Chronic "tension" headache - Please offer any guidance!

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jmarshall32390
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2017
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/17/2017 12:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello,

I've seen other threads about this but nothing exactly that matches my symptoms. I've had a constant tension type headache for over 3 months now. I am 27 years old and in good shape. I have bad posture (working on this as it may be a potential cause). Forward leaning shoulders which cause my head to also slightly lean. Not a severe case but definitely something I am working on.

I have tried acupuncture, massage therapy, migraine medicine, headache medicine, tension headache medicine, gone to the eye doctor, the dentist, and I've seen my primary doctor at least 10 times.

I work a desk job. Sitting for generally 8 hours a day and also like to play video games in my free time/go to the gym. The gym seems to offer a sense of relief for the tension in my head. A heating pad on my neck also offers some relief. Oddly enough, wearing my glasses slightly alleviates the pressure in some instances. However, the moment I take my glasses off I can feel the tension is still there. It is very peculiar.

The tension is mostly above my left eye/eyebrow. I would describe it as a dull tightness. Almost as if I have a mild sunburn on that side of my forehead. It also stretches across to the right side of my head in a thin line running right along my hair line. The majority of the tension is on the left side. It is not overwhelming. For the most part, I wouldn't even describe it as painful. But it is constant. It is always there. From the moment I wake up until i go to bed it persists. There are moments where it gets more severe. I have a headache journal to track potential causes of the increased tension but I do not see any obvious indicator yet. When it increased the tension usually expands. It can feel like it is on the top of my head sometimes and occasionally on the back right side of my neck.

I am going to see a specialist regarding this matter to hopefully get a better idea of what is going on. While it is not an extremely painful issue I would prefer to not live the rest of my life this way. It is definitely ruining my mood and overall optimism not knowing what is wrong with me.

If anyone can offer some insight if they had a similar issue and resolved it or if you have any idea what could possibly be wrong please let me know! I am willing to try anything at this point.

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15174
   Posted 10/17/2017 3:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jmarshall & welcome to Healing Well. My only thoughts are to see a neurologist for a consult to see what his/her opinion would be. You mentioned posture problems at a desk job, this could be a contributing factor along with too much screen time. If it were migraines some of those medications should have made a difference. If these are tension headaches & a good neurologist will be able to say one way or the other, they can be very painful. I am a long time migraine sufferer & wouldn't wish those on anyone.

I am sorry I don't really have any ideas for you, as you seemed to have tried a lot of different things that hasn't remedied the situation. I hope you can get some answers soon.

Take care.
Susie
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

cogito
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 917
   Posted 10/17/2017 9:11 PM (GMT -7)   
In 2014 I had near constant headaches.

I finally figured out the source... was eating a new candy I really liked & discovered I'm sensitive to red food die.

Maybe you have some similar sensitivity... either a food or something environmental.

pitmom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2015
Total Posts : 2153
   Posted 10/18/2017 6:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Have you tried changing the elevation of your computer monitor? The chair you sit on? Which seat you use when gaming? Take breaks where you move your head and neck to relieve fatigue?

I get horrible tension headaches if I'm on the computer too much or driving a long time.

Another thought from left field...could it be shingles? Your doctor might want to run a titre to see if there is any viral activity. The herpes virus runs along nerve paths and since you say it can run along your hairline and you get some 'relief' when wearing your glasses, I wonder if your glasses compress a nerve path, blocking the 'travel lane'.
multiple surgeries for rotator cuff both shoulders with residual chronic impingement syndrome, ulnar nerve transposition, carpal tunnel release, multiple wrist surgeries, multiple herniated discs, tarlov cysts, whiplash, bursitis of hips, grade 5 right shoulder separation and torn labrum, ovarian cysts, fibroid tumors of the uterus

jmarshall32390
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2017
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/18/2017 8:56 AM (GMT -7)   
cogito said...
In 2014 I had near constant headaches.

I finally figured out the source... was eating a new candy I really liked & discovered I'm sensitive to red food die.

Maybe you have some similar sensitivity... either a food or something environmental.


