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Headaches Following a Stroke

Hello,
I am 32 years old and sufferred a small stroke on August 7.  I am doing pretty well except for some numbness in my left hand and SEVERE headaches.  Has anyone ever experienced severe headaches after having a stroke?  I was put back in the hospital earlier this week because the pain was so bad, and nothing I was taking was having any effect on it.  Even in the hospital, I was on an IV of dilaudid and that only helped minimally.  I came home on Wednesday and the headaches had abated somewhat, but now they are back and as painful as ever.  This is especially hard because I have a 3 1/2 year old and a 16 month old and am having trouble taking care of them, even just getting out of bed is difficult.  At the hospital the neurologists ran several more tests and could not pinpoint a reason why I am having these headaches.  Did this ever happen to any of you, and if so, what did you do about it?  I can't live like this....   Thank you!  
2 Responses
Avatar universal
I really hope that your severe headaches have gotten much better by this time.  This is an example of one answer from a "health expert" that I found while searching the internet for your question.  "Headache after stroke is not uncommon, though not routine by any means. They can be disabling and I'd recommend you seek care from an actual headache expert for better treatment options."

Also I found a lot of responses on the "The Daily Headache" website under "headaches following a stroke".  There were many people experiencing migraines after their strokes.

My neurologist thinks that my 24/7 migraines were caused by my carotid artery dissection stroke 3 years ago, but no tests proved it.  BUT DON'T PANIC.  I had a major stroke at an older age than you are (56 years old).  So, that doesn't mean that your headaches will last anywhere near that long.  Yes, mine were severe 24/7.  I have since gotten a lot of treatments and procedures which have caused mostly mild headaches daily, but they do frequently get severe, especially when I do a little too much in a day.

You should definately see a neurologist if your severe headaches are still persisting, especially a doctor who specializes with headaches.  The first neurologist that treated mine was a complete idiot putting me on daily pain pills which just perpetuate the migraines through rebound headaches.  You should instead look for daily prophylactic meds to prevent the headaches.  I have no idea if my treatments would help you, but I got rid of the daily severe migraines once I had nerve block injections, got off the opiate pain pills and later also got Botox injections.  Plus many other treatments.  So get a good doctor who will be able to help you.  If I can be helped, anyone can be.

Please keep me posted about how you are doing.  I really do care.
Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hi there. These headaches could be primary like migraines, cluster or tension headaches depending on the characteristic of the headaches you are having. The onset post stroke could be incidental. These headaches could be due to stress, anxiety, migraines or tension headaches, sinus headaches radiating to the ear, headache usually front of head, on one or both  the sides of temples along with nausea, vomiting, irritability, low blood pressure, sensitivity to lights, sound, etc. aura associated with migraines could include blind spots, blindness in half of your visual field, paresthesia, weakness or visual hallucinations. Your vision needs detailed testing by an ophthalmologist. Hypertension and hypotension need to be checked. An MRI brain is warranted to rule out any intracranial lesion particularly aneurysm and MRI spine for ruling out cervical spondylosis and degenerative disc disease.  Temporal tendinitis mimics migraines including TMJ pain temporal headaches, tooth sensitivity, neck and shoulder pain. Treatment includes injecting local anesthetics and other medicines, moist heat muscle relaxants and NSAIDs along with physiotherapy. Multiple sclerosis would also need to be excluded. Treatment for migraines include drugs that prevent the attack like anti convulsants and drugs which treat an attack like triptans, ergots etc your queries should pertain to all these possible differential diagnoses. Trigeminal neuralgia needs to be considered. If your husband had a cerebral aneurysm, it can be confirmed with cerebral angiography and clipping of the aneurysm could be done. Hope this helps. Take care.






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