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Severe Migraines And Tension Headaches - HELP!

Discussion in 'Medications & Substances' started by Midnight, Jan 23, 2010.

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  1. Midnight

    Midnight Member

    Is there any Cure for a severe migraine / tension headache (for that matter, what is the difference?) I have had ongoing, unbearable pain for days now, and can only keep it under control with advil and muscle relaxants, which I can't keep up for long if I want to keep my liver. When I wake up in the morning my jaw is locked (I grind my teeth in my sleep), and my shoulders are up to my ears. My limph nodes in my neck are also swollen, as well as my tonsils and the tissue at the back of my nasal cavity, so it's possible that I am also sick with a virus of some sort. I am having bouts of hot / cold, flushing and nausea from the pain. Help me! I don't know what to do, and I am in so much pain!
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  3. She Cat

    She Cat I'm a VIP
    Premium Member

    I take prescription Butlbtl/apap/caff..... And I also have a script for Zomig...Both were given by my Neurologist.... I suffer from Migraines, and have since my early 20's. I also get tension headaches.....I also get migraines without the pain....Believe it or not. All diagnosed by my neurologist, and they(headaches) all suck big time....

    When I get hit with a migraine, if I don't take meds, I will end up vomiting... Being in a very quiet and dark room are a must. A cold compress helps too....
  4. Midnight

    Midnight Member

    Thanks! I'll talk to my GP about a referral then...
  5. helena

    helena Well-Known Member

    Hi Midnight, I am a sufferer too and it affects my vision, balance and causes nausea etc. I was prescribed propranolol as a deterrent. They reduce the impact of pain by keeping the blood flow steady and overall I have a lot less than I used to.
  6. amethist

    amethist The Mystic Duck

    I sympathise with any one who gets migraines, they are a nightmare on there own.

    I get the ones without the pain She Cat, they usually start when I am at work, which is really intrusive. The sparkles and the flashes are a complete nuisance, especially when I am trying to deal with customers and operate the till. They usually disappear within an hour but they are intrusive and I have to try and drink plenty of water for the time they are there.

  7. cat

    cat Well-Known Member

    Hi Midnight

    I don't know about a cure but I have got relief from them, here's my experience.

    I started having migraine in my 20's triggered by pregnacy. When I was diagnosed with PTSD my migraines/onesided heaaches became more frequent, until they became almost permanant. I was already taking a tripan med Almagran & Parmax for the pain (a combined pill of paracetamol & anti-sickness med) I'd take meds get some brief relief only to get up the next day with the same pain, disturbed vision & sickness, which meant I was taking increasingly more meds.

    I also clench my jaw so had a gum shield made which I wore for six months to retrain my jaw, I only wear it now if I know I'm feeling more anxious than usual. It might be worth talking to your dentist about this as it can be caused by weak muscles in the jaw. I also had exercised to do daily.

    When my GP prescribed anti'ds she also said my headaches could be rebound ones from over use of migraine meds so I should reduce the number I was taking to no more that 4 a month as taking them with Citalopram I could develop Serotonin syndrome. Three months later my headaches hadn't improved so i stopped taking the triptan altogether. I took 6 weeks to withdraw from it, i just took paracetamol & ibuprofen
    stayed in the dark & used a methol headache stick on my temples.

    That was in July 09. I only have one or two true migraine a month now. I still get tension headaches but with the help of my psychologist i can recognise the difference between them & migraine & treat them with relaxation & meditation. My symptoms follow this pattern:
    Migraine- one sided headache, nausea, intolerance to light & water
    Tension - one sided headache, jaw/teeth pain, tightness in neck muscles, feel irritable, little relief from meds,

    For me I think 'cure' came from taking Citalopram, working through my trauma & being more in tune with how my body reacts to Anxiety.

    Take care
  8. She Cat

    She Cat I'm a VIP
    Premium Member

    cat, thanks, I forgot about *rebound headaches*......Yup, they are caused from taking too much medication for headaches.....I went round and round with that for awhile, until my Dr pointed it out. It's really hard to stop taking meds continually, when you are suffering with a migraine.....But, it is a must, if you are experiencing a rebound.....Migraines SUCK!!!!!
  9. Midnight