Thanks for the suggestion! I have been trying to change up my surroundings a lot. I've moved my office to a new location at work. I'm moving into a new apartment. I've been trying a new diet completely to hopefully avoid any diet related issues as well as monitoring my food intake to notice any patterns. I'm definitely concerned it could be something like this so I am trying to figure out what could be causing it.

jmarshall32390
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2017
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 10/18/2017 9:30 AM (GMT -7)   
pitmom said...
Have you tried changing the elevation of your computer monitor? The chair you sit on? Which seat you use when gaming? Take breaks where you move your head and neck to relieve fatigue?

I get horrible tension headaches if I'm on the computer too much or driving a long time.

Another thought from left field...could it be shingles? Your doctor might want to run a titre to see if there is any viral activity. The herpes virus runs along nerve paths and since you say it can run along your hairline and you get some 'relief' when wearing your glasses, I wonder if your glasses compress a nerve path, blocking the 'travel lane'.


Thank you for the response! I have tried adjusting my desk/chair/elevating my monitors so they are eye level to avoid excess neck tension. I do have a forward leaning posture but I have been doing stretches to fix that issue and they are definitely working well for me.

I will definitely ask my doctor about the shingles. I do think it is odd that wearing my glasses makes the tension less prominent. It must have something to do with the nerves or muscles being "blocked" in a sense. The moment I take my glasses off I can feel the tension again. It is very strange.

Candy_Apple
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2015
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 10/18/2017 2:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there-

just wanted to share that many years ago, I had what is called "Chronic Daily Headache" - I believe that is an actual medical diagnosis (you can google it to read more).

Anyway, not sure if that is exactly what you're dealing with, but I do remember how utterly miserable it made me.

I found two medications that helped-

first was a low-dose antidepressant - I took nortriptyline for a time, and then amitriptyline - this was 15 years ago so I can't remember why I switched from one to the other. Those two are related to each other- not sure exactly what the difference is.

At some point, I stopped taking either of those (can't recall why) and switched to Remeron. This is an antidepressant as well. Remeron pretty much eliminated my daily headaches. I was also getting frequent migraines as well and it decreased those, but did not eliminate them.

After a few years on Remeron, I had to stop taking it, and my chronic daily headache went away and has never come back, but I still deal with frequent migraines.

I feel for you- I have battled headaches for over 15 years (mostly migraine now), and they can really affect your quality of life.

Good luck!!

Post Edited (Candy_Apple) : 10/18/2017 3:23:54 PM (GMT-6)


tiredredhead
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 109
   Posted 10/18/2017 5:38 PM (GMT -7)   
I have daily headaches also. Mine are from damage in my neck. If I lean forward and look down the headache flares intensely. Bad posture and continually stressing your neck by looking at a computer screen could possibly cause a disc bulge in the neck. I would ask for an MRI to rule that out.

Thats as helpful as I can be.
Sarah

AnnaB114
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2017
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 11/7/2017 11:31 AM (GMT -7)   
I hope you have received answers by this time but I do have another idea. My sister has had migraines and tension headaches for 12 years. They came 3-4 times every week. She had tried everything including botox, steroids, migraine oral medications, massage so deep that it would render anyone else in a heap on the floor. Nothing helped. Then someone told here that her food could be causing the symptoms. She changed her diet to cut out all preservatives and has gone from 12-116 migraines a month down to maybe 1-2 during her menstrual cycle. It can help if it is diet related but I agree and hope you say a neurologist already
Wishing you well.

jmarshall32390
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2017
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 11/7/2017 12:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Anna,

Thank you for the input. I have been trying to monitor my diet to see if it could potentially be related to my diet. I am currently on a vegan/gluten free diet to try and monitor if the excess intake of gluten or preservatives could have been the issue. So far it has not helped but I am continuing to experiment with different healthier foods for some type of relief.

The headache has spread across my forehead. I believe it is muscular and related to my neck. I feel a lot of tension in my neck also. My neurologist recommended a CT scan so I will be doing that this week. Hopefully that helps figure something out. It's been about 4 months since the headache started and I've had it every single moment since it started. It's definitely take a toll on my mood and overall demeanor. I'm just trying to stay focused on resolving this issue and not focusing on the negative aspects of it.

If anyone has any other suggestions please feel free. I am compiling a list of things I can do to stay busy and keep my mind off of it.
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