am i the only one with daily headaches?

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hopeful82
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 2433
   Posted 12/4/2005 3:41 PM (GMT -7)   
for months i've been getting daily tension headaches of varying severity. usually its just a dull pain in my temples that is there all day, other times it will go to one area of my head and is much more painful. sometimes i have to lay down because it hurts. my doctor put me on amitriptyline, but after almost 3 weeks on it i don't see a difference. i know i should see a neurologist so they can offer me better treatment, but i'm just concerned because i get them everyday and its really starting to interfere with my life. i sit in front of a computer all day, and am pretty stressed right now about applying to graduate school and planning my wedding. i know all those things play a role but i can't make any of them go away any time soon.
any advice would really be appreciated, i'm so tired of feeling like this :(
ali
 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
 
"You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for our own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful." - Marie Curie
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." - Winston Churchill
 
 


rabbit
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 12/4/2005 4:56 PM (GMT -7)   
i'm sorry to read the amitriptyline is not helping : your days must be grueling.
i believe i can add my voice to your request for advice. as prophylaxis, my md (whom i respect very much) has scripted topamax and recently added corgard, an anti-hypotensor. at 20 migraines a month, my md recommended 2 weeks w/out symptomatic treatment, thinking it might be rebound headaches. those days were terrible : constant pain. after the worse, it seemed to work but the headaches are back now, with a vengeance.
now i'm reluctant to use imitrex and indomethacin, concerned about rebound headaches. i do nonetheless and they are effective but i also massage my temples with lavender and mint oils or tiger balm as counter-irritants, use ice packs. i eliminated caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, cheeses, etc. have steady sleep and meal patterns. i've tried relaxation, meditation but they don't seem to help. maybe what i'm doing may help you, Ali. i can't say it's enough for me. i hope other community members can share their experience. should i try another period without rescue medication ? meds don't seem to be the answer.

ali : best of luck

septemberrein
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 12/4/2005 5:37 PM (GMT -7)   
No, you are not the only one with daily headaches. I have migraines quite frequently myself. Used to be everyday until I was put on Verapamil. I think I'm starting to burn out on it though. GP wants to switch me to Topomax. Lately they've been almost daily.
Keep working with your doctor. And talk with him/her about magnesium. It can help with other symptoms of headaches. Take care!

Sarah
"And think not that you can guide the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, shall guide your course" ~~Gibran (The Prophet)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
32/F/WI
2002 - dxed with migraine aura
Verapamil 120mg/day - preventive
2005 - most other symptoms remain undiagnosed :(


Nicky (coquitlam55)
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 12/4/2005 7:25 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Ali,

Unfortunately, a lot of us suffer from daily headaches. Yours sound like rebound headaches because you describe them as dull aching pain that is there all day. Do you take a lot of over the counter medications? Taking over the counter medications regularly causes them. There is a long message thread about them, I'll bump it to the top. If you are suffering from rebound headaches, medications like amitryptiline and other preventative medications won't work. You will need to wean off the OTC medication.

If you are taking a lot of OTC medications then it might be a regular tension headache that's keeps reoccuring and it's definitely time to see the neurologist. Whenever a headache changes, lasts longer than usual, gets worse, it's time to see the doctor and when extreme a neurologist.

As you said stress can play a role, but it's not going away. I see a psychologist that specializes in chronic pain. She has taught me some relaxation techniques that help me relax and reduce any tension headaches I experience.

I would go and see a neurologist just to be sure and to figure out to deal with the chronic pain, especially if the headaches aren't rebound.

Good luck. Let us know how it goes.


Nicky
 
Fall seven times, stand up eight.
                 --Japanese proverb


lnju
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 12/4/2005 9:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi hopeful82, I'm 25 yrs old with a five yr old son, I have headaches everyday, mine are from sinuses....I have real bad sinus problems, At one time I had 5 cysts in my sinuses, had surgery and that helped for 4 months and then BOOM, non stop headache since September....I just had an MRI on Thursday and found out that 2 cysts are back and I have a infection in my deep tissue sinus.....so I have constant pain on the left top side of my head......it sucks!!! I just want to be a normal 25 yr old woman.....I have goals and yet everyday I find myself so tired from the pain.....If it weren't for my son, I probley would never get up.
But he's my LIFE, so I get up every morning and read him books, get him dressed, feed him, and do my best to act like I'm not hurting....
I THANK GOD for him everyday, he's what keeps me going.......

hopeful82
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 2433
   Posted 12/5/2005 8:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all so much for your comments :) I am pretty sure these are not rebound headaches, I know about those and avoid overuse of OTC painkillers because of that (not to mention the other affects on your liver, stomach, etc....). So I had really not been taking anything at all unless the headache got so bad that I had to lay down. I know there are triggers for my headaches, alcohol is also one besides stress and eye strain. Its just so hard to deal with the pain EVER SINGLE DAY, and I know you all know how I feel. My fiance, he's so sweet, went out and bought these cooling gel patches that you put on your forehead - and it actually worked great! I also just sit and massage my temples, I really feel like thats where the pain radiates from. I am going to call my doctor again about seeing a neurologist, she was supposed to call me Friday and never did.
I am sure there are some of you that have headaches much worse than mine. I just wish there was a magic pill to make them just go away!!!!
ali
 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
 
