Neck position and aura migraines

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I have a lot of neck degeneration and when I look down I get a migraine with aura.  I am getting and I was supposed till nerve block in two days to help me with this any thoughts? Thanks,

Laurie 

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  • Posted

    That was supposed to say I am getting an occipital nerve block in 2 days.  

    Thanks, Laurie 

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  • Posted

    Hi Laurie,

    The nerve block injections are good and I am sure you will handle them ok, just be strong.  Whether they will help you long term you will have to see.  They only stopped my cluster headaches for a few days.  I now have Botox injections for Hemiplegic migraine which are way better for me.

    Good luck and I hope they resolve your migraines

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    • Posted

      Thanks. My Dr gave me 2 pills that will help take the edge off. The weird thing is, it's only when my neck is in the certain position. My worry is that these injections won't affect the problem. Laurie
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  • Posted

    Hi Laurie how did you find out you have neck degeneration? I often get terrible neck pain for days before my migraines like I've injured it and wondered if it's associated? Good luck with your nerve block. Kate.
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    • Posted

      Thanks Kate. I found out I had bad neck issues from exrays, and MRI's. Maybe you should have yours checked out. I did read though that a stiff neck can be a symptom before a migraine. Laurie
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  • Posted

    I have the same problem in (deg. disc disease) my entire spine and have had a fusion in my neck 4,5,6..lamenectomy in lower back. I have had so many nerve block injections and found for me any way that they are just band aids that only last a couple of weeks. Are they going in through the front of your neck and will you be under anestheia? I've had them done in a few different ways.  Best of luck to ya.  I hope it works for you. 
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    • Posted

      Thanks Teri. I will take 2 pills ti take the edge off but it will be an injection in the back high in my neck I think. And I think only one.. Could be more. Laurie
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    • Posted

      I pray it helps you and you won't need to go through so much. Let us know how you're feeling aftwards and how long it lasts. Take good care and journal your pain if you can. 
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  • Posted

    I will be starting botox injections in about a week and am hoping this is the last of many yrs. of pain. As for degeneration, I'm not sure if that can ever be fixed as we age.. it seems to get worse, but I'd rather have neck pain then migraine any day. 
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  • Posted

    Laurie,

    I am sorry to hear you have been in so much pain. You said you are scheduled for an occipital nerve block? Usually there are two reasons they do a nerve block, either to determine if one specific nerve is causing the pain, as a trial for possible later radiofrequency ablation, which is a much more permanent procedure OR the nerve blocks are done often using a combination of numbing medications such as lidocaine, marcaine, etc. and steroids to

    (1) attempt abort pain currently in progress as a means of immediate but temporary relief. (2) Give some relief with repeated blocks in order to allow time for new preventative medications to take action and provide relief. (3) The numbing medication can provide some temporary relief and the steroid therapy with repeated injections hopes to reduce inflammation around the nerves that may be causing continued pain. If you aren't sure of which reason they are doing the block I would recommend you discuss with your doctor their intentions and expectations so you know what to expect.

    I have experience with nerve blocks for reason #3.

    My background and what led me to these treatments:

    -migraines since 2009 became increasingly worse and med resistant.

    -diagnosed in 2014 with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH); one symptom is severe headaches which are treated the same as migraines.

    -Past two years migraines escalated lasting 9-15 days per episode, with lesser headache until my next episode a week or two later.

    -At home therapies provided partial relief for a few hours, still requiring bed rest. After meds wore off pain came right back.

    -Current abortive therapy is DHE infusion cocktail at the ER. My neuro calls it in so they don't give me the whole drug seeker thing. -Referred to a headache clinic for additional treatment ideas.

    -Finishing headache calendars for possible botox approval (yes, I suck started & then forget a few days, a week or more so I'd stary over. In hind sight I feel like crap all the time, could have marked that j/k.

    The headache clinic is 110 miles away, one way, but desperation will make you do things. My husband always drives me because I barely trust myself to drive because of how bad my symptoms have gotten.

    The headache clinic doctor made the usual suggestion; lose weight, which we all know is simple when you are in excruciating pain on a daily basis! IIH with also makes many people exercise intolerant because exercise increases the pressure in your head = pain.

    He also wanted to clean up some of the many medications I take, Effexor XR was the first. My GP prescribed it for anxiety & depression immediately following my separation from an abusive husband in 2009.

    The doctor wanted to clean up unneeded medications that may cloud true migraine headache from side effects from my taking SO many meds. They were obviously not doing me any favors on the headache side. Next med to go Propranolol, after I return to normal from the Effexor cessation.

