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Valsalva Headache

Hi everyone, My name is Linda and I have been suffering with valsalva headaches for the last 18 months. They started very suddenly, brought on by laughing and coughing. The pain stops me in my tracks and lasts for about 5-10 seconds each time. They are excrutiating and it terrifies me socialising with friends as when I laugh (which is often) I end up practically screaming in pain. My neurologist has recommended I take Indomethacin 3 times a day and also a stomach protector at the same time. Please tell me I’m not alone. Does anyone have any alternative remedies that may help? Many thanks.

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  • Jaume
    4 years ago

    Hi Lyndyloo.
    I had the same problem almost a year ago. I sneezed and suddenly I had this splitting headache, like if something bursted inside my skull. It lasted a few seconds, and the next time I sneezed or coughed it was the same. It was accompanied by lightheadedness and blurry vision. I checked with a neurologist and diagnosed the same Valsalva headache. I had a MNR done and everything was negative. The doctor gave me indomethacin for a few weeks. Since there was no organic origin (no tumor or anything similar) he said that normally as it appeared it would disappear. Now I have it once in a while, but I’m not on meds anymore.
    I’ve suffered also from migraine since I was a child (I’m 42 now), and this was a completely new kind of headache.
    I hope your’s will solve soon.

  • Jenn Lebowitz
    4 years ago

    Hi Lindyloo-

    Thank you so much for sharing your story – and we are so sorry to hear what you’ve been going through! You’re certainly not alone here.

    To answer your question, in addition to the treatment you’ve been prescribed by your neurologist, these articles on complementary alternative therapies may be useful: Additionally, this article is an intro to complementary and alternative medicine and may be helpful as well:

    Please do feel free to keep us posted on how you’re doing. We’ll be thinking of you and sending you our best.


    Jenn (Community Manager,

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