daily 30 mins and listen sermons, i am better situation. I know, the best solution will come from ourselve. No body will know our personal cases except God 'Jesus'. I was a free thinker but i still can pray, meditate.

Please, find good friends who listen your difficulties.
Target 3 months to cure 'Pressure in head'. Take time, relex...

Joseph_Jinpo
Singapore
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Avatar_n_tn
I have suffered with this same problem for over 10 years.  Pressure & pain in my head and neck....muscle spasms in my shoulders and pain in my right arm.  Many, many migraines also.  I saw many doctors and got no diagnosis or relief.  The last three months got pretty unbearable so I went back to my doctor, who sent me for an MRI.  I have been told that I have significant arthritis in my neck and that there is also now a disk protrusion pushing against my spinal cord.  I have made an appointment with a neurosurgeon but don't really want to have surgery.  Is there anyone who has had surgery?  Can you tell me whether it helped and if the experience was horrible?
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
First time here. It is good to see I'm not alone.

I have this pressure in my head that gets so intense that I have to literally put pressure with both hands on the top of my head to keep whatever from spewing out the top. I have about a 3" x 4" hot spot where it feels swollen and is hotter than the rest of my head. It's at the very top. The pressure varies. Today it started about 1:00 pm. It's now 9:30 pm. Todays is at the base of the head on the right side. Sometimes the pressure feels like a sponge. It is real hard to explain. (Which I have been seeing.) Not a pain but an extremely full mushy pressure feeling.
It is hard to concentrate. My ?comprehension? is definately at stake. There are times when the pressure is so bad that the only relief is to massage my head downward and it releases tears that I have no control over. Almost instantly the pressure is gone. I was sitting with a client (I sell hearing aids) and this pressure headache kicked in and the tears started to flow.  There was nothing I could do. At this point I didn't have to massage my head it just happened.
Sometimes it makes me almost lethargic. I find myself just sitting and starring.  It started out the only relief was 800 ibuprofin but those don't seem to help anymore.
I have gone to a chiropractor, they said my neck is real straight. Several visits to them and no relief.
This scares me. I'm afraid of going to a neurologist but I feel I need to.
Any advice on what to do or what could be causing it?
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Avatar_n_tn
I have a extremely painful pressure on the top of my head, as I read hear alot of you do. I cannot figure it out, except that it may be related to me taking Effexor. The pain can be so bad, I feel like my brain is going to burst out of my skull. My docter is close to wanting to do a CT scan. I really think it is related to anti-depressant drug effexor. Has any one else had a problem like this? I have read Pro effexor and anti effexor web sites, but cannot find any symptom like this. Can anyone help?
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Avatar_m_tn
I too am suffering from bad head pressure. It started after having neck surgery. I've tried questions in several forums to see if someone is experiencing same. On 12/2/05 I had a redo of a cervical disc that did not fuse. This time they went in posterior instead of anterior.I was fine six weeks after surgery, but now am experiencing really bad pressure in my head like it's going to explode. Has anyone had anything like this after their neck surgery? Would appreciate any help. It's been 10 weeks since the surgery and don't see doc until April. Should I call him with regard to this or is this in relation to my neck surgery?
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello Every body,