"You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for our own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful." - Marie Curie
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." - Winston Churchill
 
 


philski
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 12/5/2005 5:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Nope, you're not the only one... I'm an engineer with similar situations, I have migraines 25 or more days a month. I was seeing an internal medicine doctor while I was in college (crappy insurance, only saw him once a year to keep up the daily medication...) but now that I have a job I am seeing a neurologist that specializes in migraines. I would suggest you do the same if you have insurance. If you don't have insurance - get that first. You won't regret it, especially once your married. Now that I have a son I want to do everything in my power to try and get back as many days as I can...

btw: if you start to find that abortive methods just don't work... the only one I've found that works for me is Imitrex the Injection. The pill, the nasal spray... neither have worked. Maxalt didn't work. Axert, Relpax didn't work. Just my experiance.

-philski-

kymark
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 12/6/2005 8:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Hopeful,

You're definitely not the only one, although it can feel that way. I've had nearly daily tension-type headaches for 16 years. I've tried everthing my many doctors and I can think of. A key thing you have in your favor is an understanding spouse!

I suggest you stick with the amitryptalin a bit longer. It's the single most helpful thing I've ever tried, but it took several months before it really helped. Find a headache specialist (NOT just any neurologist) if you can who will help you through the trial and error that passes for headache treatment! I go through stages where I see docs regularly and try new meds and techniques (chiropractic, massage, hypnosis/relaxation, acupuncture, ....). My headaches are on the upswing right now, so I'll be talking to my doc about trying Topamax next. Here's a link about the success of Topamax for chronic tension-type headaches, but you may want to search the net for a discussion of the side effects (such as memory and other cognitive problems). http://www.docguide.com/news/content.nsf/EAC/8525697700573E188525709D005434DA?open&type=DGDispatch

Don't let the longevity of my headaches discourage you. Since they started, I began and completed graduate school (through a PhD program), gotten married, and started a job as a professor. I'm not saying it's easy to live with the pain, but you can develop strategies to deal with it.

Good luck!

hopeful82
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 2433
   Posted 12/6/2005 11:28 AM (GMT -7)   
My doctor said I need to wait at least a month for the amitriptyline to start working... so that means about 2 more weeks of waiting :( I used to see a very good massage therapist because I had unexplainable neck pain, and she totally fixed it, so maybe I should start going again for the headaches. It just this constant tightness/achy feeling that seems to radiate from my temples... it worsens the more stressed out I am for sure. I am really glad to hear that the amitriptyline worked for you, I really hope it makes a difference. My doctor also said theres no need to see a neurologist, yet, unless the meds don't help. Thanks all for your support, it really is good to know that this problem (while not normal) isn't so uncommon. Thanks :)
ali
 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
 
"You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for our own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful." - Marie Curie
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." - Winston Churchill
 
 


LaurenKunz
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 12/7/2005 3:05 PM (GMT -7)   

I just wanted to tell you that I have personally suffered from DAILY headaches for a lot of my life.

There are a lot of people on this forum who get dibilitating migraines however often, maybe once a week or whatnot, but I get the tension sort DAILY.  I get the horrible migraines a few times a year.

I don't know which is worse, suffering from a headache every single day or suffering from dibilitating migraines a few times a month.

I have to tell you that even though it seems cliche, what other have said about rebound headache is absolutely true.

My doctor told me about it and I didn't think there was much stock to it, however, I believe it is true.

My doctor gave me a Rx for Proxicam, a mild pain reliever often prescribed for arthritis which I was to take every day for a week or two until i could get over my dependency for advil and tylenol.

See, if you are like me, I had been taking advil or tylenol the minute I got up and going in the morning just to try to ward off the inevitable headache i would have that day.

But it was just hurting me because it causes these rebound headaches.

In fact, i have had to take a lot of pain killers this past week to help a HORRIBLE mouth ulcer and as I am now weening off of taking so many i am suffering from the rebound headaches more again.

Another suggestion, I believe a lot of mine also stem from my neck.

My neck tends to get tons of knots in it and I have been trying to use a neck ice pack on my neck every night to help that.  As well as keep my body flexible. 

One more suggestion.  PONYTAILS.  If you have hair that permits ponytails or any hair -do that pulls on your head at all.

It makes a big difference for me.  I like ponytails but I have learned i just have to wear my hair down every day because i like not having a headache better than I like wearing a ponytail.

I am happy to hear that I am not the only one who suffers from daily headaches.

I spent a lot of time sitting and worrying that there was something wrong with me because I didn't know anyone else who had them.

Let me know if you find out anything to help because it sounds like we have a similar case.

Although you said yours are in your temples.  Mine are ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS behind my eyes and forehead.

Go figure.

