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Diagnosis of Migraine & Headache Types

Almost constant headaches

  • By AFG034

    I’m going to give a brief explanation of my medical history, doctors I’ve seen and some questions. Sorry for the lengthy post but I just have a lot of questions. I’m not looking for someone to diagnose me but rather just provide feedback.

    History:
    – I have asthma (which is controlled by medication)
    – I have thyroid disease (which is controlled by medication)
    – I have really bad seasonal allergies.
    – I work 8-430, Monday through Friday behind a desk, looking at a computer for most of that time. I try to get up and walk around, help out in the warehouse I work for but it’s not all the time. I also don’t exercise all that much.

    Doctors and Procedures:
    – In September 2016 I had double inguinal hernia repair.
    – In October 2016, I was complaining of slight headaches and some dizziness. I went to an ENT who had me go for an MRI of my brain which came back normal except for a small cyst in my right sinus.
    – I’ve seen my primary doctor on a few occasions for various flu and respiratory infections, in which they’ve done blood tests to which all came back normal.
    – I’ve seen an eye doctor who said I have 20/20 vision.
    – I’ve seen my asthma and thyroid doctor, all whom agreed everything is in line.
    – I also saw a neurologist who said everything was normal and nothing wrong with my brain and said my headaches could be tension.

    Symptoms:
    – At first my headaches were constant throbbing on either side of my head, the back of my head and neck and sometimes the top of my head. Now it seems to be more focused on the left and right sides, taking turns with a dull throb to what feels sometimes like a burn.
    – I also noticed a change in my sleep. I go to bed usually at 10pm and wake up at 650am. I noticed myself waking up at around 3am every night, only to fall back asleep until my alarm goes off. Also mind you, my wife is 14 weeks pregnant and every time I move in bed, I wake up because I think subconsciously I don’t want to wake her.
    – Now my headaches are sporadically popping up on my left and right and top of head. They can last for seconds or minutes than go away. I’ve been trying not to take any medication and I don’t notice a desire to take it.
    – I also noticed that occasionally my hands will twitch. When I’m at rest, sitting in my car (not driving) or working at my desk, they twitch a little. But if my hands are occupied, they don’t do it.

    Here are some question:
    1) Should I go back to the neurologist and get another MRI?
    2) Is it possible this could be like a pinched nerve or something in my neck/back?
    3) Does anyone still think it could be related to my surgery and the anesthesia?
    4) I looked into sleep apnea, but I don’t have all the symptoms.

    I’m basically at a crossroads and I don’t know what to do. I’ve been to several doctors, all which said everything is good so than why do I still get these headaches?

    Any input is appreciated.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi AFG034

    Thank you for sharing your story with us and being part of our community. Let me see what I can do to help.

    I’ll start with your questions:

    1) It’s important to have an accurate diagnosis to correctly treat head pain. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to see a doctor who is a true expert in treating migraine and headache disorders. General neurologists may be fine doctors but have a hard time being experts in one area because they treat so many different conditions such as epilepsy, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and others. A true migraine/headache expert is board certified in headache medicine which is differnt than being certified in neurology. When you get a moment take a look at this information on how these doctors are different and how to find one; http://migraine.com/blog/how-are-migraine-specialists-different/ and https://migraine.com/blog/really-find-headache-specialist/.

    2) It is possible that a pinched nerve or a neck issue could be triggering/contributing to your head pain. Again, getting an accurate diagnosis will help with this. For more on doctors and diagnosis, take a look at this article; https://migraine.com/migraine-diagnosis/.

    3) As much as I wish I could comment on the likely hood of your head pain stemming from your surgery, it’s out of my area of expertise.

    4) Seeing as you are waking with head pain during the night, I would encourage you to speak with your doctor about haing a sleep study. Reading symptoms online and self diagnosis can be dangerous – it’s a good idea to talk with the doctor instead. Sleep apnea is not the only sleep issue that can create head pain. Restless leg syndrome, periodic limb movement disorder and low oxygen among others should be ruled out. We have information on sleep issues here; https://migraine.com/blog/movement-disorders-and-migraines/.

    Seeing as you are in front of a computer all day, it may be beneficial to adjust your settings to see if that helps. Also, how is the lighting in your office? That may need some adjustment too. Here are a few articles that may be helpful; https://migraine.com/blog/my-road-to-workplace-accommodations/ and https://migraine.com/blog/the-pros-and-cons-of-screen-time/.

    Is there any chance you take something on a daily or near daily basis to help relieve your head pain? We can end up creating another problem called medication overuse headache, moh which was formerly called rebound. Moh may occur if we take migraine medications and/or pain relievers, whether they are over-the-counter or prescription, more than two to three days a week. If we are in an moh cycle our head pain will be unending and migraine attacks will be more difficult to treat. This article has information on moh; https://migraine.com/blog/help-how-can-i-not-overuse-migraine-medications/.

    Let me know what you think,
    Nancy

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