diagnosed with cervical spondylosis....terrible headache

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i have been signed off work for the last 7 weeks due to a horrific constant headache.After a mri scan last week iv been diagnosed with cervical spondylosis.I have read alot of the posted articles and dont have many of the sypmtoms described by many of you, (numbness and tingling), but have had a chronic headache. Thought to be tension headache initially by doctors i can only describe it as having a balloon blowing up in size under the top and front of my head whilst it being crushed in a vice.iv had very little concentration due to the pain and cannot hold a thought in my head.Obviously its been a horrible experience and i was convinced i had something very sinister going on.im waiting to see a specialist in 4 weeks and am just starting a course of diclofenic and consulting my physio tomorow.has anyone else had these type of symptoms prior to being diagnosed and has anything you done helped?many thanks for any reply

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  • Posted

    Hi Spike

    You have my sympathy, i was diagnosed with CS about 10 years ago, but its only in the last month that I have had the terrible headaches as you describe.

    I swam every day and I thing this has set of the pain?

    My Doctor has prescribed amiltripline (anti-depressant drug) for the pain,It seemingly is very good at blocking the pain signal getting to the brain.

    It seems to work most of the day until about 8pm when my head then feels as if it is going to explode and my kneck muscles are not strong enough to support my head.

    When you first try this drug, you are very sleepy for the first few days and then that seems to wear off

    good luck with physio i am waiting also on appointment.

    This web site is a great help and support as many people have good tips on how to deal with pain and the condition

    regard

    juan

    Edinburgh

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  • Posted

    thanks for your reply,the doctors did try me on a course of amiltriptine but it really did not agree with me,im also diabetic and it can afffect your sugar level control.mine is very good but it was the sickness and general dizziness i couldnt handle.apparently there is a drug in the same family as amil which i may try in the future.im sad to hear that swimming may have triggered your latest bout because i love to be ctive.iv ran a half marathon this year,love to swim and was hoping to do a triathlon next year.im guessing after my consultation i'l discover which exercise options are going to be available,im a qualified diving instructor and iv already been told that i wont be diving anymore.its pretty hard to be positive at the moment sad
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  • Posted

    Hi,

    I'm 56 and have had c/s for 30 years. I recognise and sympathise with your description of unrelenting headaches from my early experiences. My experience is this... if you can ease or, hopefully, get rid of the headache, then the whole c/s thing becomes easier to manage. I've posted some tips that may be helpfull..look under cervical spondylosis headache tips.

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    • Posted

      Hi

      My wife has recently been diagnosed with this condition and has been experiencing awful headaches for 3 weeks.

      I note your reference to tips for dealing with these headaches, but can't find the post.

      Would you be so kind as to send me a link please?

      Thanks in advance...

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    Just wondering if you managed to find any relief from the headaches. I have had them for 8 months!!! Came out of nowhere after spending a week decorating. Only recently been diagnosed with CS as they initially thought tension headache and then it took 3 months for referral to Neurologist and another 2 to have MRI done and results back. My Dr is having me gradually reduce Gabapentin dosage at the moment as it only seems to work for a short period of time after increasing dosage and I can't do that forever. I have reduced from 1300 pd to 800 so far. I am also having Physio and trying acupuncture at the moment. Physio says i'm unusual cos no specific pressure point to bring on or re-leave pain. Any advice you can give would be much appreciated

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  • Posted

    Hi there, I've suffered with CS for just over 4 years now, haven't slept properly without pain pretty much for all that time.  I've been on Amitryptline for just over 2 years and that doesn't seem to work anymore.  I've tried just about everything to stop the numbness and pain in my arms and suffer with bad headaches pretty much constantly.....that was until I started Acupuncture!  The way my acupuncturist described it to me is that the muscles are tight and tense around the discs, which then push the discs into the spinal cord and nerve endings causing the pain. The acupuncturist needles these muscles relaxing them away from the discs and the nerves making the pain go away.  We started with a 90 minute session once a week, then every two weeks, we tried a month but my headaches came back so I currently see him once every 3 weeks.  In fact I went Thursday with a hideous headache and left without one all thanks to having about 20 needles stuck in my neck!  I actually look forward to my appointment as I know I will actually sleep without pain and not wake up with a headache like I normally do! My only worry now is that my wonderful acupuncturist is at retirement age and I just pray he never gives up working! 

    Do try Acupuncture, I did have 8 sessions on the NHS but they only used about 3 needles for 20 minutes which really didn't help long term.  I found it best to go to private Acupuncturist who use lots of needles for 40 minutes then 40 minutes of the tens machine.  

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    • Posted

      Hi Carole, I have tried a course of Acupuncture and it did not help , but agrivated my pain. You see I have C S and chronic paroxi mal hemichrania, it is the severest form of migraine type headache and the acupuncure made it worse. I am trying out a Tens machine ,30 mins each day and i think it has helped a little.

      Regars Juan

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    • Posted

      Aww sorry to hear that, I suffer from Migraines too, but I only seem to get them if I don't take painkillers in time...luckily only 3-4 times a year.  I really do feel for you, Migraines are the worst kind of pain ever.  Glad you are finding the tens machine ok, I might dig mine out and give it a try, I've had a headache I can't shift since Saturday, I think stress plays a big part in mine too.  Hope you feel better soon, take care.
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    • Posted

      Just got Diagnosed. Still waiting to see The Specialist I have been misdiagnosed for at least a decade or more. Again I love the TENS unit heat and ice and always have back and head pain. Waiting to see a specialist. I was told for years it was fibromyalgia. .... no its a lot different.
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  • Posted

    Hi

    i have had cs for 7 years and headaches as you describe as well as the general symptoms. I was told that it is part of the nerve damage of cs that causes the numbing or tingling feelings in others.  Disclose arc is more of an inflammatory drug rather than a direct pain killer so you could ask for some kind of strong painkiller.  I also found lying down in a quiet and dark room helps.  Good luck Juliet.