    He recommended a series of 6 sets of trigger point and nerve block injections, one set every two weeks. Ijust completed my 4th set of injections. The injections I receive are a combination of Lidocaine, Marcaine, and Decadron. I get anywhere from 40-60 injections in my head, face, and neck during a session. You will not receive that many if they are only doing the occipital nerve block. I am receiving 12 different nerve blocks done bilaterally so automatically 24 injections without adding any to trigger points. My doctor does these with no imaging guidance, I do not receive any local anesthetic injections prior to the blocks and trigger point injections, I've read both are possible so you may want to ask your doctor how they do it . The occipital nerve injection goes right above where your neck and head meet, there is a bump on each side of your head in your hair, so just below there is what it feels like to me. My doctor also does some other injections, not as bad as the actual block, though they feel very sharp, up through my hair above where the nerve follows up toward the top of your head. So what you'll experience is obviously some pain, sometimes sharp due to nerves involved. You'll probably also feel a pressure with a good amount of discomfort as the solution is going in. Afterward the area will feel numb but it wears off. They say different amounts of time for different people, me personally it has been anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours, time the lessened pain lasts seems to increase as I receive more injection sets. I've read some people get relief for days, or a week or two. Due to my getting so many injections I've figured out ways to combat feeling like crap. I take 5mg valium about 30 minutes to an hour prior, and a Zofran 2 hours before. I was getting what I call my shot reaction where I get the sweats, dizziness, nausea, where I had to stop the procedure and take a break sometimes 2-3 times. I am quite used to shots, my regimen was previously giving myself injections of imitrex, if that failed off to the doctors for shots of toradol, magnesium, and reglan. Maybe the number of injections is what was doing it, but if you get nervous and have valium, ativan or xanex I'd take it. After the blocks my doctor told me to ice my head. I keep gel ice packs since they help me deal with the daily pain, so I ice for 12-24 hours after depending on my pain level. You may also experience some neck stiffness.

    So is it worth it? I'm not sure yet. I have had four sets of these injections and still have severe pain, enough where I need to lie down at some point almost every day. I have been encouraged to lay off the pain medications (triptans, fioricet, nausea meds), but still HAVE to medicate about 8 days a month. I have been on leave from work since April when I started all of this with the headache clinic shortly after a ER visit for NSAID induced colitis (too much toradol so no more of that) then I had to go to the ER for the DHE infusion cocktail about a week later. With the combination of being away from work, the injections, coming off of meds, and, increasing the lamotrigine I take as a preventative I just recently recognized a positive. Though I have daily severe pain right now, I did wake up with a terrible migraine 12 on a scale of 10, and took my DHE nasal spray, 2 fioricet, and a reglan, and passed out. When I woke up I didn't feel 100% (when's the last time that happened? lol) but I was able to get up, sit on the back porch in late afternoon, and have dinner with my family like I normally would, it didn't last for weeks! So something or a combination of is making a small improvement, which is kind of a big deal around here.

    Best of luck in your treatment! If you have further questions I'm glad to talk.

    Jenn

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    • Posted

      Gosh Jenn, you have been through so much! I appreciate your response. Lots of good info. What really concerns me is that my pain is pretty well managed (facet blocks, muscle relaxants for neck, the herb butturbur, coq10, omega 3's, vitamin b2's) but I get the aura when I look down. During the shot will they be asking me if my pain is being relieved when I'm not really in pain? Make sense?

      Laurie

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    • Posted

      WOW!! sounds like a whole lot of the same stuff I've gone through. Sometimes I think the meds cause migraine. While waiting to be approved for Botox, my Dr. gave me effexor - I took one cause I didn't like the way it affected me and frankly I'm sick of meds. I feel like I'm toxic inside and my skin bruises so easy it bleeds. And since I'm approved for Botox I figured why take this other stuff for a month to see if it works - I already have the appt. for Botox, So now I just treat the pain with Imitrex. Really hope the Botox is the answer to all this mess. Best of luck to all of us here suffering. We really deserve better quality of life...Amen? Amen! wink
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    • Posted

      I'm am not being asked about pain or improvement as the procedure is occurring, though it is at times painful. We discuss pin levels on my return visits, including complications of the injections themselves, and overall headache pain. Good luck!
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    • Posted

      Did all of those herbals upset your stomach in the beginning? I've done high doses of magnesium 400-800mg for some time and my levels are always at the very bottom of the normal threshold. Seems odd for taking so much, so I go back and try to add the naturals my neuro and I discussed in previous. I didnt add them all before due to continued attempts to find the right preventative, and due to side effects I felt like I couldn't add anything else. Now I've suffered colitis due to using toradol too much for too long, and my stomach is all messed up, I even had another flair of colitis which I thought was over. Just curious if you had any trouble or could offer any advice on it!
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    • Posted

