Posted 7/21/2009 12:52 AM (GMT -6)
I've had chronic pain in my upper back, neck, right shoulder, and head for 12 years. I have permanent muscle damage to my shoulder girdle. The head pain used to come infrequently, once or twice a week. Since I was in a car wreck 2 years ago and suffered whiplash, I've had the same pain, only worse, sharp pain in my head (right side only) nearly every day. It runs from the base of my skull to my ear and into my eye. I go to a manual physical therapist who loosens and readjusts my upper spine just under my skull and that helps for a while, but it's a temporary fix. I haven't had an MRI, but X-rays showed nothing unusual.
The only solution I have at the moment is adequate pain medication, which allows me to function. I take Opana ER (extended-release oxymorphone) for the upper back/head pain every 12 hours, and have extra regular Opana for the breakthrough pain, which is always my head and comes once or twice a day, and I take the breakthrough meds nearly every day. The pain feels like an icepick sticking through my skull.
My multitude of doctors haven't found a cause that we can fix, yet. I remain ever optimistic that eventually we will, but in the meantime, having sufficient pain meds is the best that they've come up with. I had a neurologist who was touted as "best in Denver Metro area" but became sadistic after a few years of treating me. She undermedicated me with pain meds (Norco-similar to Vicodin) and told me that I was crazy (her exact words) and that I had so much emotional pain mixed in with my physical pain that I couldn't tell the difference. That may have been true, but in the meantime I needed adequate pain relief to function at work and wasn't getting it from her, so after a 10 year relationship with her, which started off well, I found a new pain management specialist and finally have real relief from the pain.
Sorry I can't offer anything more positive than just getting on decent pain meds, but this has been my experience. It seems related to my upper neck, but at the moment no one is sure what to do about it. I wish you well. Keep checking back, because once we isolate and fix the root problem I will be crowing it from the rooftops. Good Luck!!!
Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chronic Pain, Chronic Major Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Recovered Alcoholic w/15 years Continuous Sobriety