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Avatar universal

C1 C2 C3 pain, severe headaches + metallic taste = WHATS going on?

I have NEVER been one to have headaches.
Within a 2 week period early this summer, a new headache process developed for me.
The most painful symptom is a neck pain, at the base of my skull. Feels like my skull is being ripped away, like a railroad spike is embedded in there.  Accompanying this pain, is a series of headaches, that shift location and appear anywhere in the skull. The headaches "feel" to be just below my skull, rather than deeper. The headaches occur in tandem with the neck pain. As the neck pain increases - so do the intensities of the headaches. Also, I have now a metallic taste in my mouth, almost constant, to varying degrees. But initially, I noticed the metallic taste intensity, increased with the pain intensities of the other symptoms. Posture of the neck definitely affects my condition. Looking up and sustained time at the computer, I notice a correlation.  The upward tilt one would induce taking many photographs with a camera will also generate this grief. The higher neck area is tender, more tender with greater inflammation. Initially I was alarmed at the headaches, checked in for an exam.  I was advised the CT showed no "bleeds" .  A dose of Maxeran for migraines was given - zero effect.  ok... i'm not dying I told myself, sucked it up and carried on.  These headaches with neck pain vary from severe to medium - my constant companion and I cannot continue anymore. My life is on hold and I am now quite disabled & dysfunctional. I cannot work, sleep properly and am now an angry person with now patience for anything stressful.
There are other possibly pertinent symptoms I had previously, that I attributed perhaps as benign ear / balance problems of vertigo or something else that have long plagued me. Without a doubt I have  ear & balance issues. Of those, I did find the "surreal" and disoriented, lack of focus state I often now find myself in to be the most troubling.
Also,   in the weeks prior to this headache development, my grievous high pitch tinnitus of both ears took a noticeable escalation in intensity AND I noticed eye movements would sometimes add a pulsing layer to that symphony of pain.
    In desperation - I did take a very low dose of my wife's 5mg Oxycontin. Remarkably.... definite, noticeable, partial relief of my neck pain & headache within 20 minutes.  I've snuck in a dozen of those on the worst days just to keep from cracking entirely.
    I went to a Registered massage therapist (a College body in this jurisdiction) to see if neck massage would help. I had some simple palpation and thorough questions while I was examined. The mention of metallic taste in my mouth and its conjunction with headaches ended her hands on contact & she would not treat me. Her concern was a cerebro / spinal cord fluid leak or issue somehow affecting that system.
   Thats all I can offer at the moment, K.

This discussion is related to false positive tests in person who had encephalitis.
7 Responses
285580 tn?1194705350
It sounds like you might have ligament instability in your neck.  I suggest meeting with an (AAOMED.org) orthopaedic doctor and having them examine you.  Prolotherapy could possibly help you.  Look up barre lioue syndrome - sounds like some of your symptoms.  I'm sorry to hear about the pain you are in...I've been there.  It's taxing physically and emotionally. I'm still not 100% but I'm improving and the prolotherapy has really helped.   Good luck to you...
Avatar universal
Hello. My husband is having problems that are almost exactly what you are describing above-including the metallic taste. When I read your post to him, it made him cry. Have you gotten any helpful information since you posted this? We are just getting started with all of this and could use any info you might want to share. Thank you for reading, I hope all is going better for you.
Avatar universal
have you been tested for heavy metals> most importantly mercury?

also, there is something called Gilberts syndrome.

  i have also read somewhere something about Chiari (sp?)
  i would say see a neurologist.

  i hope that you find out what's going on so that your life can return to normal :( living in pain and fear is awful.