      Teri,

      I know exactly what you mean about feeling toxic inside. I get mad say I feel like I'm poisoning myself, especially trying to break a status migraine that won't stop. I feel like my overall health has declined, and I too bruise, have trouble healing, and have had a rash for several years that won't go away or heal up, my dermatologist just says eczema. Nonsense. I really do worry about my liver/kidneys. I've tried about 50 different meds counting all of the preventatives, triptans, nsaids, sleep aids, supplements etc. I had no idea how much I had tried until I was referred to the headache clinic. One of the intake forms was a list of every medication used to treat migraine; mark everything you've tried. It was eye opening and frightening.

      I decided I am the side effect poster child, I have suffered so many. Tingling, numbness, fatigue, malaise, confusion, cognitive slowing, hallucinations, and even a blackout that caused me to collapse in my garage and sustain a concussion. I had no recollection of falling and no indication I tried to brace myself, or protect my face which is instinctive. My husband tells me not to read all the drug warning like it's in my head. Though he should know some of this is serious cause I've freaked out on more than one occasion after starting a new drug and had him searching the bed for snakes, ants, and spiders...all different occasions. Makes me feel like a lunatic! Thankfully take the offending med away and the hallucinations go away too.

      My neuro seems to think that botox will change everything, and I hope it does! I want to go back to work, and be the mother I want to be, instead of sitting on the sidelines letting everyone else pick up my slack. Mostly I want to feel useful again! I'm afraid to get my hopes up too high like I did with the trigger point injections and nerve blocks, I really expected more results, and sooner. I dream of an occasional pain free day, or even mild pain day.

      I hope you find relief in botox! They are working with my insurance for approval, all I can do is pray it goes through. Would you let me know how it goes for you on your botox? I'm wondering if the botox injections will be similar to the nerve blocks as far as pain during the procedure, recovery care, and recovery time. I will pray for you that it isn't more than you can handle. Best of luck in your journey to finding relief!

      Jenn

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    • Posted

      Jenn, the herb butterbur and supplements haven't affected my stomach.  I take them in the morning sometimes even on an empty stomach, and by 4:30 or 5:00 it feels like I need my dosage of 2nd butterbur 2 more b2 pills, another co Q 10 and I make sure to take enough vitamin D.  It feels like my blood vessels around my ears are expanding and when I take my 2nd dose of these pills theyy calm down.
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    • Posted

      Jenn. I have to travel a great distance to see my Neuro. I have a drawer full of pills that I have been given and when I research the affects I think why don't I just take some arsenic? I really believe the drug industry is makin a killing off people like us and many are just keepin people comin back once they get addicted to some. My last "coctail" (from a pain Management Dr.) consisted of 4 Morphine, 4 Gabapentin, 1 Meloxicam, 4 Tizanadine and Valium as needed all in one day!! I tried this concoction for about 10 days and was a complete vegetable. I decided NO MORE.. this was obsurd. I believe my kidenys and or liver would have shut down had I gone a day longer. I couldn't tell when I had to unrinate and when I tried it was time consuming waiting for a trickle, and no bowel movements at all. The Dr. told me this was non addictive..HAHAHA.. like i believed that. I called his office and told him I was done. He gave me no other instructions or concerns so needless to say I suffered through a horrible withdrawl in much pain. This Dr. also had me for injections 3 sepearte occasions and I noted that everytime I wnet to his office, it was like be in a zombie appocolypse watching all these people/patients carrying their baggies of meds and needing morphine. This was the only Dr. in the area I live in and he sure has a lot of people in NEED of his services. So all said and done, I strongly believe one must find a real Neuro that specializes in migraine. Now when I lived in Vegas I was going to pain management and had MRIs in 2006 and since they found lesions they sent me to neuro concluding I had MS and that Dr. being a "specialist" immediately started me on daily injections treating MS. I did this for 3 yrs til I decided I just didn't fit the criteria for MS and sought another Neuro. who was floored when he asked what my spinal tap showed and I said I never had one. WOW!! who knew. So I was sent for spinal tap to confirm and or rule out something else. It came back negative for MS so I stopped the daily injections which totally tore down all my muscle mass and left indentations in the injection sites.. all perm. I'm tired of playing with Drs. as they make big money off us especially if we build up dependance on them. I had so many Drs and appts every day off and half the time I found myself going to the wrong Dr on my appts. Very frustrating. I think many of these Drs are evil and just paying games for the big money they make and we are their experimental specimans. I know that sounds harsh, But I've been going through this since I was about 15 yrs old and I'm now 62.. I know my body now much more then any Dr. and the Neuro that will be doing the Botox specializes in these treatments and MS and migraine. I was referred to her by my GP as I thought maybe the lesions on my brain were causing migraine. Well the Neuro -after looking through my histroy and some pre screen tests said no yu absolutely do not have MS, you're a chroinc migrainer. She said I was a candidate for Botox and set me up for my appt. However- as usual I didn't go home without a trial medication for the month. Haha.. I'm just gonna have to tell her I'm not takin any more pills. I have stopped everything except a valium at bed time and Imitrex as need, and surprisingly I've been doing pretty well health wise. My skin seems clearer, I don't look so lifeless ..Yes I still get migraines but I'm able to control them as long as I have Imitrex which I usually take as a last resort. I'm usually in pain when I wake up and will take maybe 3 tylenol which seems to keep the edge off. Later in the day I might take a couple more but I do know if migraine is coming so I'll take Imitrex, which I cal T-Trex..lol. Any way, one week from today I will have my 1st Botox treatment and will go every 12 weeks for treatment. 31 injections in my head doesn't sound appealing but she is a supposed pro and says it just feels like little pin pricks and will be over in a min. I might have some discomfort for the day -- I don't know. I have heard from her and other Botox patients that this is a dream come true. Boy to have a day without migraine is like NOT a normal day. 