Since all the doctors think we are crazy lets find out what we all have in common, Firstly, Sleep how many hours would you sleep every night and how many pillows? Weight, Are you over weight or recently put on weight, Diet Has your diet changed recently? Most Important stress, are you under any stress (other than your health). Heavy lifting, have you been lifting anything heavy regularly lately (that
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Avatar_n_tn
IVE BEEN HAVING HEAD PAIN FROM 6/11/05 WAS PUT IN HOSPITAL FOR 5 DAYS AND ALL TEST CAME BACK NEG CT SCAN   MRI CHEST X RAY NASEL X RAY SONOGRAM WAS OK OUT COME DRS SAID SINUS PROUBLEMS  NOW 3/10/06 SAME PAIN AND NOW IT WILL NOT GO AWAY I WENT TO HOSPITAL ON 3/11 STAYED THERE FOR 6 HRS AND DID ALL TEST AGAIN  AND SENT HOME  WITH TWO DIFFERENT DRUGS    VOLTAREN  AND  AZITHROMYCIN  5 DAY PROGRAM   SO FAR NO HELP   IT HARD WHEN I LOOK TO MY LEFT AND WHEN I WALK    THE PAIN IS ON MY LEFT SIDE FROM  MY NECK TO THE TOP OF MY HEAD FEELS LIKE MY BRAIN IS GETTING BIGGER (WITCH I KNOW ITS NOT) BUT PAIN FROM A CHART OF 1 TO 10  10 BEING THE WORST  ITS AT 9 RIGHT NOW   CAN ANY ONE PLEASE HELP      
                                                 JEFF
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Avatar_n_tn
Your Not Alone
For the last 13 weeks I have had pressure in my ears and dizziness. I also feel pain at the top of my head. When it first started I could hardly stand up and thought I was having a stroke. Emerg doctor said I had vertigo. 10 weeks later my ENT said I have vestibular neuronitis and it was almost over. Had a CAT scan and am waiting for MRI results. My neck also is sore and stiff and when rubbed it feels like I will pass out. 15 years ago had a neck injury wondered if this has anything to do with this? Thanks for listening. I am getting frustrated and feel like i am going crazy.
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Avatar_n_tn
in october of 2004 i went to a chiropractor that i had been going to for months this time when he adjusted my neck pain went all the way through me i hurt for days. 2 days later i started having seziures like symptoms (my head had still not quite hurting). i went to a doctor in alabama he rand mri and a cat scan said that a nerve had spures on it and that i was going to have to have neck surgery. In january of 2005 they did neck surgery and took out L3 and L4 put a bone there and a metal plate with 6 screws. I was fine still having some headaches 6 mts later i started having seizures symptoms again the seizures that i have is not being able to speak, shaking mostly on the right side eyes rolling up and back and forth. I can hear what is being said around me but not able to speak back my blood pressure runs 189/120 but they say theres nothing wrong with me. I am now going to pain management taking shots in my neck and having bad headaches. The shot helps some but you are supposed to take 3 shots I am now fixing to take my 8th shot. that doctor tells me that I have a lot of scar tissue in my neck please would someone out there tell me what can be done. I've already lost a job that I was at for 8 years.I need help
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Avatar_n_tn
I am sooo relieved that I am not the only one who has this god-awful pressure in my head. Mine diminishes with the oddest thing: I saw, by chance, on tv, a woman who said that tapping on the sinuses for a few minutes each day could relieve headaches. She added some pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo to validate her claim, but I tried it anyway - cause I'm desparate for some relief of this pressure in my skull! No one in the medical field, that I've allowed to experiment on me, has come up with a diagnosis, let alone a possible cure. This tapping thing does bring some relief and probably doesn't do any harm - though I'm no expert. If anyone wants to try it, just sit straight in a chair, take a deep breath while counting to four, exhale to a count of six (which empties the lungs more fully), then use the fingertips of both hands to gently tap on each of the sinuses repeatedly for a few minutes. It sorta makes your head feel buzzed the first time (probably because it increases blood flow to the areas you are tapping and stimulates the nerve endings), but if done regularly it does seem to give some relief. Hope it helps!
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow!  I should have looked this up sooner.  I have had the pressure headaches for years, they used to start with pain in the back of my neck on the right side and go to the pressure in my head where I would need someone to squeeze my head to hold the pressure.  They can get pretty severe and keep me down for a day.  For years have taken the 800mg of ibruprofen which works for the most part, if I can get to sleep as well.  
I now am having dizzy spells that started to only last a couple minutes and at times longer and coming more frequent (from once in a couple months, to every month, to once a week).  It is like being on a roller coaster and needing to get off.  I usually will be vomiting soon after because the dizziness doesn't end.  The last few times after the dizziness I have then got pressure (migraine??) headaches on both sides of my head or pressure around my eyes or only on right side of my head that have lasted up to three days and my eyes hurt really bad.  It is scary to have the dizziness.  
I'm 41 and I have slightly elevated blood pressure and live a quite stressful life at times.
I went to the doctors again today and they are putting me on atenolol for preventing migraines and also if it is linked to highblood pressure. (the top number of my blood pressure has never been higher than in the 130's, but today it was 156/??? i forgot the bottom number, but it wasn't bad at all)) They also prescribed Meclizine to help with the dizzy spells and only take it during the dizziness.
I have set up an appt to visit a neurologist in another few weeks to see what they say as well.  
The reasons that I am writing this and checking out information is to see if anyone else has been on the same meds for similar experiences and to see what is written out there.
Love to hear from you!
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Avatar_n_tn
I too have been a long time pressure in the head person.  The pressure would get so bad I would swear it would help to drill a hole in my head.  I would get dizzy and nausea. On and on.
Good news... I got an answer for mine.. idiopathic intracranial hypertension (aka.. pseudotumor cerebri)... I really did have pressure in my head.
Advice to you all.... don't give up.  I hope you find your answers too.
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Avatar_f_tn
All of you need to look in to something called SCSFLS...Spontaneous CerbroSpinal Fluid Leak Syndrome. You will find your answers there...especially if you have any sort of spinal or cranial problems...past or present.

This is a hard to diagnose problem though it is becoming more common. It can also be easy to resolve in most cases. Just type CSF leak in to a search.
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