I was in a car accident in May of 2001 and since then have had shoulder/arm pain for about 75% of the time, depending on what I am doing.
Since that time I have had increased migraines, (treated with Imitrex) starting at 25mg (spray) then 50mg tablets and most lately, 100mg tablets, which help greatly. In the beginning I would get a migraine randomly, depending on what I was doing. More activity, the better chance. Lately, I have been waking up in the morning with them and they have increased in intensity and frequency. Due to this, my doctor sent me for a MRI and it was discovered that I have two bulging discs somewhere in line with my shoulders. now it just hurts everywhere from my arm on the left side, to up the back of my neck and hot burning pain right between my shoulders......the pain moves around...again, depending on what I do. My doctor has scheduled an epidural of steroids. I have asked around about this procedure and most people say that it hurts like hell and usually doesn't help very much. It this true? PS: I manage with ice, Advil, Imitrex, and back rubs......(people are tired of me asking though).
Certainly, motor vehicle accidents can cause disc protrusions/herniations and can set off migraine-like headache. Epidural steroid injection can be a benefit (temporarily), but they are not in any way curative for the problems in the neck. In my hands, these injection are done quite painlessly, but we take care to make the patient comfortable. I have had many patients who had epidural steroid injections at other practices and they complained of the discomfort. Sometimes, a surgical evaluation is the proper thing to do, but not as a first line of treatment. You might the services of a real pain management specialist who understands headache treatment as well. This will take some searching, as one specialty often doesn't cross over with the other, which is unfortunate.
John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert
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Published On: July 09, 2007