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Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 12/31/2010 4:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Diagnosed with tension headaches and have gone through so much as all of you have.  It's sometimes very overwhelming and really started taking it's toll on me.
Started in Sep with funny pressure and sweating and just feeling miserable for a couple of minutes.  Gradually increasing and then the round robin doctor visits started and well, we all know what the initial reaction of my previous GP must have allergies...dont' you?  You're the doctor, you tell me.
But after countless tests, CT Scans, MRI, X Rays, they came up with the diagnosis of herniated disk, arthritis in the neck and headaches caused from all of those and threw in tension (stress) as well.  Who wouldn't be!
But now they want me to try a TENS unit and see if that helps.
I am not taking any narco drugs,  have been able to stay off of them.
I have taken a couple of Xanax and tried Cymbalta, muscle relaxers, Flexeril, Firocet, tylenol, etc.
After all of this I am still in pressure pain...not a usual headache pain...just a funny feeling around your head, eyes and face and makes you stop and think...ok here it comes. 
Wake up with it and spend most of the day with it.  Trouble sleeping of course and anxiety about work, lack of money, not being able to participate in holiday gatherings and a good amount of depression is setting in.
I recently bought some L Theranine, 5HTP and Sleep n Restore by Natrol.
I am wondering if anyone has had any success with these for Tension Headaches...or any other remedies?
Glad I found this site and am hoping for a better New Year for all of us, that's for sure!

Post Edited (jpjax) : 12/31/2010 5:34:13 PM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 12/31/2010 6:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Have you see a pain doctor/anestesolgist? For me I think they work better with pain control then gp,neurologist,etc. I am sorry I don't have more to offer. I hope you feel better.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 12/31/2010 6:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks JC
I started seeing a Chiropractor and it helps some. The guy is really good and does not add to the pain!
Actually, he suggested a pain management place...since he had issues in the past.
I have to wait now because the new year is here and the out of pocket maximum of 4500.00 I hit in 2010, goes back to O on Jan 1 and I have to pay full until I hit the first 1500.00.
I just wonder how so many health care professionals can just shrug their shoulders at it and look at you like you sure do HAVE ISSUES AND THEY ARE ALL IN YOUR HEAD! Oh well, got to remain strong.
Happy New Year!

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 12/31/2010 7:43 PM (GMT -6)   


 Dear Jax,

     Good evening. My name is Dani and it is very nice to meet you. We have a great support group here, as you will come to see. I am sure many others will stop by when they can with more suggestions and advise.

     I want you to know that I have a four lead TeNS unit. I have used it for about two years. It is but one very small part of my pain control therapies. It is used along with many medications. I have progressive spinal deformities that began long after I was skeletally mature. So, the goal in my case is to make me as comfortable as possible. I use my TeNS 3 times per day for 40min. on 30sec rotation cycles 8.5 and 9.0. It is very therapeutic when used with my "wet heat" heating pad. TeNS placement, towel, then heating pad on top. It is just one part of my "pain therapies". I do not believe that stimulators are... effective as a sole means of pain control. I find it "therapeutic". If that makes sense.


     If you have not done so, I highly recommend that you seek the assistance of a pain management specialist. They are educated in all methods of pain control. They often implement multiple approaches to pain relief. Personally, I have a team of doctors who manage my care together as a group. This includes pain control. I was sent to a pain management specialists at one point early on, 4 yrs ago. My problems were more complex than he was able to treat. I know many that find them to be of great benefit though. So, it might be something worth looking into.


     Again, it was very nice to meet you and I look forward to knowing you better as time goes by.

*warm hugg*

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood

Chronic Pain Moderator

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 12/31/2010 8:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Have you tried physical therapy? I know for me wearing a soft cervical collar (you can find them at any medical supply) and then doing very light physical therapy to strengthen my neck muscles helps. Also, it's maybe worth getting checked out by a dentist. A lot of people with daily tension h/a's have bruxism (grinding or clenching their teeth). The dentist can make an occlusal splint (they also come OTC, with mixed results) fitted to your mouth that will prevent you from grinding or clenching your teeth (they test for it by using tape with dye on it). Often bruxism is indicated when someone wakes up with a headache and/or pain in their jaw or back of their neck.
Other than that, maybe you could find a counselor, clergy or someone you could address all your stress with. One helpful thing that I learned was that if I wake up worrying about things just to tell myself that I made all the right decisions about things that happened in the past & if it's going to happen in the future, I keep a notepad by my bed and write it down and then tell myself that I will be better able to solve it in the morning.
Also, you could try googling "sleep hygiene" to learn about habits that will help make it easier to sleep. No, they're not easy to abide by, but they really do make a difference. Here's one example:

good luck!