Avatar universal
I have similar symptoms. To reassure anyone who has a similar problem, rest and mild excercise has greatly helped. Though I do not know what the cause or problem is, I am feeling better every week. In three months i have gone from hardly sleeping a full night to being able to lie comforably on a cervical pillow at night. Good luck and be patient.
Avatar universal
my nuerologist called it a c2 headache, had pain doc give me a shot in back of head for c2 headache, they havegone away, I cqn feel them start in my neck but they do not progress.  Got about 8 months relief, they are starting to come back, I was told I could get another shot.  This does not help the migraines just the c2 headaches, which is worse than the migraines.
Hi I am having these exact symptoms could you please tell what was the injection you got that helped? Thanks
Avatar universal
• Hi FPH, I believe I may be able to help or give you some direction to pursue for pain relief.  I currently have and had in the past the very scenario you speak of.  Neck and shoulder pain, jaw and ear pain, tinnitus, stiff and sore neck, headaches that radiate from back of skull to the side to even behind eyes.  I unfortunately suffered a severe concussion in a football game in high school and several years later ended up being diagnosed with degenerative disc disease.  I have had upper back and neck pain to a certain degree for 35 years now.  In 2000 I had a cervical fusion in my C-4, C-5 and C-6 area of my neck.  The surgical pathway was the only option available back then, but since 2000, there have been great strides in pain management with non-intrusive procedures.
• First of all, you have to be your own driver of the pain bus concerning your health as the health industry has changed and I will give you what direction I can based on numerous years of experience with this.  
• Have you had an MRI scan to find out the condition of your spine in the affected area?  If not, I would call for an appt. with your primary and setup a MRI to determine the condition of your cervical and thoracic spine.  For peace of mind, you really want to find out the condition of your spine in the pain areas before anybody touches you.  Most important item would be to find out if there is a disc bulge associated with possible spinal stenosis and to what degree it is. You can then contact a pain management clinic near you that specializes in nerve blocks and RF ablations.  
• This nerve ablation procedure has given me my life back and will give you yours back also if that is the avenue you choose.  The process is this: the pain management specialist will evaluate your condition based on your current symptoms and MRI films and will target the nerve or nerves that are causing the pain.  Is it bilateral-both sides of your neck or just one side?  He or she will then perform a nerve block procedure on the very nerve they feel is sending the pain signals to your brain and deaden the nerve with a lidocaine injection(nerve block).  If they have the correct nerve, your pain will disappear instantly.  Procedure takes all of 20 minutes tops, not intrusive at all, you are completely awake and aware of everything and you walk out pain free until the lodocaine wears off.  If they have the correct nerve, they will wait a couple weeks for healing of the site and then perform the procedure once more for insurance coverage purposes and then schedule you for the nerve ablation. The RF nerve ablation is where they target the same nerve again and will run radio frequency nerves through a needle to sever the nerve causing the pain.
• Again this final RF ablation will take 20 minutes and you will walk out pain free.  They say it will take appr. 30 days for the severed ends of the nerve to heal over, but in my case I was pain free instantly and permanently in that area.
• If you have a type of degenerative disc disease in certain areas, there is no permanent fix despite what surgeons will tell you.  Disc’s can’t be replaced or repaired and spinal fusions are not the solution as fusions cause the discs above and below to work harder and then they will wear out also so back to square one.
• Please don’t allow anyone to perform a spinal fusion on you until you get a second opinion from a pain management specialist as fusions are forever and they have their side effects.  Remember, you are the driver of the bus and I am grateful that I found RF ablations as they allow me to live pain free.  24\7 Pain and headaches stink!!    
A wake up call - after Radio Frequency - 9 - 9 1/2 pain for 27 day!!! I've had 4 home births with no pain medication so I can judge pain more than most. It was like the pain of pushing out a baby with no med's but that same pain - not for 10 or 15 hours but 24/7 for 27 days -cruelty. x 10,000 will the nerve screamed as it died! I have no ptsd in life except for flash backs of that pain! It is likely how injured. your nerve is to the outcome of the range of pain afterwards. I handle pain very well but this was torturer - like someone skinning your meat off your head with their bare hands. Just being forward if someone is thinking of rfa just know some many recover with a 5 pain and some a 9 for 1 month straight!
Avatar universal
The eye movement pain is caused by the muscle on the side of the neck which runs from the bone behind the ear to the front of your collar bone.
2 natural items which are good for inflammation are turmeric powder and garlic.
Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder to a quarter glass of warm milk and drink before you sleep. OR
Take 1 clove of garlic and chop into little pieces then swallow like you would take any medicine. (Do not chew the garlic or your mouth will sting for days)
After doing one of the two items get some deep heat or Voltaren cream and apply on the back and sides of the neck. The pain should go away within about 30 mins.
Also completely remove any pillows . If you need something then use a rolled up hand towel and place it under your neck to support your only your neck/spine.
Once you are feeling better and able to do things I would suggest to  do some neck exercises to strengthen the muscles and reduce the chances of further pains.
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