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Getting close to chronic

I’ve been an episodic migraineur for the last 10 years. I average 10-12 a month and they typically last 1-4 hours and the majority are an average level of pain. I’ve occasionally had only 6 or 7 a month. Every so often, such as now, I have one every other day or every day. They get more severe and last longer.

As they accumulate, I feel muscle soreness in my back and neck. I feel in contact need of a massage. I feel emotional, wiped out and spaced out. Today

I started a 3 day course of dexamethasone. I pray it works. I’ve had good results with it in the past but not always. It makes me feel like I’ve had 6 cups of coffee. I fear that they will never go away.

I turned 45 this winter and wonder if my hormones are involved in this increase. I wonder how thats even evaluated and treated. I’m scheduled for a new patient visit with a neurologist who treats migraine. I also want to see my OB/GYN.

My headache specialist no longer takes insurance. This forum has been educational as well as a place to receive support, so I’m sharing my story. I would love some feedback.

By the way, the only think that helps me is relpax and I may be having MOH migraines. I’ve tried a ton of preventatives. Currently on 100 mg of verapamil ER. Which seemed to help the first 6 weeks but no more.

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  • Tammy Rome
    5 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing! As Katie mentioned, some physical therapy for the neck and back pain may help. A couple of years ago I discovered that a pinched nerve between C6 and C7 was contributing to the frequency of migraine. I was diagnosed with Cervicogenic Headache (fancy medical term for headache caused by neck problems). I went through 20 weeks of Myofascial Release therapy and did specific exercises at home to help my recovery. Now when I feel my neck and back muscles tensing up, I do the home stretches. Having stronger back muscles and training my body to use the correct muscle groups has really helped.

    You also mentioned that you have been taking Verapamil for about 6 weeks. It can take up to 3 months to see the full benefits of a preventive. You are on a pretty low dose, so you might consider talking to your doctor about a gradual increase. Just know that patients who take Verapamil need to have regular EKGs to make sure they are not developing a rare, but serious heart block problem. I’ve been on 360 mg of Verapamil (3 divided doses) for almost 2 years. My neuro orders an EKG every year with my physical. So far I’ve been just fine. Still, it is reassuring to see that “normal” result each year.

    Please don’t be alarmed. Lots of people take Verapamil without serious side effects. It’s just good to know what to look out for. Here’s a couple of links that will help you have good conversations with your doctor.

    Best of luck to you!


  • Katie M. Golden moderator
    5 years ago

    With your age, it’s very possible that your Migraines could be getting worse due to hormones and you should definitely bring it up with your doctor at your upcoming appointment. Here’s some info to look at it to prepare you.

    Also, I get a lot of neck pain with my Migraines too. Have you ever tried physical therapy? Every once in a while a muscle relaxer helps, but I try to stay away from them and opt for massages, too.

    Everything you mentioned here are great starting points with your new doc. Good luck!

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