    Midnight Member

    Thanks so much guys! I guess I'll have to talk top my Dr about this one for sure then. I won't take any antidepressants, I've found that that exacerbate my anxiety symptoms, and was once put on such a high dose of 'effexor' that it gave me serotonin shock (boo). I do take ativan for anxiety, but sparingly as it's easy to get addicted to benzodiazepines.. they are, however, an older drug with less side effects and very useful during a full blown panic attack... I'm a little hesitant with most medication because I don't want to become addicted. I tried bathing and doing some breathing / yoga, but it didn't seem to help. I'm pretty sure this was a tension headache because my whole neck was involved. My husband tried to relax my muscles and gave me a massage, and there was some relief there.. today it is better. My muscles are still tense, but it's not so unbearably painful. Hopefully today I can get out for a walk to release some of the extra tension before work! I am curious about the 'gum shield' for jaw clenching - can I just make a mouth guard, like from a sports store? How effective was this for stopping the clenching? Thank you for all your suggestions!
  10. anni

    anni Bucephalus ( an old war horse )
    Premium Member

    Hi Midnight,
    The only preventative that doesn't give me side effects is Topamax, and for me it works at a really low, non-intrusive dose. They put me at a higher does and WHOA it zones you out, so put myself back down as far as I could. 25 mg am and pm. That muscle thing is awful and She Cat has it right with the Butabutal- it works better than any muscle relaxant on the planet! It's not really a narcotic, either, although it's addicitve, I know. You don't take it every day, just when you feel that horrible tense thing starting. I have to take 2 to nail the stupd thing though, with the new migraine abortive, Treximet. That's the new Imitrex. If I take the Butb and Trex, I never have to take anything else, which is cool because the narcotics make me SO ill!

    You've had tons of great answers- but having had these horrible things for so many years felt HUGE sympathy for you! :) Thought I'd at least say hope you're feeling much better very soon.

    Take care,

  11. Perspective11

    Perspective11 Active Member

    I was taking Topomax for awhile for my anxiety... I also didn't suffer from the constant headaches/migraines as I do now after needing to stop taking it for other reasons. The migraines aren't caused by any withdrawal symptoms and I'm also trying to find something to help that won't have bad side effects as everything else has.
  12. catjudo

    catjudo I'm a VIP
    Premium Member

    I've suffered from migraines for years and used various different OTC medicines, as well as prescription preventatives and treatments. I haven't been taking anything as a preventative for quite some time. Earlier this week a woke up with a migraine. It took me a couple rounds of medications and about six hours to get it under control. A few hours later I could feel the migraine creeping back. Instead of taking more medication, I went to my chiropractor. (His office was closed that morning and not an option then.) After he gave me an adjustment I hung around his office for a short while. Within about 10-15 minutes there was noticeable and significant improvement. Within 30 minutes I was headache free and it did not return. I loved that I was able to get that level of relief without medication. The next time I have a migraine my chiro's office will be my first stop.
  13. a3a2

    a3a2 I'm a VIP

    I recommend you see a good nuerologist.
  14. Midnight

    Midnight Member

    Thank you all for your suggestions! Unfortunately, there isn't a neurologist where I am. I'd have to go to the mainland (I'm on an island) to get to the 'big' city, and that is an expensive endeavour, and then theres the waiting list (hooray for universal health care, eh?). I'd love to see one though! I think next time I'm in to see my GP I'll ask her for some heavy duty muscle relaxants for times like these, and I'm looking into getting a mouth guard thing. My problem is cash - jobs in the human services here don't pay squat, especially in the 'front lines' where I work. I was eventually able to bring the pain down to a bearable level after my husband found me crying in the bath; he gave me a massage, got me to eat something so I could take a bunch of ibuprofen and muscle relaxants, and then I did some yoga. The good thing about all this is that it motivated me to really take another look around for counselling (again, hard to find a decently priced one, and I've not been in to see someone since my teens). I've found a student doing her practicum, so we will be learning together, but I can afford her price, and it's better than just trying to do it on my own.
  15. anni

    anni Bucephalus ( an old war horse )
    Premium Member

    Hi again,

    I can't help but look at migraine posts because it's a huge issue for me, too.

    Have you ever tried the Capasin cream? It's a pepper derivative so you have to be reallyyyy careful about getting any on your face or anywhere else which would be a little sensitive. There's a dynamic which takes a long time to explain, but I put it on the back of my neck, down to my shoulder muscles. It burns quite a bit for 5 minutes or so, but it's SO worth it sometimes. It can stop the muscle action which can turn into one of the headaches. If I can afford to be out of commision for the day I'll add Benedryl to whatever anti-headache med I'm taking, too, or just take it alone. My neuro recommended it and that works sometimes also.

    My neuro also has me on B2, magnesium and feverfew every day, believe it or not. They do seem to make a difference in frequency.

    Sorry if any of this is not helpful. Everyone is different in what 'works' for them, I know. I hope you're getting some relief REALLY soon!

    Take care,

  16. Clydiechick

    Clydiechick Active Member


    I don't get migranes, but I certainly get tension headaches. My husband gets migranes, and from what I can tell, they are completely different. If you can get away with breathing and yoga, that is excellent. Sometimes I have to take anti imflammatories. I have ground my teeth and chipped them. I have braces now to fix my bite and then my teeth need capping. I used to have to stick my finger between my teeth in the day to stop me from clenching them. You can try a mouthguard to start, but you may need a moulded one for sleeping?

    Take care
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