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I have been having consistant headaches every day for approximately 4 to 5 years. I have been to just about every doctor possible and ruled everything else out (two general doctors, two allergists, a chiropractor, neurologist, eye doctor) and no one could find out what the problem was. My new doctor ordered an MRI and found that I have "a pretty screwed up neck" (his words) with bad bulging discs from my C2 to my C6. My pain management doctor gave me shots (I think they are nerve blocks) in the muscles at the top of my neck and this did nothing really, I still have the headaches. I take Skelaxin & Ultram daily and this makes them slightly more manageable so that I can work however weekends are horrible no matter what I do. The pain management guy is now telling me that he thinks the headaches are due to the discs and is suggesting an epidural injection. From what I have read here....I'm a little afraid of this. Is it possible that this may help the headaches? I don't have neck pain in the traditional sense it's more like pressure, the feeling of someone squeezing the top of my neck, back of my head and my brain. Migraine meds didn't help, chiropractors made me feel worse, I'm not allergic to anything, no high blood pressure, no metabolic problems. Other than these discs and the headaches, I'm healthy. Will the injection help? I am afraid of the side effects and what could happen however I can't continue to live with these headaches and miss out on my life.

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I also have a herniated disc in my c3-4. My doc wants me to get an injection there and I'm really scared. I was told it will help but I still don't know. I hope you feel better soon...because it really does take a toll on your body and your life.
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I highly suggest having this done. I experienced the constant headaches as well. After the spinal procedure, I was finally headache free for six months. The headaches are slowly coming back, so I will have to have the procedure again. It's quick and easy and I went back to work immediately after it was done.
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A cervical epidural injection will definitely help. It depends where they do the injection at.....they typically like to do it at T1-C7 but the meds only go up maybe 4 places(discs). I have to get 2 or 3 shots a year, it helps with all my pain, headaches, and mobility. They do work. The last one i had done, my doc injected it at c5-c6, that felt even better. the closer to the source of pain, the better. however, the higher up the spine they go, the riskier it can be. Good luck to all.
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I have had the same symptons for a few years off and on. Bulging disc c4, c5. I have purchased a cervical traction machine (not the over the door type) and it has helped tremdously. I use is daily for 15 minutes to keep the tension headaches away.
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I have had a constant headache since whiplash while riding a scooter on Oct. 1, 1995. I then was reinjured in a car accident in Sept. 2003. Besides the hell of horrible head pain 24/7 with neck stiffness (strong pressure inside my head) my right eye and cheek now have sunken/drooped over time. All doctors and healers have given up on me. My most recent MRI shows my neck is messed up (reverse S curve, couple of slightly herniated discs, and foriminal narrowing) but nothing explains my head symptoms. My arms, thank God, are fine. I'm about to see another neurosurgeon to see if he can figure me out. I do have a slightly malformed skull (at the base) and my cerebellum is too big....but since I've had my brain since birth, I don't think that is the issue. It's very depressing to have so many doctors give up. :-(

Atheria
Albuquerque, NM
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Foraminal narrowing at C2-3 can definitely give you a constant, pressure like headache. Feels like a band clamp is around your head and your scalp is getting pulled back real hard. May cause ear pain too.

Narrowing at different cervical levels will cause pain and or weakness in various places. Here's a link to a pictorial map of what nerves affect what regions of your body. It's a pretty good map.

http://www.tucsonchiropractors.com/images/spine-map.jpg

No, I've never seen a chiropractor nor do I have any relationship with this place of business.

Spinal stenosis of the cervical spine may cause the CSF to backup into your brain (where it originates) and give you a pressure like headache 24/7 too. The symptoms may be consistent with hydrocephalus if it does.

Epidurals won't necessarily help with these issues. I had many along with multiple rhizotomies before I finally had the two herniated discs replaced. I also had cervical foraminal narrowing at multiple levels plus spinal stenosis which was almost completely blocking the CSF flow.

For some reason (I believe it was associated with the CSF backing up), I also ended up getting bilateral mastoiditis which was one step away from turning into Meningitis. They put tubes in each ear and gave me a few bags of penicillin IV. Still have a tube in my left ear. That was my first surgery done on 2/5/07.

Had an ACDF at C4-6 for the herniated discs (5/07) followed by foraminotomy at various cervical locations and finally a laminectomy at C6 (they remove the back half of the vertebrae) a year after the ACDF.

I now have a plate in the front of my neck to hold the cadaver discs in place and two rods in the back of my spinal column to provide support where they removed the back half of the C6 vertebrae.

Did it all work? Nope.

I've had a constant pressure like headache 24/7 plus pain and ringing in both ears since the Fall of '06. I finally gave up and filed for disability and was awarded my claim in '09.

My experience with the doctors was horrible. They're a bunch of idiots. You have to understand each MRI and ask the right questions of every doctor you see and have a good idea of the correct answer when you do. I went through three neurologists before I found one that fully understood my particular problem. Doctors are generally able to perform when it's just one problem but they're like a deer in headlights when you present with three problems at once.

You have to stay informed and understand everything in your MRI radiology report and ask the right questions. And you can't let them intimidate you. You'll end up at a dead end if you do.

