General Discussions

Chronic Migraines & Degenerated discs in neck

  • By Cindy Boily

    Hi everyone,
    I have had chronic daily migraine for more than 14 years now and have just been diagnosed with degenerated discs in my neck. I’m just wondering if anyone else has this combination and what they do to relieve the pain.

    Cindy Boily

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg


    Spinal issues are a common comorbidity with Migraine. Those of us who have it are an unfortunate bunch to be sure!

    The fact is, Migraine can trigger muscle and neck problems, and spinal problems can trigger Migraine attacks. In fact, one particular type of headache disorder is called cervicogenic headache, and it comes specifically from problems with the upper body and neck.

    I have tried a lot of things to relieve the pain of my neck problems, which are fairly severe. What works for one, may not work for another. I highly suggest seeking the help of your doctor. This is indeed a touchy area.

    Some patients have luck with chiropractic or osteopathic manipulative therapy. Others prefer massage therapy or acupuncture. Still others prefer physical therapy to strengthen their frame and minimize problems in that area. I’ve tried all of these with varying success. The thing that helped the most for me, was Botox in my neck, back and head for chronic Migraine. It stopped many of the spasms that were making my neck almost immobile. When I was able to move again, the pain was greatly reduced. My nerves were freed and my mobility is SO much better. I can’t rebuild my bad discs or collapsed vertebrae, but I can maximize what I do have left.

    Keeping your neck and spine healthy is going to be really important for you, and it’s best to start now before it gets worse, as these things are wont to due as we age. Think of it as preventive medicine for your pain load.


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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Cindy,

    I too have issues with my cervical spine. In fact I had a two level cervical fusion in 2004 to help with a bit of nerve damage I had.

    I find that my TENS unit helps with tension-type headache and neck tension and can sometimes prevent a TTH from turning into a migraine. Heat is also a helpful comfort measure as I am unable to tolerate cold on my head or neck.

    I hope you find this helpful,

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg


    Cold extremities can be a Migraine symptom for some of us. In my case, I have a condition called Raynaud’s which is actually a symptom of my autoimmune diseases. It also causes my fingers and toes, hands and feet to become cold and turn colors. For some unlucky “frosties” this condition can also affect the face and even breasts. Here is more information on cold extremities and Migraine:

    Another thing to keep into consideration is the link between magnesium deficiencies often found in Migraine patients, and cold extremities. Dr Mauskop has talked about mag deficiencies in the comment section of the Raynaud’s post as well as here:

    I hope this is helpful 🙂


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  • By julia

    I have had migraines for around 9 years, since I was in my mid 40’s. around 15 days a month. I have tried acupuncture, massage, betablockers, hrt in varying amounts inc bioidentical hormones, exercise, botox injections, epilim, egc, and had resigned myself to resorting to Maxalt, the only drug which worked. NOW I HARDLY DARE SAY IT BUT I SEEM TO HAVE FOUND THE ANSWER, not viq the dr, neurologist, or Migraine Centre, but via an ordinary hands on physio, who I saw because of a stiff neck, shoulders, which is ongoing prob since childhood. simple pressure on the joints followed by v short massage from this football physio seems to have made my migraines completely go, as long as i have regular sessions, say once a week at the mo, but hoping to reduce. dr’s a bit sceptical but its 100 pc worked for me, life changing.

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