Neck/Shoulder/Skull Muscle Tension

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Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/28/2012 7:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi All. Hoping someone may be able to share some experience with me.

I have had headaches most of my life - since I was 6 or 7 I believe. My parents took me to the Dr a few times, but mostly just brushed my complaints off as being "whiny".
In high school I started having daily debilitating headaches for roughly 9 months before the 4th? doc realized what was going on - I had some kind of fluid build up in my sphenoid sinuses. I had surgery to drain them a few days later. Those headaches stopped, but since then I still suffer from frequent headaches. Luckily they aren't normally bad enough to keep me in bed all day, but when they do I'm sensitive to light and very nauseous (no auras, though). I'm not sure if they can be classified as migraines because I'm fairly certain they are tension-related.

Anyways, I'm finally seeing a pattern (sort of). The left side of my neck starts to get stiff, frequently during the night it spams, and I either wake up with a headache or develop one a few hours after I'm awake. I'm not sure of the sequence, but my traps are very stiff and sore, as are all the muscles in my neck and up into the back of my skull, frequently wrapping around to my temples. I usually can't bear to be massaged - it's far too painful, even to the slightest touch. I tried going to the chiropractor last year, which seemed to help for a few weeks, but then out of no where they came back with a vengeance while I was still going regularly. Since then I've had periods of days or weeks headache free, so I think the relief during the chiro visits was just a coincidence. Either way, I can't afford to do chiro or massage therapy, and I do'nt have insurance so going to the Doc isn't an option for me right now.

I do have some TMJ symptoms, but I do not think I'm a nightime grider - my teeth line up in such a way that it is actually quite uncomfortable - painful even - for me to clench my teeth and I can't imagine that I could do it in my sleep without the pain waking me up.

OTC meds don't even take the edge off, I stopped trying years ago with those. The only thing that I've found that works are muscle relaxers (from a family member which I can't get more of, unfortunately) and sometimes Tiger Balm works temporarily.

So far everyone tells me to "relax" and not be stressed. I don't have a particularly stressful life, other than being in constant pain and being generally miserable and a downer with my family/friends (of which I have very few). I would consider myself a little bit high-strung, in that I do tend to get stressed out easily, but my stress levels don't always coincide with my headaches, so I don't believe that plays into my tension as much as some would like to think. My posture has never been great, and I've been making a conscious effort to do better, but it seems the more I try to correct it, the more pain I end up in. I don't know what to do.

Post Edited (fanofdmb) : 1/28/2012 5:51:51 PM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 70
   Posted 1/28/2012 10:57 PM (GMT -6)   
I go through the same thing. The more stress that is going on in my life, the worse it is. My dentist recommended a special mouth guard but insurance doesnt cover much so I need to come up with a few hundred dollars. More stress! But she said, if I stopped grinding, and this will make me stop grinding, then my headaches could completely go away! My is my right shoulder, back of my neck, base of head, ears, jaw, teeth, face, temples. But daily pain in back of neck. I started topamax a while ago, helped a lot with the daily headaches/migraines. But not with the grinding pain.
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