Is it really a migraine? tension

I spent years with foolish neurologists who thought I had migraines. Every migraine medication failed with bad side effects. My symptoms were off. It’s like they weren’t aware there are other kinds of headaches, some, really as painful as severe migraines.

I have chronic tension headache. I’m always at some level of pain, but I can mostly get by, though it does affect my concentration. I found a neurologist who specialized in headaches treatment. Chorizo, steroid treatment, botox… None worked. One day I bought a memory foam contour pillow. It was like a miracle! I still have pain, but never anything as severe as it used to be.

My point is… Ask questions. You may have something besides migraine. If your doctor isn’t open to discussing those things, do what I did. Say, “You’re an idiot.” CNN find another doctor. To many people are focused on migraines. Realistically, you can’t have a migraine for weeks and be likely to survive. You certainly wouldn’t be functional. You’d be in the hospital. Been there myself.

You may have migraines. But you might have cluster headaches or tension headaches. Track your pain carefully and talk to your doctor. The answer could be as simple as the right pillow!

With love and understanding
Melissa

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I know exactly where you are coming from. my headaches are aftermath of an automobile accident that I had back in 1995 and multiple CSF leaks, meningitis everything you can think of going wrong has gone wrong. I now have had two shunts replaced and quite a few revisions of the shunt, reattached my left ear and they reattached my left eye and due to a eye Surgeon who (excuse) had his head up his ass screwed my eye sight in my left eye up worse than it was. so besides having double vision I have no depth perception and my double vision is at a angle and that changes and then to top the eye thing off I have floaters also. I have had 3 pretty bad strokes 2 in the past 6.5 months. However, all they can do is blame it on something else. Yet there not the one who is pain 24/7. Its just a pay check to them$$. I have tried one of those pillows u speak of, I have had no relief unfortunately. If you have any other thoughts my Ear is open.

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Oh dear. You have been through the wringer! The contour pillow may not be right for you. But if you had a triggering event, there should be a solution. My tension is constant, so there’s always some pain. Have they done MRI and CT scans of your neck?

Do you have constant tension in your neck and shoulders? If not, you nasty have a different kind of headache. Try to find a headache specialist in your area.

Your vision issues could be a factor in your headaches. I hate it as a suggestion, but you might be better off with a prosthetic eye.

When I was 16 I was in an accident. I want wearing my seatbelt, and my head slammed into the windshield, giving me a concussion and splitting my left eyelid in half. I was very lucky. A 2005 accident left me with broken fact joints along my lower spine. There is no solution for it. I got screwed in court because of a lost attorney and crappy jury.

Anyway…
If you can’t find a headache specialist, look for a physiatrist. They are a kind of doctor who tries to figure out what other doctors can’t.

I’m so sorry you are in pain and having so many problems. I’m here for you if you have any other questions or just want to vent or talk. I pray you don’t have any more strokes. hugs

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Wish I could edit posts to fix my typos

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Hi @Melissa01—I apologize that editing posts isn’t available in the app yet. But you can edit posts by signing in to the community on the web at
community.carezone.com. Just sign in with your registered email and password.

I’m here if you have any questions!

—Ivy
Community Manager

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I also wanted to share that there’s a suggestion topic for editing community posts on mobile. If you’d like to show your support for this idea, you can like the topic or reply to it in the link below:

https://community.carezone.com/t/edit-community-posts-on-mobile/4858/2

Your support for new ideas helps our developers prioritize features for future releases. :)

Thank you!

—Ivy
Community Manager

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I’ve lived this migraine life now for sixteen(16) years after slipping on a patch of ice on my outdoor stairs. I fell down landing on my neck and upper back causing six(6) spinal hernias the worst being between C6 and C7. From this unlucky day forward I’ve found out what migraines are like, to those who’ve never had one there is no easy explanation. It’s not a bad headache, the best explanation is, it is the worst headache anyone can imagine. Further making things worse is the simple fact that a migraine is not able to be treated with a couple of tylenol tablets and a stiff upper lip.

I’ve been told to suck it up, handed bottles of Excedrin Migraine, and the worst ever is to have a doctor tell me that it was all in my head. Obviously having had a previous mental health diagnosis meant that there was no chance whatsoever of actual physical damage to my body. Heck this doctor even tried to continue telling me the pain was all a hallicunation even after having a MRI scan done which clearly showed a six(6) millimeter compression on the spine and facette joint area.

