Headaches

Sideways

Sponsor
When it's not a migraine, dehydration or tension headache, but a side effect from medication, what are your headache management solutions?

I don't want to take any more opiate painkillers, but my aspirin and paracetamol aren't touching the sides. I've bumped up my water intake from 2L (my normal) to 3L a day because of the heat and I'm sweating more (side effect from meds on top of the heat wave). I'm running out of valium to keep my neck muscles out of spasm (tension headache issue that I'm managing).

My heatpack is a disaster - I practically become liquid from the sweating.

The headache may (may not) be a side effect from a small desvenlafaxine increase 6 weeks ago, although that should have settled by now. It's not a migraine (had that earlier this week), it's not a straight tension headache (get those, can treat them effectively), and I don't think it's dehydration (familiar with those - been hospitalised for that in the past).

Turning upside down is incredibly painful from the pressure that builds up in my head, which is making yoga a bitch because every time I try downward dog I want to bang my head against the floor from the pain. Cardio Exercise is down because it's limited by the heat and bushfire smoke.

I'm trying really hard to keep my caffiene intake exactly the same every day so withdrawals don't enter the picture.

So, thinking laterally - suggestions for headaches that are really bad, and aren't migraine, tension or dehydration...??? Please tell me I'm missing something obvious...
 

Friday

Moderator
Please tell me I'm missing something obvious...
Painful when you bend over & pressure in your head (aieee my head feels like it’s gonna explode when I bend over) Sharp OMFG pain if you briskly tap or knock on your forehead, cheekbones, or back of head = sinuses = decongestant like Sudafed (pseudoephedrine hcl), or albuterol up the nose, or fluticasone (steroid) nasal spray. Or, if you live in a temperate rain forest like I do? All 3 ;) Most people in this area have chronic sinus infections, but irritants like smoke and particulates in the air can also cause sinuses to go crazy on the mucus production.

I take Sudafed (to relieve the pressure) + paracetamol (to ease the pain) + Ibuprofen (to reduce tissue inflammation) about 10 days a month, and add albuterol (nasal bronchio dilator) + fluticasone (massive anti inflammatory) about 5 days a month. Some people also add antihistamines & use Neti-pots (distilled water only, unless you want an infection that lands you in the hospital having your face peeled off to scrape out). I’ve had enough water up my nose for 6 lifetimes as a swimmer (pass), that doesn’t touch back sinuses anyway; and antihistamines don’t help, because my sinus pressure isn’t caused by allergies. Rainforest mold = a sonnuvabitch on sinuses. Firefighters are the only other group I know of constantly having to drain theirs by brute force.
 
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mumstheword

MyPTSD Pro
Personally? I would also, on top of the medical gp, go and see a chinese doctor or practitioner. I don't know if it's an.option for you, but, I get great relief from acupuncture and massage and chinese herbs can detox and treat things that western medicine can't, in a gentle and holistic way.
Not sure if this is helpful, it's just what I do and I get great results.
I'm rooting for ya, @Sideways, really hope you feel better soon.
 

FauxLiz

Sponsor
Several things that I use to assist with headaches (primarily migraine but works for all) instead of heat ice on forehead and back of the neck, magnesium, this can help with the tension as well as it is know for treating muscle cramps and spasms. Other supplements that are generally used for headaches include Vitamin B and Feverfew. I would start with the magnesium and ice.
.
 

barefoot

MyPTSD Pro
Like @Friday I was going to suggest this could be your sinuses...blocked sinuses/sinus infection can cause terrible headaches and, in particular, that awful pressure-pain when you do things like bend over. I've had sinusitis several times – sometimes with no actual sinus pain at all only head, so it took me a while to work out what was really wrong.

If it is sinus-related – I find nasal sprays the most effective treatment for sinus stuff. I'd be cautious about taking decongestants as they can often dry things up too much and actually compound the problem. You want to get it all moving and out rather than keeping it stuck where it is.

Whether it's sinus-related or not, how about taking paracetamol and ibruprofen together? That's the go-to suggestion for pain relief from doctors here unless they're giving you something much more hardcore and prescription only. Even a couple of days post-surgery, I was advised to take paracetamol and ibruprofen – they make quite a good team!

Hope you find something to ease it soon – sounds pretty miserable!
 

Sideways

Sponsor
Okay, so I've been experimenting. I can rule out sinus issues, and meds side effects.

What seems to be happening is that tension in my neck is causing my neck muscles to spasm badly overnight. So...tension building up while I'm asleep (seriously!?). It eases a bit when I get moving again, but it's not easing enough through the day, so each night is getting worse than the last.

We've ruled out using NSAIDS like nurofen (stomach issues - was actually using 2 different ones, but am now throwing them in the bin, really need to not use them) which is a bit of a bitch. But I'm taking the slow release paracetamol throughout the day (GP okayed that).

