HEADACHES WITH NECK OSTEOARTHRITIS

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Hello. I am 71 female and have had OA in the knees, spine and neck. I have recently been diagnosed with mild fibromyalgia. I have recently found out that I am low in vit B12. I see the GP to discuss this on Monday. My question is this I have always been a headache sufferer, migraines and tension headaches. I now get a lot of headaches which I think are from the neck and shoulders. Can you tell me what neck arthritis headaches are like. I do get odd pains over the backof the head which are short lived if turning suddenly bending etc but I also get pain not severe on one side of the head. I also have rhinitis and associated hayfever so it is hard to know what is causing what. I can only take paracetamol as I have digestive problems so can't take ibuprofen etc. In any case my gp says you should not take them at my age. Thanks.

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  • Posted

    Hi Libralady

    I can't describe arthritis caused headaches but I have osteoarthritis all over the place and do get headaches including mild migraine by which I mean that although I used to get a full blown migraine now I just get the aura and sometimes a more normal headache afterwards. I find Migrastick works wonders for my headaches. It's a menthol roll on (chemists, amazon) which I find better than other menthol headache products - I don't know why. Also something cold across the back of the neck helps migraine. Perhaps you could also ask your doctor about a magnesium supplement. Apparently many people are short of magnesium and it can help relax muscles if you are tense. Best wishes Linda

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    • Posted

      Thank you Linda for your reply. I know what you mean about migraines I used to get bad headaches which started in my 20's , fortunately not too often. When I went though the menopause they really kicked in with vomiting. Once through they improved and when I get one now sometimes I have the Aura and then a mild headache. I will look for migrastick. I am going to gp on Monday as I am low in B12 whether that can cause headaches I don't know but will try and remember to mention magnesium. I have so many health problems sometimes I get bit over whelmed. Best wishes to you and hope all goes well for you. Carol

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  • Posted

    Can you get some physiotherapy? You may be developing very tight muscles which can cause referred pain and a good physiotherapist can help to relax those muscles and teach you techniques to help you achieve better muscle tone.

    As an aside I developed morning headaches which turned out to be a result of low salt intake! So it might be worth your doctor doing some investigation if simple exercise and physiotherapy don't help because there can be a number of causes for headache, not all of them what you'd think of immediately.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Anhaga for your reply. Yes I and my husband are intending to ask about physio when we go to see our GP on Monday. I have already had one session with a physiotherapist it was a self referral on nhs but I only had the one appointment and was given some exercises which I still do. You maybe right about tight muscles I suffered from anxiety a while back and I do have it mostly under control.

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    I'm also 71 and about four years ago was diagnosed with OA after having a MRI regarding headaches.

    I have had migraines for about 40 years on and off. I was told by the neurologist that apart from medication I should have physio and acupuncture which I did as often as I could. I also found that using a rubber ball and moving it up and down my spine against a wall was helpful. The headaches I was getting seemed to be outside my scull and radiating over the top of the head. After about 6 months the acupuncturist gave me a brochure on a yoga method called makko ho which is a stretching method. I started doing this every day for about 10 mins and found that the headaches disappeared and my upper spine became pain free. I now do the stretches about twice a week and apart from a flareup about once a year am pain and medication free. I am able to sit on the floor to do the stretches but they can be done on a bed or couch if necessary. Go to you tube and have a look. I do 20 fast of three of the stretches and then repeat them 3 times. You can actually feel your spine stretching as you continue. When I first started could bend forward about 2 inches but that improves as you continue. I was given a medication at the time but after about 3 days of taking it my stomach got so upset I than had to take something else to fix that. And so the merry go round starts.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Kate63976 for your interesting reply. I am worried about any medication which might upset the stomach as many do. Having IBS which is under control at the moment I would not want to take anything to make it worse. My GP and the rheumatolgist who diagnosed the Fibromyalgia on top of the OA suggested various medications to take at night they all seem to have a long list of side effects and as I have Glaucoma steroids and some of the drugs suggested have a contraindication for Glaucoma as they raise the eye pressures. The stretches you mention seem very interesting and if you could do them seated that is good because I cannot get on to the floor or into a bath now. I am hoping my husband will be able to eventually get a hip replacement but who knows with NHS we both need to lose weight and get fitter him in preparation for surgery and me to be able to look after him. It is a big worry for me. I will certainly look up the stretches on UTube. Thank you and I am so glad you have found something which helps you and keeps you pain free.

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    • Posted

      I meant to say Kate I do some stretched which the physio last year gave me they did help a lot at first but not so helpful now. The usual head forward and back to the sides and pushing the head to one using your hand to push as far as you can go doing this both sides. I have looked on Utube and everything I can see would be far too difficult for me to do. Could you possibly private message me a link to the ones you do if this is possible. Many thanks.

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    • Posted

      I also had a look on line and I know some of the stretches would be impossible. But maybe it's like any kind of yoga, you just do what you can, go as far as you can without pain?

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    • Posted

      I looked on line and there are six exercises, none of which jump out at me as being the three you have selected to do, Or do you do them all over the course of the day? I do know I couldn't manage most of them. Some are similar to ones I used to do and can no longer. Getting PMR in later life has really caused some limitations.

      I suppose one just goes as far as is possible for oneself, knowing it's unlikely we can achieve what the demonstrator can!?

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  • Posted

    The only three I do are (1) sitting with my legs crossed in front of me and back and neck reasonably straight. Bending forward with head and neck straight as far as I can go and repeating 20 times.

    (2) placing legs out in front and trying to touch toes with hands. (sometimes this is hard to manage)

    (3) placing legs outwards and bending forward touching the floor with hands. All quite simple and I manage with my back to a wall. I have done these on the bed just sitting up and on a chair with another chair out in front. Good luck.

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