Lauren


laura l.
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 12/9/2005 9:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Ali,
I am very sorry to hear about your headaches, but, as a physician, I am wondering how you know that they are indeed tension-type headaches if you have not yet been formally evaluated by a neurologist. Did your primary care MD tell you that or is it a self diagnosis? The reason I ask is that migraine is frequently misdiagnosed as tension-type headache....I think it is a great idea for you to see a neurologist and have a firm diagnosis, so that you and your neurologist can formulate a treatment plan. I admire your knowledgeability regarding OTC meds and rebound headaches. There are so many people out there who don;t understand about that and thus get into the daily headache routine. In the meantime, get your PMD to refer you to a good neurologist and let us know how you are doing. Do take care.
Laura L.

joci
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 12/10/2005 1:45 PM (GMT -7)   
confused  HEY GUYS UM NEW HERE AND I SYMPATHIZE WITH ALOT OF U CUZ I GOT FIBRO AND HEADACHES EVERYDAY ALSO IBS-D. ID LOVE 2 HEAR FROM PEOPLE AS TO WAT U ALL DO 4 TENSION AND MIGRAINE HEADACHES. UM ON NEURONTIN AND IT DOES HELP BUT 4 SOME REASON THE GENERIC DONT AND THATS WAT MY INSURANCE NOW COVERS SO MY MOM TRIES 2 HELP AND BUY ME SOME REG AND DURING THAT TIME I DONT GET HEADACHES!!! THE ONLY THING THAT SEEMS 2 HELP IS DEMERAL AS LONG AS I DONT TAKE IT THAT MUCH LOL. IVE TRIED A BUCH OF MEDS AND 4 MIGRAINES DEMERAL DONT HELP!! I END UP AT THE E.R MY FAVORITE PLACE LOL. HELP
 
love to hear from u.
                           
                          joci


hopeful82
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 2433
   Posted 12/12/2005 8:02 AM (GMT -7)   
It was my PCP who said my headaches sound like tension headaches. I have had neck problems in the past (My SCM muscle on the right side spasms a lot and it causes pain, no idea why). She thinks it all boils down to stress - and I think she is right!!! I also have anxiety, so I don't think that helps the situation at all. My headaches were just AWFUL during the week of my graduate school application deadline. The night I submitted it online it was almost unbearable. Now I haven't had a headache in almost a week - and I HOPE its because of the amitriptyline. I've been on it for about 3 and a half weeks now. I have a follow up appointment with my PCP on the 23rd, and will talk to her to see if I need to see a neurologist. I called her last week since the headaches got so bad and asked if I should see one now, and she said not until we let the amitriptyline be in your system for a month. So we shall see! All I know is I haven't had a headache in days and it makes me SO HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ali
 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
 
"You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for our own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful." - Marie Curie
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." - Winston Churchill
 
 


jennafoofer
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 4
   Posted Today 8:43 PM (GMT -7)   
I have one almost every day. Some tips that sometimes help:
 
daily stretch
lots of water
small frequent meals
lots of fruit and veggies
reduced time at the computer or under florecent lights
 
hope something here helps
Jen

tysmyboo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 921
   Posted 12/17/2005 8:41 AM (GMT -7)   

Great list Jenna-

I would also like to add, regular sleep patterns...I have found that if I sleep too little, but more importantly TOO MUCH, that is an automatic migraine for me.


Sara-Migraine/Headache Forum Moderator
 
Thanks for Visiting HealingWell.com


anursejenny
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 12/28/2005 3:36 AM (GMT -7)   

hopeful82   i highly recommend you ask your doc for a trial on fioricet which is for tension headaches. that has made a world of difference for me when not much else had.

good luck,

jenny


LaurenKunz
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 12/28/2005 9:17 AM (GMT -7)   
First of All, Sara,
What would you say is the perfect amount of sleep (not too little not too much)
Obviously it will be different for everyone but just wondered.
 
 
Also, Jenny, what is Fioricet?
 
Lauren

anursejenny
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 1/3/2006 8:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Lauren Fioricet is barbituates, acetaminophen, and caffeine combined. it's usually prescribed for tension headaches or tension migraines, but i find that it also helps for hemiplegic migraines unless a severe one. 

hopeful82
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 2433
   Posted 1/5/2006 12:04 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi guys,

Well, I had an appointment with my doctor two weeks ago, and I told her that I was still getting headaches, and that now they were mostly on one side and it was more of a dull ache really, all day long, sometimes with increasing intensity at certain points during the day. What is weirding me out is that the area that the pain seems to radiate from is tender to the touch - right at the area above my left temple where the muscles are that contract when you clench your jaw. All my doctor said about that was that yes there is a muscle there, and that we should just up my dose of amitriptyline to see if it helps. So now I am on 20 mg a day. I am going to call my doctor today though and see if I can get a referral to a neurologist (god I hate managed care) so they can tell me what they think. My headaches are definitly less in intensity than they were, I would say they are now easily ignorable at most times. They seem to increase in intensity with stress, but you can't go through life without stress so I just have to deal with that!

Anyways, just thought I'd give an update, and thank you for the suggestions about things to try to help these headaches go away completely. I can't even remember what it was like to not have a headache :(


ali
 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
 
"You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for our own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful." - Marie Curie
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." - Winston Churchill
 
 

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