Early morning exercise before it gets too hot means getting up at 4am. I can do that if I take my seroquel dose at lunch instead of late afternoon. So we're onto that. But running is currently out, so it's a case of swinging arms and doing neck stretches while we walk (and I'm pretty unco - surprisingly hard to walk straight, at a pace, with your head tipping side to side).

I've got a tennis ball to roll around on my neck to try and make up for the heatpacks (fk me that hurts)!

Going upside down, the pain is a sharp stabbing down the back of my head. But I may go and hit my dad up for some more neck & shoulder exercises to add to the arsenal. I'm not sure he's got any left, because I've done that a few times already.

Massages are out. Partly because no, Complete Stranger, you are not wrapping your hands around my neck while I try and relax in a vulnerable position. But mostly because the muscles are spasming around a nerve, and if they f*ck it up, that's potentially reeeeally dangerous (doctor wasn't mad keen unless I went to a specialist, which I can't afford).

I have limited funds at the best of times, and right now I can barely afford to eat. But I'm going to just suck it up and buy some new pillows today. Because the pain is getting unbearable, and keeping me awake, and I know that my pillows needed replacing several years back. I'm a side sleeper. I feel a bit sick at how much that's going to cost.

Of course, addictive meds like benzos and codeine help, but no way am I taking them daily. Even if it's just for trauma anniversary season, my gut won't cope with regular codeine, and the last thing I need is a benzo dependence. My GP has prescribed me straight codeine to supplement the panadol osteo and given me the green light to take whatever meds I need over this season, but then, she's not the one having gut issues!

Acupuncture would be purely experimental at this point, and I can't really afford experimental stuff. Even if I was comfortable with the concept (which I'm not). Chinese herbs would potentially be a cheap option, but I don't know which local suppliers are reliable, and which are the ones providing bogus shit with a bunch of pesticide-sprayed BS mixed through.

Magnesium: I'm going to the chemist tomorrow, and I'll ask the pharmacist it's worth a try, and okay with the meds I'm on. I'm naturally skeptical. 10 years ago, fish oil tablets had the status that magnesium currently enjoys. That stuff is expensive, and a lot of people spent a lot of money for the privilege of pissing out a whole lot of fish oil that their body couldn't store or use.

Tai chi is out as an alternative to yoga and endless downward dogs. I gave it a shot in hospital while I was there, and actually I think that it's something I should totally be doing (if you're looking for a way to practice mindfulness - hell yeah get into Tai Chi!). But...I was really crap at it, so at the moment, it wouldn't be providing much relief, because I spent most of the time just getting frustrated about what the hell I was supposed to be doing with my arms. But if anyone knows a good basic YouTube Tai Chi chanel? I might ask my sister to use her internet to download some.

If anyone has more ideas? Pleeeeeeease feel free to share!

There are no swimming pools around here, and I wouldn't be able to take my dog, but I think I may look into that more, because I like swimming, and it definitely works the neck and shoulders with decent support. Going somewhere without my dog scares the shit outta me, and it's been a while since I was able to get into a swimming pool without having a meltdown (body issues - lots of very public tears sitting on the side of the pool trying to dip my foot in - so stupid).

I'm literally considering my heat pack, but am twitchy about getting dehydrated (which happens easily for me - especially now that it's super hot, and I'm sweating excess on top of that because, of course, I get that side effect from my Pristiq!). It's going to be 38C here tomorrow (fry an egg on the footpath temperature), and I dehydrate easily, so it's probably not a smart move. Dehydration headaches are a nightmare.
 

siniang

MyPTSD Pro
As someone who's been dealing with neck-pain causing (tension) headaches for well over a decade, I so much emphasize with your situation. It sucks. It just plain sucks. (I had a time when I would simply pass out when stretching my neck...been told by GP and Physio this shouldn't happen....you don't say :hilarious: )

But I'm going to just suck it up and buy some new pillows today. Because the pain is getting unbearable, and keeping me awake, and I know that my pillows needed replacing several years back. I'm a side sleeper. I feel a bit sick at how much that's going to cost.

Any chance you could switch to sleeping on your back?

My Physio recommended instead of getting a pillow, get an orthopedic...uhm, no idea what they're called...but basically a "pillow" that's a role. She gave me one for my back when sitting in my office chair, and one for the night. You basically place it under your neck and sleep without a pillow -- you can try with rolling up a towel instead to give it a try.

I never did :oops: but wanted to at least pass the recommendation on. Since I've recently been dealing with increased sleep-based tension and headaches again, I probably should look back into this myself.

Tai chi is out as an alternative to yoga and endless downward dogs. I gave it a shot in hospital while I was there, and actually I think that it's something I should totally be doing (if you're looking for a way to practice mindfulness - hell yeah get into Tai Chi!). But...I was really crap at it, so at the moment, it wouldn't be providing much relief, because I spent most of the time just getting frustrated about what the hell I was supposed to be doing with my arms. But if anyone knows a good basic YouTube Tai Chi chanel? I might ask my sister to use her internet to download some.

