Does anyone get bad headaches?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by c073186, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. c073186 macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 2, 2007
    #1
    I've been having some really annoying headaches nonstop for the past 3 months. My doctor has given me Vicodin and Fioricet - neither of which does much (the Vicodin helps some... if I take just a little over the recommended dosage...). Just wondering if anyone here gets chronic headaches and what drugs / remedies work?
     
  2. shecky Guest

    shecky

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    Obviously you're not a golfer.
  3. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #3
    Are you drinking enough water to stay properly hydrated? That might help.
     
  4. MLeepson macrumors 6502

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    USA
    #4
    I get terrible migraines. I go to a doctor for them. she told me to take Topamax (by prescription), Magnesium Oxide 500mg, and Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) 100-400mg.
    The last two work pretty good and you can get them at almost drug store. The Magnesium can cause some GI (gastrointestinal) issues, mainly diarrhea and the like.
    There's also Migrelief, which is Magnesium Oxide, Riboflavin, and Feverfew.
    I suggest talking to your doctor about those two supplements and he/she recommends.
     
  5. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #5
    If you're not careful, you'll end up finding that you're getting the headaches because you're not keeping up your slight overdose of Vicodin.

    Are you leaving out some actual diagnostic steps here, or has your doctor been prescribing you Vicodin for three months straight on your claim that you have an unexplained persistent headache? I am no doctor, but your description sounds like enablement of drug-seeking behavior, whether or not you actually are a drug-seeker. This course of action seems destined to make you one regardless.

    To the point, just out of curiosity, when's the last time you had a thorough eye exam?
     
  6. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #6
    lots of things can cause head pain. gotta narrow it down to find the cause.

    eyes
    food
    hydration
    sleep
    stress
    etc.

    those are the most common causes.

    start with a headache diary. keep track of your foods, the weather, and moods prior to the headache starting.

    try and stay hydrated, as thats usually a cause.

    also caffeine can cause some horrible pain if you're not getting the same amount daily. takes about 48 hours for all caffeine to leave your system, if i go two days without any i get a horrible migraine and sick. lasts about a day.

    talk with your doctor about finding the cause or seeing a neurologist too.
     
  7. monkeydo_jb macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Try a good chiropractor.

    Mine has done miracles for my bad headaches. I used to get several a week, and now I maybe get one a month.

    Lots of people think you get hooked on going to them, like your joints loosen up after they manipulate you. I've found that after the joints in question get aligned properly, then retrained by consistent adjustments, they heal properly and rarely need a 'touch up.'

    *Edit* - I'll also echo what shecky said - get a good pillow. The contoured ones are really conducive to proper sleeping posture.
     
  8. c073186 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 2, 2007
    #8
    Well I started having these headaches after back surgery in January. I had a laminectomy - one of the side effects of which is a leakage of cerebrospinal fluid leak, resulting in headaches. I have talked to my doctor about this and he just says that sometimes it takes a while for things to completely heal and normalize. In the meantime, I must deal with daily headaches. So anyways I am just trying to figure out something that works.
     
  9. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

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    Feb 10, 2004
    #9
    My wife used to get really bad headaches. Nothing helped them. She started taking a multivitamin and they pretty much went away. It's a cheap and easy thing to try at least.
     
  10. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

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    #10
    I get headaches regularly because of my allergies, and usually I just take an asprin, and that helps usually. If not, I drink a lot of water, and take a nap.
     
  11. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #11
    Ah, that sounds a little less incredibly irresponsible of your doctor than what you first posted. :) Older relatives in my family have had that surgery to alleviate spinal stenosis, and for all I know I may have to have it myself one day.

    Again, not a doctor, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that under the circumstances, going to see a chiropractor is definitely on the list of things not to try.

