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What is causing my strange headaches during night?

I'm 38 years old male. Has a height of 6.1 feet (186 cm) and body weight of 210 lbs (95 kg). Not drinking, not smoking, have no depression and have no regular medication prescribed. I'm working with computers, so I sit a lot, this is also kind of a hobby so I do this a lot at home as well. This lifestyle started early as my interest for computers begin at the age of 12-13. In the last 6 years I barely did any sports, which is due to my back condition. It started around the age of 26, which wasn't clearly back related as the pain radiated mainly in my legs. I've been to different neurologists and rheumatologist but none of them took me serious due to my age. Because of the bad experiences I haven't seen a doctor for years. My back pain got worse and become more evident over the years and the symptoms pointed toward spinal disc herniation. In my early 30s I decided to have my back checked, but had again bad experiences as I couldn't convince the doctors to take an MRI or CT. In the last 2 years my back pain became part of my life, I cannot lean forward, there were periods, when lifting up my leg was not possible due to the extreme pain in my back, walking was limited and felt painful, after standing up I couldn't straighten my back for minutes, etc. Besides this, I started having neck problems. I randomly got stiff neck for days or 1-2 weeks, neck movement was limited and painful. I started experiencing strange headaches that were usually followed by tingling around my month. I'm sleeping on my side and these headaches usually appeared after I went to bed and was laying in the bed. The pain is located on the top of my head, always at the same spot but either on the left or the right side, mostly depending on which side I'm laying in the bed. The pain hits sharp in the mentioned spot and lasts not even a second. The intensity is sometimes frightening and was followed by tingling around my month at the same side where the pain hit. The tingling often lasts hours or a full day. When the pain strikes hard, I have a feeling of dizziness for a quick second.. it feels strange and I always fear of getting a stroke. I immediately change posture in these cases and it seems that it eases the effects. I finally found a neurologist who sent me to take some tests. Lower back MRI indicated significant disc herniation between L4-5. MRI on my head excluded having aneurysm. Neck MRI indicates slight left sided protrusion at C6-7 (C7 root is affected). Very slight protrusion is visible at the upper discs as well. These MRIs were taken 7 months ago. The headaches reoccur and usually take 1-2 weeks, and then it happens that I'm free of symptoms for weeks. When they happen, I usually have some level of neck condition, stiffness on the upper area, sometimes with slight burning sensation when pushing the affected area with my fingers. In the last couple of days I have similar happening, but instead of the "lightning strike"-like pain, I feel constant pressure at the same spot on the top of my head when laying in the bad during night. After a while the pressure rises to an uncomfortable level, and it eases when I sit up in the bed. Yesterday it happened again, the pressure got more significant, I felt a short cramping, heavy pain in the head and warm started spreading from the area, I jumped up, and was freaked out, because I literally thought that I'm having a stroke or TIA. My head felt foggy for a a couple minutes and both arms and legs felt weak. I couldn't sleep for hours and in the morning the weakness in limbs remained but got better after I took an hour walk. When I last visited my neurologist a half year ago, he couldn't really tell the source of my head pain. I strongly believe that it's related to my neck, but don't understand what's happening. Is this affecting my nerves or blood vessels? Can my sleeping posture and poor neck condition affect blood flow to my brain or what is happening with me? Does this condition have a medical term that would help to understand my situation better, because currently I couldn't really find similar cases.
2 Responses
Avatar universal
Every human gets disc problems as they age.  That doesn't mean every human has back pain from them.  Few do.  Most pain is muscular or pressure on nerves.  So the fact you have disc problems, well, all humans do.  But you do give a big clue when you talk about computers.  Spending lots of time on computers and even worse on cell phones is now the leading cause, I believe, of back and neck problems due to the almost necessity of having poor posture when we do these things.  Posture is everything.  I'm surprised you weren't sent to physical therapy or occupational therapy to try to ease this at the very least.  As for the pain in your legs, yes, this could be pressure on the nerves from the lower back, the muscles in the lower back, problems with the periformis muscle, or hip problems.  The fact you don't apparently exercise, if I get that right, is also going to be more and more of a problem, as that's leaving you stagnant and the substances inside your body stagnant.  I can't tell you what's wrong with you, this is just a possibility.
207091 tn?1337709493
If you think you're having strokes, you need to talk to your neurologist. The only way to know that is imaging.

I'm also surprised you weren't sent for PT, so they can ease you into movement and exercise. You should talk to your doctor about that. If you don't move, it's going to get progressively worse.

You're only 38. Take care of this now so it's not worse later.

Let us know what the doctor says.
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