Most of the time when you go in to see a doctor or even more importantly a specialist society has preprogrammed us to accept whatever the provider tells us is going on as gospel truth. However what I have found to be more often the truth is that these GODs of modern medicine are actually quite fallible humans with egos the size which can not be encompassed by the average person’s mind. "I’ve been to medical school what are your credentials… No matter I’ll make you feel alright because I have specialty training which you must stand in awe of. " As such being my experience when I find a doctor or specialist who actually listens to me and takes my concerns into consideration these are the medical team whom I surround myself with. Be careful, study what your symptoms could be a result of and then ask a lot of questions to that provider before accepting their treatment plan. If you get home and find that something isn’t working the way you think it should contact your provider and again discuss what you are seeing/experiencing and ask for advice. Today’s doctors have very little time to actually spend with their patients so come prepared with a list of what you want/need to discuss during your fifteen(15) minutes of face to face time. Also make sure that what one doctor is doing is not impeding/affecting what a different provider is treating you for. Lastly remember that you are you first and last line of defense you have to take responsibility for your treatment for everything from taking your meds on time and as prescribed to what questions you ask the providers you see. It really does change the game when you take back control of your health care, rather than being a passive entity. The more active you are in your care the better your results will be.

Best wishes,

NoCo_Jeff

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Thank you for this! Because I am in some level of head pain EVERYDAY. It never goes away. Only the level changes. Since I’ve been back in my home state treatment has been hell. Botox worked when I was in Va. but now I’m starting all over and nothing is working. And insurance won’t approve Botox.

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Excellent post, Jeff! Very thoughtful, good advice!

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If your home state is Maryland, look into Mid-Atlantic Headache Institute. If not, see if you can find something similar. You want someone who really understands headaches. I’m so sorry you’re suffering and that your insurance is full of jerks.

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Thanks. No I’m in Massachusetts. I have a new Nuerological doctor they are fighting for me with the insurance to approve the Botox. I have more than 15 a month. Technically everyday. Ugh

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I have gone through all the pain management docs in northern Colorado with the crack down on narcotics. Finally I found a doc in Denver who with listen to me and at least hear my concerns before making any decision. This is something that I have missed for the past 4 years at losing a dang good clinician to retirement. So if you find a doc that doesn’t fit you keep looking until you find someone who you feel that will respect your interests and uphold the hippocratic oath, in your interests.

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I have had migraines for a very long time since chemotherapy. Lots pills, oils, many types of pillows and new mattress etc etc. I have found some relief since taking lidocaine shots through my neurologist. There was a period that the insurance company did not cover them and the headaches got worse so I know that there is a positive effect. Recently I have noted more tension headaches in my temples and light sensitive migraines …anybody have a solution for these?

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Yes some pillows will increase your headaches myself I use a hard pillow it works for me just thought I’d share that but keep your head elevated while resting little higher than the rest of your body

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This is super helpful! I have my first appointment with a neurologist next week. A GP diagnosed tension headaches and they have been pretty bad lately! Hopefully my consultation with the neurologist goes well. Many thanks for the tips!

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You mentioned that your pain is constant. There are 2 things I would highly recommend:

Diclofenac Gel. It’s prescription. I don’t know how my it would cost you (it shouldn’t be too much because it’s generic), but it’s definitely worth it. And don’t go by the dosage card they have in the box! That’s enough to take a bath in! Just a small dot on your finger will cover a larger area than you would imagine and you can always apply more. 2). If you can’t get a prescription for the Diclofenac Gel or you can’t afford it, try the line of Salon Pas products. They have both a lidocaine gel and a pain relief gel that work really good and they have large lidocaine patches, pain relief patches as well as a pain patch with menthol. They are on the expensive side, but if you’re going to try one, my personal preference is the one with menthol. They also have smaller patches (about 2”x4”) that are very affordable. You can get them at CVS, Walgreens, WalMart. At COSTCO or Sam’s Club you can get a box of 40 patches for between $10-15.00.

Good luck. Stay safe.

You mentioned that your pain is constant. There are 2 things I would highly recommend:

Diclofenac Gel. It’s prescription. I don’t know how my it would cost you (it shouldn’t be too much because it’s generic), but it’s definitely worth it. And don’t go by the dosage card they have in the box! That’s enough to take a bath in! Just a small dot on your finger will cover a larger area than you would imagine and you can always apply more. 2). If you can’t get a prescription for the Diclofenac Gel or you can’t afford it, try the line of Salon Pas products. They have both a lidocaine gel and a pain relief gel that work really good and they have large lidocaine patches, pain relief patches as well as a pain patch with menthol. They are on the expensive side, but if you’re going to try one, my personal preference is the one with menthol. They also have smaller patches (about 2”x4”) that are very affordable. You can get them at CVS, Walgreens, WalMart. At COSTCO or Sam’s Club you can get a box of 40 patches for between $10-15.00.

Good luck. Stay safe.

Ha e you tried PT? I had that at one point. They say to make sure they are looking into everything. Migraines/headaches can also be a result of something being off in our body. Tension in our joint especially neck and shoulder areas.

I appreciate the thought. Yes I did two years of Chiropractic work on my neck and lower back. Presently I am doing a big shot switch seem to be improving migraines some degree