    I'll be honest, I'm very wary of prescription pain medication. Even when I've been prescribed it, which happened very recently due to an injury, I've forced myself to be very conservative in evaluating how much edge really needs to be taken off a pain for me to function. The trouble is, part of getting addicted is that your brain will keep telling you things hurt even after they've healed just to get more of the drug, so you won't really know when to stop, and that little marginal overdose has a way of going up gradually until, without your noticing, it isn't so little anymore.

    Instead of talking to us, I would definitely talk to your doctor. You might be inclined to worry about getting in some kind of trouble if you tell him you've been taking more than the prescribed dose of the painkillers, but your doctor needs to know all the circumstances of your condition, even that one, to treat you properly. Knowing you have to take more than your doctor prescribed might lead him to suggest some other pain management regimen altogether. You need to work with him not only to make sure your pain is correctly managed, but also to make sure you won't be adding a stay in rehab to your future treatment.
     
  12. Surely Guest

    Surely

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    #12
    You are incorrect. Not every treatment protocol that a chiropractor utilizes involves the spinal adjustment of that specific area. I see a chiropractor, and I've seen all different types of patients in the clinic while I'm there, including people who just had surgery.

    I know a few people that have gone to a chiro after they've had surgery on their back or neck, and have had successful treatment to reduce their pain. One of my aunts coincidentally had a laminectomy, and saw a chiropractor a few weeks after the surgery, and was helped a great deal. She told me that the chiro adjusted her midback and low back for alignment and compensation purposes (the laminectomy was in her neck), did some electric stim, muscle work, and used heat on her neck. She was feeling a lot better after a few weeks. BTW, I know these specifics about her treatment because I just called her and asked.

    I'm not saying that chiropractic will definitely be able to help (how would I know that?), but it seems like it is a potential option for you.

    Good luck, and I hope you feel better.
     
  13. tMac85 macrumors 65816

    tMac85

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    in a great place
    #13
    i do, but i have a condition. It spawns from my neck.
     
  14. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #14
    Chiropractors do not adjust anything. There is no 'misalignment' in the back that can be realigned by them. It's a complete sham that is trying to sound medical. If your spinal column is out of alignment you've got serious problems - it will likely impinge on your spinal canal and your spinal column and cause neurological deficits. That's why any time anyone has suspected spinal injury they are immobilised immediately. Getting someone to manipulate your back/neck without doing xrays or MRIs to visualise the problem is likely only going to make things worse. Much worse. Especially for someone just following a laminectomy the last thing you want to be doing is aggravating the back. You'll likely exacerbate any CSF leakage or cause bleeding.

    None of this is chiropractic. Getting a massage would do the same thing and you're not paying a ridiculously high price to line the pockets of a pseudopractitioner.
     
  15. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #15
    c073186 I'd definitely go back and speak with your doctor. There are stronger things available for migraines that might help you. I have to be honest and say that I don't know what the contraindications of a laminectomy are, or what your own personal contraindications are to medications - that's the specialty of your treating doc.

    Some to ask about are medications containing sumatriptan (such as imigran) and also migraine preventative drugs (which decrease headache frequency) such as amitryptiline, propranolol, and pizotifen. You could always just ring your docs surgery and ask if they have any recommendations. Usually they'll be able to help or fill out a prescription without you having to have a consult for a common side effects of treatment. But again don't go for them without consultation with a doctor that knows all your medical conditions.

    As pointed out above you've got to be careful taking a higher dose of meds. Besides the labelled side effects a lot of the time you can end up with paradoxical 'rebound' headaches, which are just as bad or worse as the pain you're trying to treat. Good luck :).
     
  16. Surely Guest

    Surely

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    #16
    Yeah, ok buddy.

    Yawn. This is a boring, AMA sponsored, baseless argument. There is plenty of research available that supports the science of chiropractic, including imaging of misalignments. No one said anything about dislocations, which is what you are refering to. My chiropractor talks about how when you injure yourself, your muscles spasm to guard the injury. That can cause rotations that pull on the joints in the spine and cause them to not move properly. This can cause problems in the joint and maybe in the nerves near the joint. Oh, and he took x-rays and showed me the differences between my spine and what a normal spine should look like.

