headaches/insomnia for over a year- desperate :/

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2014
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 9/25/2014 3:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello all!

So glad I found this site, its comforting to know that I am not alone.

I have been suffering from chronic, 24/7 headaches and insomnia for over a year. The headaches are worst at the back of my neck, it feels like someone is yanking on my hair from behind, ALL THE TIME :(. I am a 21 year old female and should be starting my fourth year in college but have had to withdraw for the time being. The headaches and the insomnia reinforce eachother and create an endless cycle of hell. I feel like I am in a constant state of over-exhaustion. I cannot concentrate on anything and I pretty much wait for the days to pass by until the day comes that I can get some relief. It's an awful way to live and I'm getting so desperate.

I have tried prozac, lexapro, imitrex, lorazepam, cyclobenzaprine, and ambien. Head and neck MRI's have come back normal. Tried massage, accupuncture, meditation.

I am wanting to try a new medication and am curious about a few... have any of you had success with cymbalta or any of the tricyclics for pain?

I also need to be able to sleep more and think that would improve my pain level but ambien didn't do anything... any suggestions on sleep meds?

Any input would be greatly appreciated! Thank you :)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 7471
   Posted 9/25/2014 10:33 AM (GMT -6)   
welcome to the forum.

Cymbalta works for me and my diagnosis's.

I must ask though. Have you seen a Chiropractor that specializes in Neurology? There are such doctors. I am not a professional, however it sounds like you may be experiencing pinched nerves.

I would also suggest seeing a Neurologist at a major hospital in your area. I did not find relief from my 24/7 head pain until I went to John Hopkins in Md. Received a correct and full diagnosis, see below. I now see a Neuro at Thomas Jeff in Phila.

Just a thought.

Moderator - Depression
Be still and know there is Peace.

Kabir says: "Student tell me, what is God? He is the breath inside the breath". from the poem Breath.
DX: reverse Trigeminal Neuralgia;Cluster headaches; Atypical face pain;Hemicrania Continua; raynauds;complex PTSD; recurring MDD,disassociative disorder;

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2014
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/28/2014 6:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I hate to say, but could be many causes for widespread pain and/or headaches. You should go through the long list of disorders on Wikipedia related to the nervous system and find out which ones match your symptoms. It is likely the nervous system is just overreacting to an imbalance that has gone on far too long. Then, you can do differential diagnosis on your own to see what is most likely to be the culprit. This is how I found out that I have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Unfortunately, many doctors are not trained in this kind of medicine. Even the doctors that can help, don't get paid enough from the insurance company to justify the amount of time it would take to figure what is the primary cause of pain.

P.S. Chiropractors can treat many neurological disorders, but can't diagnose many of them correctly. I would personally prefer the expertise of a Masters Degree in Physical Therapy to tell me what muscles and imbalances are present. This information could then be put together with the symptoms in the differential diagnosis.

And yes, it would be so much easier to diagnose yourself if you felt better!!

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/14/2014 1:07 AM (GMT -6)   
I have occipital neuralgia involves nerves in back of head that come up over head. I just have to go to bed when I get a headache like that. Have fibro and arthritis also which I take gabbapentin and cymbalta for. Usual dose of cymbalta is one 60mg capsule per day. My neuralogist increased my cymbalta to two a day one in the morning and one in the evening stating that cymbalta has been found to help with headaches and it really helps my headaches. Also I have found when I have a headache that if I sleep on a flat ice bag that helps to numb it so I can fall asleep. It's worth a try and I also have chronic migraines.

Post Edited (Wmoody) : 10/14/2014 12:17:37 AM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2014
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/14/2014 8:44 AM (GMT -6)   
I would recommend a nucca upper cervical specialist to check alignment of two very small bones that your head pivots on called atlas axis. These can cause headaches easily. I am currently seeing a Qsm3 upper cervical practitioner. He has helped me a great deal with nerve pain. Unfortunately, insurance pays very little but it is worth the money for a thorough examination. Hope you are feeling better on the meds, but I would still try to locate any nerve impingement if you are able to find a good doctor.
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