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Diagnosis of Migraine & Headache Types

No one has figured this out in 20 years of my life

  • By kjk1414

    Hi I am a 36/m and since about age 16 about 1 or 2 times a month I get a severe headache only on the left side of my head. The pain is migraine level and totally takes me out of doing anything, all I can do is lay in pain. It always starts with my left shoulder-blade getting tight, it gets tighter and tighter throughout the day and eventually moves to the left side of my neck. My left should seems to rise up towards my ear to where if I am standing looking at you and my arms are hanging at my side my left hand will hang 3 inches higher than my right. My throat gets tight, I get a runny nose and the need to urinate frequently most times. My head begins to throb and severe pain behind my left eye. For years absolutely nothing works to get rid of it except a hot shower to dull the pain, but as soon as I get out it tightens up and begins again. I have been told perhaps a blood vessel on my left side was getting cut off during this shoulder muscle spasm? For now I am being treated by using a muscle relaxer called cyclobenzapine which seems to really just knock me out and allows me to sleep. When i wake up the severe pain in my head is usually gone and I have what I call a headache hangover. My head is dull, I feel out of it and my shoulder is still sore but not as tight. Has anyone else or does anyone know of this….is this just a muscle thing that messes with my brain when it flares up?

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi kjk1414,

    Thank you for your questions. I am sorry you are having a rough time. Let me see what information I can give you that may help.

    I wish I could tell you exactly what is going on, but only a qualified doctor can do that. What I can do is give you information to share with your doctor, how does that sound?

    The first thing that comes to mind is if you haven’t seen a “true” migraine expert, a doctor who is board certified in headache medicine, I would encourage you to do so.
    These doctors are different from neurologists in that they are board certified in headache medicine which is different than being certified in neurology, and treat one condition all day every day, migraine and headache. Neurologists may be fine doctors but have a hard time being experts in one area because they treat so many different conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, stroke and others. Here is more 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/.

    The other thing that comes to mind is cervicogenic headache. We have information on this type of headache disorder here https://migraine.com/blog/some-headaches-are-caused-by-neck-problems/ and
    https://migraine.com/blog/a-one-sided-headache/.

    Let me know what you think,
    Nancy

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