M2CW
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I was having headaches all the time and found out that I have 3 bulging disks in my neck. I wonder if that's why I'm getting these headaches?
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I have hurniated discs at c5 - c7 and I get horrible headaches too. I had two epideal injections in April this year. The first injection releved the headache pain and shoulder pain within a few days using ice packs every two hours after the injection. The second injection brought back my arm pain. The headache came back yesterday. The releif I felt for the short time was worth it. I understand that they do not always work.
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I hope you get this. I see you haven't posted in a while. Could you please let us know what kind of traction device you've been using? Hope it still works.
Good health to you.
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I had a "nerve block TEST" at Kaiser Permanente. After they realized they made a mistake by giving me an IV (which was irritating) they took that out and wheeled me into a surgical room. There was a donut hole area for your head and your body was at a 40 degree angle until your hips, then it was straight from there. So, from the very beginning, this "bed" was not designed for a human, but for a flamingo. The had me "lay" face down. They wiped a bunch of sterilizing liquid around my neck and shoulders. They then placed a piercing needle into my neck which was suppose to numb it; IT DIDN"T WORK. As they did the actual "test" where they used another needle twice to go IN BETWEEN my disks, I felt every moment of it. I had one child and I would rate this pain very close to the pain of childbirth. I was screaming for Jesus to come and take me home. The only time the doctor stopped was when my blood pressure crept up to 180/120...they tried to get me to relax. Are you KIDDING ME? NOW, I have headaches DAILY. I use to get them once or twice a week, but now I wake up feeling hung over every morning; I haven't touched alcohol for 8 years. Beware. After all of this the neurologist said that we should have done an EMG first!!! But might as well do the "test" while I was there. This test was suppose to last for 6 to 8 hours. They wanted to see if they hit the right nerve. Well, I have to tell you, by the time they completed this procedure, I was in actual fight or flight mode. My adrinalin was through the roof and I was shaking uncontrollably. It took me 6 hours to come down from my adrinalin so the test was useless. The headaches are to the point where my husband keeps threatening to take me to urgent care. Please, consider everything else and demand information prior to any invasive treatment! Jen Escondido, CA

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I have tension headaches due to bulging cervical disks (the worst disk was removed and I have fusion).  I get epidural steroid injections every 6 months.  This doesn't take the headaches away entirely, but helps a great deal.  I am a busy mom with four kids and I can't lay in bed all day due to a tension headache.

My pain management dr. performs these. It is approx. 2 hours from walking in the front door to being wheeled out.  Plan on 24 hours taking it easy, and it takes a few days to feel the results, but it is a lifesaver for me.

Do not be nervous, as long as you have a reputable pain management dr.  They are anesthesiologists first, so they know what they are doing.  It is a routine procedure for them.

In between steroid injections, I take Fiorecet.   I mostly get them when I first wake up.  I have them by my bedside, with a water bottle.  Make sure you sleep on your side or back, never on your stomach, and experiment with pillows.  I like a soft one that I can smoosh down to cradle my neck.  Take a hot shower or soak in a warm tub, or use a heating pad to help relax your muscles - I like the neck rolls that look like a snake - you just heat them in the microwave and wear them around your neck/shoulders.

P.S. your dr. may talk about facet joint injections.  I find those don't help with the tension headaches.  They are to block the pain from the bulging disks pinching the nerves on the "exterior" of the disks.  The epidurals block the pain associated with the nerves running "interior", the nerves that run up your neck into your cranium.

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I cant believe I am reading this after 12 yrs of pain and no answers! Everything you said makes so much sense and is 100% on point with what ive gone through. Thank you so much for your posting, and confirmation that im not crazy. Please contact me, I would love to talk to you. I have so many questions! 29yr old female. Finally diagnosed with bulging disc c4-c6 after dozens of doctors, diagnosis, and years of pain.
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This just happenwd to me so I went to massage therapist first then n next day went to chiropractic it was 2 wks ago..second visit was on holiday monday third visit just on tues yesterday n yesterday I my chiropractic took X-rays of my neck. My neck/back/shoulder been hurtin just over a mobth n then approx 3 weeks ago my 2 little fingertips on right hand went numb....yesterday felt like something wrong with my left side. But didnt say anything n then this morning I at work when out of blue my whole left side went floppy. ..goofy on me...I had to wait for my hudband to pick me up n leave my vehicle at work n my chiropractic txt me back after I told what happened to me this morning n he said I have bulging disc C-4 to C-5 as well as osteoarthritis in my neck....he put me on neck stretcher machibe tht pulls my neck..they're ordering mri for tmr then I get the shots...my reg doctor did put in perscription this morning for muscle relaxation. ..it made me fall sleep but it helped but my whole left arm to fingertips is still floppy/goofy...which I now knw is muscle weakness....it dont hurt just annoying n aggrivated tht it interferes with my job etc..im off work for 1 week n if nessasary 2 weeks, maybe longer n plenty of rest..hot tub..ice pack on neck as well as hot moist cloth on my neck....I want this go away....my chiropractic said tht my bulging disc & osteoarthritis been going on for 5-6 years by looking at my X-rays
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I know what you are going thru.I was also in an accident in 2001,rear ended..I had then and now have c5 and c6 bulging and herinated dics which are flaring up now.Try going to a Chiropractor,to get traction on a decompression dics machine.Tell the Chiropractor that you want traction with no manipulation,the therpy should be about 6 to 8 weeks,going 3x a week.The pain in your neck is radiating to your head ,like mine is.Also I would try getting a cervical steriod epidural injection,which are a series of 3,an injection every 2 weeks.I'm going for my second one tomorrow,4-19-13.It seems to be working and is virtually pain free.plus try wet heat on your neck,10 minutes at a time ,as many times as you like but only once an hour.But don't give up,try some of these methods.I also went to a neurosurgeon,an he also recommended traction by a Chiropractor with no manipulation.Good luck.Charlie,N.J.

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