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  • Posted

    hi i also sympathise with you i have headache (head pain ) as it feels more like built up pressure at the back of my head radiating to the top i suffer with this every single day lying down makes it worse and sends a sharp pain across my head ive had 2 lots of surgery in 3 years c4 c5 disc replacement and fusion in 2011 and c6 c7 facectomy and c7 nerve root decompression 8 weeks ago this was done on the right side since surgery im now suffering on left side same symptons my head pain tight calves both legs bladder urgency and unable to open bowels without laxatives and eanamas (sorry if spelt wrong ) on both ocassions headaches have been main sympton to diagnosis i know i have spinal stenosis and ddd can i claim disability payments ive been on sick 3mths and just been signed of for another 13 weeks im 47 feel my life is over
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    • Posted

      God I sympathise with you, Ive also had problems with bowel movement, and bladder urgency,I told the doctor she just gave me laxatives, but I thought this might have something to do with CS, having read youre post I now see it is.
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  • Posted

    Hi All.....have had CS for about 20 years. The main symptom for all these years has been stiff neck coming on overmight and causing severe headache waking me up. The frequency of the headaches increased over the years until I lived on codeine/aspirin about 20 days out of every 30. Physical therapy, acupuncture, swimming, gym, walking did not help and sometimes aggravated. Sitting at computeter caused tingling and burning in the shoulders, as did walking briskly both off and on the treadmill. I recently retired and began a search for a solution. I had heard of spinal decompression on the computerized machine and after consulting with my chiropractor decided to try it. I was desperate to try anything at that point. Lo and behold..to my great surprise...after a full course of 20 treatments I was for the most part pain free. The treatment reduced my headaches to max 4 days a month....a huge improvement. I am wondering how many of you have tried this.

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  • Posted

    Hi

    I have the same diagnosis and suffer headaches ,sometimes these are very intense.

    My advice is to take your painkillers regularly, keep your neck moving(lots of neck exercises on phyio sites) ,try and lower your shoulders,you will find if you stand in front of amirror that they are creeping up to your ears.

    Ialso have my neck massagedonce afortnight as headache can be from your neck muscles going into spasm.

    Wear a scarf and keep ypur neck warm.

    When i have aflare up of pain i get up in the night and move my neck around and then try and sleep on the side that hurts most.

    Saunas can also give short term relief as again they can help relax muscle tension.

    Do not stop trying to have anormal life,I have found my neck can be really bad whether i have been active or not.

    I hope things improve and you are able to resume work soon.

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  • Posted

    Obviously lots of folk here sharing their tales of headaches resulting from C/S.  Maybe 'headaches' gives the wrong impression....usually it's pain at rear and base of head, with associated sense of pressure and muggy discomfort. But that's just nit-picking !  I agree that it doesn't seem to matter whether one's been active or not for the muggy sore head to manifest itself,  although certain activities such as looking upwards, reaching above or behind,  or lifting heavy stuff can aggravate, maybe even instigate, a rough phase.  Sometimes it seems to appear from nowhere !....and that suggests to me that exercises don't matter, except in the sense they might further aggravate.  What does seem important to me,  is to attempt to discover comfort zones where the least aggravation is possible,  and that includes sleeping in the postures which offer the greatest comfort, and the least straining.  I've found that discovering those options has reduced my  previously continuous headaches ( and required meds) to less than one tenth of what I used to experience.  Maybe different for others depending on different varieties of degeneration.

    I'm interested in hearing more about 'decompression on a computer machine' as described in a previous post.  Can anyone describe their experience of that,  or the details of the treatment ?  Thanks in advance.

    Gerry

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    • Posted

      Hi Gerry.....the treatment I referred t above is call Non-Surgical Spinal Decmpression Therapy....if you google it you will find the information you are looking for. I will try to paste here some infomation which summarizes the treatment pretty well.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinal_decompression

      Emis Moderator comment: I have removed the article that was pasted in full here as it may breach other website's copyright and replaced with a link to the Wiki article on this. Please do not paste whole articles in posts. You can add a link to it and this will be approved as long as it complies with rules for posting links. If it doesn't then links can be exchanged via the Private Message service.

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    • Posted

      Thank for for a detailed and appreciated description of the technique.  I think you show a sensitivity towards the trapped nerve issue which isn't always evident in appraisals of other methods.  I was just thinking,  about one third of the way through, that this looks like an updated version of traction (particularly neck traction),  until you more or less admitted the same.  Unfortunately, traction has acquired a bad reputation for treating neck issues.  As with all externally applied neck decompression manipulations,  there is an inherent risk of vascular compression,  sometimes leading to stroke...I believe there is currently a case going through the Canadian Courts concerning that issue.  I was wondering how you might explain how your proposed treatment would help to negate that risk  ?

      Also,  in terms of your advertising of your own product/treatment,  I am aware that, in the world of alternative treatments, there is less scrutiny for evidence based statistics being used in support.  The success stats  you quote seem to be designed to give the treatment the best possible support,  and that arouses, naturally,  a sense of possible manipulation.  May not be true,  but worth pointing out in case anyone needs to make an informed choice.  Your technique seems to be a neo-sensitive approach to the issues,  and I'll give credit for that,  but it doesn't go nearly far enough to explain in detail the intrinsic nature of the conditions it purports to treat.  I would definitely bquestion the 'restoring nutrients' factor,  because without the tools to measure that claim,  it would seem to be a claim too far.

      Besides that,  thank you again for taking the trouble,  and I'd be interested in any response you might care to share.

      Gerry

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