      Again good luck. I pray yur ins. covers botox for you or at least part of it. I was told the company that makes botox has an assistance program to help with the cost. Good luck Jenn. God Bless you.

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    • Posted

      I feel that I have a good neuro, and trust her because she has taken a lot of time with me, and seems to genuinely care about my well being unlike plenty of others. She has said in the past that white lesions show up on mri's and they are caused by migraine. Thought you'd be interested in her take on it.

      I hear you on the addiction possibilities! Some of these pills such as the opiates or benzos can be highly addictive, all we need is another problem right? Plus half of these doctors act like you are drug seeking. I've had that experience at urgent care a few times and all I wanted was a toradol injection if they would take the time to listen or read my past history first before saying well what are you looking for, because we don't have narcotics here. In fact, I've never taken narcotics/opiates for my migraines, my neuro feels that they cause rebound headaches and in the past I have been adamant that I don't want them.

      For your injections they will use a fine needle, it can't be any worse than a nerve block. Since you have valium I'd recommend taking one prior to your first set, and maybe a zofran if you have any for nausea just in case. I have had 60 injections in one sitting and found it overwhelming, however I am now down to about 40 and the valium/zofran combo works for me.

      Good luck!

      Jenn

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    • Posted

      Are the cosmetic injections painful? Like any major burning or anything? I think of burning like a decadron/solumedrol injection, all the sudden on fire! I know I can handle the number of injections, but based on what is going in it could feel much different. Also do you feel like your eyes are heavy afterwards? My neuro said some people feel like they have to try really hard to open their eyes wide, though she said it is temporary.

      Jenn

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    • Posted

      Yes my Neuro I feel is good. She's one of the best Drs I've spent time with all these yrs. Wasn't like herding sheep in and out. She sits face to face with me and we really talk with genuine concern. I was informed that migraines can cause lesions as well as drug abuse which in my younger yrs was an abuser, But the Grace of God delivered me. Also trauma to the head can cause lesions which I've had as well. But none of these questions were put before me with any of my other Drs. except the Neuro I'm seeing now. Would be funny if we were seein the same Dr. I go to West Plains, Mo. from Mountain Home, Ar. 
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    • Posted

      The Botox injections don't bother me. They just last 1 to 2 seconds each. Afterwards I haven't experienced what you said with your eyes. And maybe I'm weird but I almost feel relief of my headaches as he's doing the shots! Laurie
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    • Posted

      Hi Laurie,

      I agree with you that the Botox is good and it helps a lot.  How many sessions you had so far?

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    • Posted

      I have gotten Botox in my forehead about 4 or 5 times (cosmetic). I used to get It just for migraines in my head by a neurologist that I switched from, as I didn't care for him. Back then I guess it helped. But they seemed to be from hormones. Once I had a strange reaction when this neurologist gave me Botox in my neck too. Wired anxiety and flu symptoms for about 3 days or so.
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    • Posted

      yes they put it in my neck and back of head as well as forehead.  I can honestly say its made a huge difference to my Hemiplegic Migraines.  I have had 3 sessions so far, going again in July.  I take Flunarizine, Pregabalin and Verapamil also and this combo really helps me
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