Even if not an option right now, I highly encourage it. I did Tai Chi a few years ago and absolutely love it. Can't recommend any youtube channels, sorry, but a good trainer should start from scratch and increase slowly as to not overwhelm.

I absolutely love Tai Chi and have been meaning to start up again for a long while, but I'm terrible of doing things just on my own, I need a class I can go to. And since that is at 8AM on the other side of the island, hasn't happened yet.

There are no swimming pools around here, and I wouldn't be able to take my dog, but I think I may look into that more, because I like swimming, and it definitely works the neck and shoulders with decent support. Going somewhere without my dog scares the shit outta me, and it's been a while since I was able to get into a swimming pool without having a meltdown (body issues - lots of very public tears sitting on the side of the pool trying to dip my foot in - so stupid).

Is there a reason you can't bring do doggo? Not allowed in Australia even for SDs? You know I'm a big fan of swimming, myself, so highly enocurage that, too, if at all possible somehow. Because in addition to this being really helpful with muscle/tension issues....at least for me it's really mediative.

Otherwise...not really helpful stuff as I'm still looking for fixes for this, myself. You've probably already seen all the different back/neck exercises under the moon, but if you want I can look through what I've been given by Physio when I get back home.

:hug::hug:

ETA: Do you grind your teeth/lock your jaw? Especially with all the recent stress and anniversary season coming up?
 

Sideways

Sponsor
Any chance you could switch to sleeping on your back?
I have to do this when I get the flu, and have to prop my head up overnight. As an ongoing nightly thing? Nup. Have tried. Can't get my head to relax. It's a trauma position. It's a position bad things happen in. If I can't breathe because of congestion? I don't have a choice. But if I want to get some sleep? It just doesn't work. My back would appreciate me sleeping flat. My back is going to have to just suck it up.

Is there a reason you can't bring do doggo?
Haha, he's allowed, but he doesn't like swimming, and when I go in the water, it stresses him out and he barks at me till I'm back on the safety of dry land.

He has been known to jump in after me to try and rescue me if I stay in too long (which is just the most hilarious thing you've ever seen, since he's a 6kg shih tzu), which always ends with me rescuing him when he realises, "Oh fk, I'm in the water! Help!!"

Assistance Dogs at pools? Totally okay. Dog barking at the side of the pool because he thinks Mama's drowning? Not okay!
 

siniang

MyPTSD Pro
It's a trauma position. It's a position bad things happen in.

Ah dang, sorry, totally didn't think of that!

I personally don't like sleeping on the back, either, but my shoulders protest side sleeping and my lower back PLUS my neck protest sleeping on my stomach...so I just constantly shift all night. Sucks.

No suggestions for pillows/tips for side sleeping :-/ Physio was very adamant about preferably sleeping on the back.

Except...I recently got this; haven't actually tried it for night sleep, yet, but it's very firm = more support? Possibly worth a try? Wasn't cheap at all, but is amazing for naps (and particularly since I have issues with laying on my shoulders)

Dead Link Removed

(hope it's ok to post link?!?)

Also, since you can't afford acupuncture, right now, have you ever looked into an acupuncture mat for at home? (though possibly not, because...laying on back)

when I go in the water, it stresses him out and he barks at me till I'm back on the safety of dry land.

Something to possibly work on with him, though? :)
 

Sideways

Sponsor
Nb. Tennis ball is in the bin. Apart from a very sensitive swollen lump on the back of my neck, it's done SFA.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
When it's not a migraine, dehydration or tension headache, but a side effect from medication, what are your headache management solutions?

I don't want to take any more opiate painkillers, but my aspirin and paracetamol aren't touching the sides. I've bumped up my water intake from 2L (my normal) to 3L a day because of the heat and I'm sweating more (side effect from meds on top of the heat wave). I'm running out of valium to keep my neck muscles out of spasm (tension headache issue that I'm managing).

My heatpack is a disaster - I practically become liquid from the sweating.

The headache may (may not) be a side effect from a small desvenlafaxine increase 6 weeks ago, although that should have settled by now. It's not a migraine (had that earlier this week), it's not a straight tension headache (get those, can treat them effectively), and I don't think it's dehydration (familiar with those - been hospitalised for that in the past).

Turning upside down is incredibly painful from the pressure that builds up in my head, which is making yoga a bitch because every time I try downward dog I want to bang my head against the floor from the pain. Cardio Exercise is down because it's limited by the heat and bushfire smoke.

I'm trying really hard to keep my caffiene intake exactly the same every day so withdrawals don't enter the picture.

So, thinking laterally - suggestions for headaches that are really bad, and aren't migraine, tension or dehydration...??? Please tell me I'm missing something obvious...
I do Shamanic journey/meditate/self-hypnosis enough that I can control and often get rid of my pain. So if meds don't do it, use your head (really) to reduce pain levels. It is also a great way to take a pain vacation.
 
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