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 1/1/2011 8:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Dani and Frances,
I am making that a priority this new year....getting into a pain mgmt person.
I know one of my problems is reluctance to strong medications with a bunch of side effects.
I also have heart issues (heart attack June 09) so that is always a major concern.
Sometimes the pressure is mild but sometimes intense and makes me dizzy at the same time.
I am not crazy, just a little unwell.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 663
   Posted 1/1/2011 9:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi jpjax, I really don't have any info for you (I wish i did) but I did want to welcome you to the family! You have found a great place here with wonderful, caring members. I hope you stick around. Take care and Happy new year!
Gentle Hugs,

Fibromyalgia, Chronic daily headaches, Migraines, Possible Graves Disease, GERD, High blood pressure, Depression and Anxiety

Oxycontin, Percocet, Lopressor, Lexapro, Omeprazole, Promethazine as needed for nausea, Ventolin inhaler and Vitamin D3

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 1/1/2011 11:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi JP. I am new and i don't have any advice really atm so I just wanted to say nice to meet you and welcome to forum too :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 1/1/2011 8:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you everyone.
Today I was able to visit family and it was nice for a change.
Just pushed right through the annoying head pressure and as long as the dizziness did not creep in, I was ok for a while.
I think the L-Theranine and the 5HTP is helping me cope some.
Monday I am going back to the chiropractor for a fix.
I am also going to ask my GP for a referral to a pain mgmt center to at least find out if I there is help there.
Trying desperately to get back to work this week!!!! Have exhausted most of my time off with pay and my boss has been SUPER through all of this..thanks GOD!
I am not crazy, just a little unwell.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9661
   Posted 1/1/2011 10:43 PM (GMT -6)   
If you haven't yet seen a neurologist in your area, that might be a good next step.
A good neurologist just might be able to help, headahce can be caused by lots of things,
and the best way to start is with a neurologist and getting contrast and non contrast MRI's.
and go from there to maybe emg testing...
Hope your feeling better soon...
Healing hugz and well wishes
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc (Lower Lumbar S1-L3 and Cervical C5,C6, C8 and T1), Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's, Ocular Migraines, mild carpel tunnel, ect.... "Would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...


Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 1/5/2011 2:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all.
I have been to a Neurologist and she is not one to comment on anxiety or depression remedies.
That is for sure. I am not really happy with her prognosis or her fees, for that matter.
I have been having better luck with the Chiropractor and the homes TENS unit.
I did get new glasses and they seem to help out a lot. My GP gave me a prednisone shot on Monday and that relieved a lot of the sinus pressure and ear pressure and I was finally able to get some sleep.
I have added L Theanin and COQ10 to the mix and it really helps take the edge off and without the narcotic side effects.
I am trying to return back to work tomorrow, Thursday and see how that goes.
I am sure it could be a start. As much as we try to push forward, just seems like it is not enough sometimes.
I have not filled the script the Neuro wrote for Artiptyline, I just don't know about some of those meds.
But am hopeful as always for all of us. I think it's a great place to come to and seek reassurance, I really do.
I am not crazy, just a little unwell.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15848
   Posted 1/6/2011 5:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi JP, I too would like to welcome you to Healing Well's chronic pain forum. I am glad that that you found us but sorry that you have to be here. Every person here has a story to tell as to what brought them to this forum. At least by coming here and visiting perhaps you will not feel so alone, as chronic pain seems to make us feel that way.

You mentioned that your dr had given you a prescription and I am not sure of the name. Are you by chance talking about Amitriptiline? If so it is the generic version of an old, old drug called Elavil. It was initially used an antidepressant, however, like most drugs these days they are used off label for many other purposes. Amitriptiline/Elavil has been widely used to treat many types of headaches too. I understand your thoughts of not wanting to take medication, none of us here ever wanted to be on medication either. However, when it comes down to quality life issues, it leaves many of us with little choice.

Anyway, I wanted to pop on and tell you welcome aboard and I hope that you can come up with something that helps you out. I have migraines and passed this on to both of my children. I would not wish those on any one.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 1/10/2011 2:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes the script was for Amitriptiline.
I think it is 15mg and she would like me to get up to 75mg gradually.
I am just afraid of the side effects as I do have heart issues (heart attack in June 09 and have a stent in place) so this is always a primary concern when it comes to any meds.
I just don;t think the doc has a plan.
She tells me there is a herniated disk and some arthritis in my neck, per the MRI of my neck.
Also, the MRI of my brain just showed usual signs of aging for a 60 yo man.
I am a patient person, but being out of work for a month really taking it's toll, metally, physcially and for sure Financially!!!!!
I am not crazy, just a little unwell.
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