11/5/07 #2 - Chronic daily head pain since childhood; doctors giving up?

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  • Full Question:
    I am a young woman, mid-twenties and have been suffering from chronic daily head pain since I was a child. The pain never goes away. It is usually unilateral, but switches sides several times through the day. It feels more like a constant pressure on the temple and nape (one side at a time only). I do not have any throbbing, but I get that feeling of blood rushing to the head very often, the momentary pressure that accompanies that is on both sides of the face and ears. I get the occasional nausea, most often morning or mid-day although it never causes me to vomit. I also often feel the room spinning for a few seconds when I shut my eyes. When I turn my head to look over my shoulder, I feel a sudden rise in the pain. Coughing also. Spring is the worse time of the year.

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    Intensity levels vary widely throughout the day, and although evenings are the worse, nights are usually better. I have had CT scans, EEGs, seen neuro-ophthalmologists, neurologist, been in psychotherapy, tried many preventives and have yet to find relief. I have been followed at the top migraine clinic of the area for the past 5 years with no success. Heat, ice, rest, exercise, medications, provide no relief. Triptans have helped on the rare occasion. I very rarely take PRNs for this, so medication-overuse/rebound headaches are not an issue. Oddly, I have noticed stress to help ease the pain rather increase it. In periods of rest, the pain is usually at its worse.

    This has had such an impact on me that I tried to take my life several years ago, specifically because of my frustration with this headache/migraine pain. Now this is no longer an issue no a risk, but the frustration and pain still remain. Doctors are giving up on me and I am losing hope of ever finding any relief. I have yet to accept being at an average pain level of 5 or 6 out of 10 daily, with higher levels very frequently.

    Thank you for any advice or suggestions, your help is so important to me. I don't know where to turn anymore and can't lead a normal life nor do I have a very good quality of life as things are right now.

    -JRB.
     

     

    Answer:

     

    Dear JRB;

     

    I feel for the length and intensity of your symptoms. Has altered intracranial fluid pressure been discussed? The increase with coughing or head turning raises that issue for me. And there are 2 medications hat specifically lower fluid pressure in the brain. Also, not sleeping flat can help the pattern at night and early AM.

     

    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert

     

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    About Ask the Clinician:

    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.

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    © Teri Robert and J.C. Krusz, 2007.

Published On: November 06, 2007