Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

Headaches might not be migraines

When I was about ten years old, I always had headaches. They weren’t severe but I can remember having to rest to relieve them. I also remember my father tying his head with a cloth and resting to relieve his headaches. I really didn’t think much of this and thought I was just overly tired. I got my first really severe headache when I was pregnant with my first child. I remember a very bad sinus infection and attributed the headache to that. Whenever I was overly tired, I tended to get a headache.

Now I am in my early 60’s and had a very interesting experience. About 4 years ago, I contacted a very bad virus and was in bed for three days. I couldn’t lift my head without having a great deal of pain. This went on for weeks so I consulted a neurologist. He prescribed a spinal tap. After the tap, the doctor prescribed several medications. He put me off and said I had migraines. I knew that this was a very different kind of headache. I didn’t take the medication and the headache continued. I went to see another neurologist who specialized in headaches. I had another spinal tap and an mri.

He felt that I had a spinal leak. I had a procedure called a blood patch in my spine and I had a great deal of relief. After about a year the head pain began again but not as severe. I had another mri and needed another blood patch. It has been about 2 years since my last procedure and I am relatively headache free. Headaches only occur when I really push myself. I do get neck pain but the mri showed that my brain sank down a bit and there is some constriction.

After this leaky spine situation, I developed blepherospasm in the left side of my face.

My doctor feels that this is a result of my brain being constricted. I’m sure that I have simplified this a bit. I get mri’s every two years and nothing has changed. I am grateful for that.

The migraine web site is an intense source of information and very helpful when I need answers to some specific question. Thank you for that.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Ellen Schnakenberg
    8 years ago

    Hello Nancy,

    You bring up a good point. Any new type of head pain or change in your Migraine or headache pattern should be investigated. If you aren’t satisfied with your doctor’s diagnosis, then you might consider asking for a second opinion. If that doesn’t work, then get a third – whatever it takes. It is sad that Migraine attacks and those patients who suffer them are often not taken seriously. This is where becoming a proactive patient as you were pays off.

    As to the blepharospasms – has your doctor mentioned the word Dystonia to you? Blepharospasm is a type of Dystonia and it may be treatable, but diagnosis and treatment is best given by a special type of neurologist called a Movement Disorder Specialist. I too am a Dystonia patient 🙂

  • Poll