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Triggers and Causes

Previous Neck or Head Injury

  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    Janacourtney, luckily there are some anti-seizure meds that can sometimes help Migraine patients. There are many different choices, and it may be a problem with which medication your husband is currently prescribed. Additionally, it can take weeks or months for these medicines to take effect and for side effects to have a chance to minimize. Many patients eventually have to make a choice between a foggy brain or a migrainey brain. It’s a sad fact that we don’t yet have very good ways to prevent our Migraine attacks…

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  • By Krista

    In ’92 I was hit in the head several times in one night & then a month later a jug fell on my head. Prior to that I never had migraines, I never even had a headache. Since then I struggle with migraines all the time. Plus a few car accidents. I’ve had whiplash, concussions,pulled ligaments in my neck & my spine pushed down a couple inches. I am pretty certain this combination is what gave me my migraines. It has sure been a learning experience.

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    Krista, this is a good case for needing a headache specialist. It’s very probable that you will need different kinds of treatments that a Migraineur who has not had trauma or cervicogenic issues like you’ve mentioned here. Migraine treatment is different than treatment for those other types of headaches…

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  • By amor147

    About a year ago I had a terrible espisode. Shaking, confusion, and just felt like I was dying. I had no idea what was happening. Went to the doctor and she had no clue. Now every few months I have strange feelings such as: sweating of hands, left hand feeling numb, hand to get words out, unclear vision(especially when driving), sensitiviy to light, dizziness, unbalanced, the list goes on. It is a scary feeling and I am still unclear if I am having silent migraines.

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  • By Teri Robert

    amor147,

    Wow, that would be scary. I don’t want to scare you more, but you really do need to find a doctor who can help you because those symptoms could be Migraine, but they could also be something else.

    Is there a history of Migraine in your family? Did you doctor order any imaging studies to rule out other causes for your symptoms? Was this your family doctor?

    If she’s your family doctor, I’d suggest you see a neurologist. If she’s a neurologist, then I suggest you get a second opinion from a Migraine specialist. Take a look at https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-management-essential-diagnosis-and-doctors/

    Teri

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  • By garfieldrules

    My chronic daily migraines started around the same time I had 2 car accidents 12months apart. An MRI has shown all is clear. One of my osteopaths said I had a twisted neck. All my other headaches for the 20 years prior are all due to stress, sinus & hormonal.

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    garfieldrules – Have you seen a Migraine and headache specialist yet? It sounds like you may have some other things going on that need an appropriate diagnosis. For example, cervicogenic headache is a condition caused by the neck. It can look and feel like Migraine, but isn’t. As such, it often won’t react to Migraine medicines very well. That’s because the wrong condition is being treated.

    Here is a link on cervicogenic headache and one to help you find a specialist:

    https://migraine.com/blog/cervicogenic-headache/

    https://migraine.com/blog/looking-for-a-migraine-specialist/

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  • By Hels0310

    In Sept 2012 I had very minor car accident (I got hit from behind whilst stationary) and my neurologist said I had post concussion syndrome. I had episodes of light headedness, numbness down side of my face, arm and leg. Then since November 2013 I have had a constant migraine headaches varying buying in severity, which he says confirms PCS. I am on epilepsy medication. I am fuzzy headed with my medication and am getting more and more confused as the lady mentioned above about her husband, I also find that in particular TV and computers make my migraine much worse even after a few minutes. I don’t know if this has worsened since the addition of my second medication. I am on lamotrigine and keppra (I am in the u.k) I am not on the full dose of lamotrigine yet and he says I should wait. Should I be going back or waiting? What do you think? I am so confused and fed up with it all.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Helso310,

    I understand how you feel having suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or concussion 17 years ago. Constant head and neck pain, memory issues and more can all be part of post concussion syndrome and is very frustrating. One issue after a TBI is that a migraine attack can be more difficult to treat and last longer – not really anything we want or need! Here is information on migraine and concussion I hope you find helpful; https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-and-concussion/.

    You may want to keep a detailed migraine journal to keep track of your symptoms (what happens when you watch TV or work on computers) see what triggers you have and any patterns you see. Here is information on how to do this; https://migraine.com/blog/keeping-migraine-diary-basics/. There are so many apps out there keeping a migraine journal is easier then ever. Migraine.com has the Migraine Meter; https://migraine.com/migraine-meter/. You can try this one, but there are many others available.

    It sounds like you are headed in the right direction, looking for an accurate diagnosis. This is very important because once an accurate diagnosis is made we can begin to get the correct treatment and learn about our particular migraine and/or headache type. The tricky thing is that we can have more than one type of migraine and/or headache disorder. Here is information on post traumatic headache has; https://migraine.com/blog/post-traumatic-headache/.

    We now know the importance of letting our brains heal after sustaining a brain injury. That means our brains need total rest – it’s important not to overstimulate our brain with TV, texting, computer, reading or anything that increases symptoms. But seeing as it’s been over a year since your TBI the window of opportunity may have been closed.

    But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to help yourself. In my opinion, the first thing I would do is seek out the expertise of a doctor who deals only deals with TBI’s (concussions) – this means their entire practice is devoted to this area. We have them here now in the U.S. so I would think there are some in the U.K. I would see this doctor even before a headache disorder specialist, or work together with these two doctors. Had there been these kind of doctors (those who specialize in TBI) around 17 years ago I think my life would be very different now. I can help you with information on headache disorder specialists in these links; https://migraine.com/blog/how-are-migraine-specialists-different/ and how to find one; https://migraine.com/blog/looking-for-a-migraine-specialist/.

    It’s important to find a doctor who is an expert and you feel comfortable working with. Sometimes it can take seeing a lot of them before we find the right one.

    I hope this is helpful, do let me know,

    Nancy

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  • By mymaybelife

    Im so releived to c this forum. My migraines began after a head injury 14 yrs ago and have gotten worse since car accident in 2010. Since my back and neck injury I have lost control of my life. I am ok thanks to wonderful fam and husband but depressed often because im unable to do much. The nurse at headache clinic believes accident made them worse and unable to help much. I go to pain skills classes and have a therapist. I miss running and hiking. Im devastated that I cant continue my career. Im just trying to be grateful for the support I have and the times im not really ill. Im so glad I found this site, its wonderful to know others understand and I dont have to explain.

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi mymaybelife,

    Welcome to Migraine.com, we are so glad you are here.

    Our story’s are similar, you can read about mine here; https://migraine.com/patient-advocates/nancy-harris-bonk/. Not sure what happened to my pic, I will have to have that fixed!

    It sounds like you are taking the correct steps and have a good support system. That is vital when dealing with migraine. I too understand how devastating it is to have our careers hijacked by migraine. It takes time to grieve for the life we had, accept the life currently have and learn how to cope with it. Here is some information on this topic that may be helpful; https://migraine.com/blog/one-simple-mistake-a-strong-reminder-coping-is-always-a-work-in-progress/.

    It’s not uncommon for migraines to be more difficult to treat after a head injury. My life has completely changed since I fell 17 years ago. Let me share information with you on head injury and migraine; https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-and-concussion/ and https://migraine.com/blog/post-traumatic-headache/.

    I hope you find this information helpful, keep us posted on how you are doing, OK?
    Nancy

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  • By suzanneeileen

    My headache specialist just told me this week that my atlas vertebra was out of alignment… basically my head isn’t on straight. She said that could be one of the things triggering my chronic migraine and suggested I go see a chiropractic specialist, I think she called them atlas orthoganists. Or something like that. It’s the first time a neuro doc ever actually recommended a chiro, so I’m kind of taking the suggestion seriously.

    Does anyone else have any familiarity with this problem?

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