    You are extremely uninformed. Don't try to talk about something you know absolutely nothing about and insult an entire profession. Millions of people are helped every year by chiropractors.
     
  17. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #17
    If you want to discuss the pros and cons or a treatment please do so civilly.

    There certainly is evidence that some of the work chiropractors do is of benefit. I never said that there wasn't. They now do plenty of treatments that are scientific and that is backed by evidence - unfortunately most is borrowed from physiotherapy or massage and not chiropractic at all. It's a profession trying to (and is thankfully) gaining credibility. One thing that there is zero evidence of benefit is 'manipulation' of the spine which is the old pseudoscience approach of chiropractors that gave them a bad name in the first place. But feel free to post the research to peer reviewed, double-blind scientific papers showing the benefits of chiropractic 'manipulation' treatments. Here's pubmed to make it easy for you.

    As with all pseudoscience this is largely a bastardisaion of fact. There can be muscle spasm with injury, and indeed there can be problems with the workings of muscles in the back following injury. However, there is no evidence that this is a 'misalignment' that either needs to, or can be fixed by 'manipulation' of the back.

    Feel free to post them up. I'll be happy to appraise them for you or run them past the ortho/neuro registrars/consultants if it's beyond my level. You can PM them to me if you like. I'd also like to see an xray of your back after his treatment if you have one. I'm interested in what he changed or realigned.

    Quite the contrary. I know plenty about chiropractors and what they can an can't do. In fact its an important part of medical training to ensure our patients aren't harmed, taken in, or mislead by psuedoscientific claims.

    Millions of people also swear that wearing magnetic bracelets helps with their arthritis. Again I'm not saying that there isn't some merit to some of the treatments on offer by chiropractors. They are abiding more and more by evidence based protocols and being taught at bona fide universities. However there is no evidence that any amount of spinal manipulation is going to do anything productive that isn't a placebo.
     
  18. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #18
    Yes.

    The only thing that works for me is LSD.
     
  19. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #19
    Are we still talking headaches Mord ;)?
     
  20. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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  21. letsgorangers macrumors 6502

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    TN
    #21
    Yes, I've been seeing a headache specialist for nearly a year now. I took Cyclobenzaprine+some prescription pain reliever, Topamax, and Gabapentin. None of them worked. I went to an eye doctor and got new glasses, didn't work (but I can see better!). I went to a physiotherapist 2x a week for 2 months to work on my "trigger points" in my neck, didn't work. I am currently on a tricyclic antidepressant and it's working better than the rest but it's not working as well as it used to.

    I suggest you go see a neurologist or a headache specialist. Oh and no more vicodin or any pain killer for that matter -- it will just exacerbate the condition. Pain killers can have a rebound effect, leaving you with a worse headache than before.
     
  22. mrwizardno2 macrumors 6502a

    mrwizardno2

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    Columbus, OH
    #22
    I'm on Maxalt for migraines, but I have headaches during the week because of work. They built a new building for us IT folk, and the construction fumes are still getting to me. :-(
     
  23. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #23
    I rarely get blinding migraines. I partially lose my vision for a bit and a headache will follow unless I get a paracetamol. Ruined my 16th birthday :( but I've only had about 5 or so in the 6 years since.

    I now drink a lot of water (1 litre a day) and get 7-8 hours sleep.
     
  24. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #24
    Amitriptyline? I've been prescribed this but I haven't tried it yet and I'm not sure I want to, I'm uncomfortable taking any mind altering drug regularly, I like being myself.
     
  25. letsgorangers macrumors 6502

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    TN
    #25
    Yep. I was a bit uneasy taking it at first, but it's really been the only thing that's helped. The first few weeks are hard though, because it does make you exceptionally tired. It is supposed to help me sleep (not sleeping is a huge trigger for me) and it helped for a little while, but is not as effective anymore. Same for the headaches, but I'm still in a better place than I was a year ago.
     

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