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O/T anyone else with occipital nerve, disc, and/or migraine issues? What do you do?

Redredwine's picture

My migraines feel like a slow-motion stroke that lasts several hours to a few days (based on wondering if that's what's happening and reading up on strokes). My muscles in my neck, back, and butt are always sore/hurt afterward. I figured out the triggers but the neck and shoulder pain continued. I ended up getting Lidocaine shots a little over a year ago. It was magic. I didn't have any pain or migraines at all.

Last week I noticed a familiar twinge in my shoulder. Then a little more pain. Then a headache Sunday and the weird ear plugging that precedes a migraine. Yesterday and today a full migraine. Complete with vision issues on one side...everything is always on my left side.

I called today to get in for more shots as nothing else I tried for years and years worked. Can't get in until late Sept!

If any of you have bulging discs in your neck, occipital nerve issues, migraines, Chiari malformation...anything similar...what do you do to kill the pain? I forgot how awful this was and I don't want to live with it for two months.


Oh Margie's picture

I'm so sorry,that sounds terrible Sad
Have you ever tried acupuncture? I used to be skeptical, but I've had a few experiences that have made me change my mind.

SpeakingGreek's picture

Maxalt, Asprin, & Darkness - and if that doesn't work, a trip to urgent care for the salvation shot.

I've never had a stroke, so I can't relate to that, but migraines can get quite nasty. I don't get the visual aura often, maybe twice ever, but those tend to be the worst ones (the kind where you are afraid your brain might explode out of your head, followed by a wish that it would so it could be over). Instead, my sense of smell goes into overdrive and I can pick up on the lotion I used the night before (and no amount of scrubbing will make it go away). I mostly lose hearing in one hear (like the "plugging" you described?), along with neck pain on the same side as the ear. MRI revealed nothing. According to x-rays, I have some pretty severe uncorrectable scoliosis which may be the cause, but nothing definitive. My little sister gets them and was diagnosed with some kind of occipital neuralgia for which she gets a recurring shot. The next day or three after a migraine are the most exhausting and I'm usually fairly weak and tired.

Not having a known source for the migraines, I had to find what works for me and what triggers them. I've gone from 3-4/week to 5-6/year. My triggers are weak spinal muscles, red wine, vitamin D deficiency, anemia, dehydration, and certain medications. So - I work out regularly, take multivitamins, drink white wine (if anything), boosted my protein intake, and avoid any medication that isn't absolutely necessary. I don't get thirsty, so that's a challenge sometimes, but for the most part the migraines are under control.

If I can't get any Maxalt (Insurance companies are a pain), Relpax is on back up. Outside of that, Asprin and lots of water usually bring it down a manageable notch. I also get Botox injections twice a year that relax some of the nerve trigger points. Otherwise, I do what I can to stay healthy and strong - and hope that I can catch them early.

I hope you find something - or combination of things - that work for you. I'm sorry for your pain, it is a nightmare.

Justme54's picture

I have deterioration in my lower part of my neck and middle of my back. I have had back problems since late 20's and I am 56 years old now. My issue were more numbness on right side, muscle spasms and my back locking up. I did physical therapy for about 3 months at 3 times a week. It helped some. Then I went to a NON-FORCE Chiropractor for about 3 months. I still had problems at times. I would also wake up almost every more with body aches. I think arthritis was setting.

I know your problems are different than mine. I started getting a body massage at Massage Envy. It has made a big change in my life. I do not wake up hurting and no back issues. I ask for massage which would focus on arthritis and circulation. I get really made headache but would not say they are migraines. I take PC powder and take a nap. I only do that when it is super bad as PC powder irritates my stomach.

You might want to try body massages. If you get a membership the cost will be less. It also has help with my energy level.

HUGS...Hope you start feeling better.

Redredwine's picture

I got two when I gave myself sciatica. I should go in again and try it. We have a massage envy here. I didn't realize they do memberships.

robin333's picture

See a subspecialist! You mention that is always the same side- Google hemacrania continuum and see if it fits (btw, you do not have to have runny nose/ tearing eye).

bellladonna's picture

I could've written this. I have a lot of these symptoms. Always on the left side. I see auras too. It's miserable. I missed out on all the festivities of the 4th due to a migraine. Nothing helps. I saw a commercial for botox as a treatment. I might try that.

Redredwine's picture

Really? Wow. Try Lidocaine shots. I didn't have a single twinge for over a year!
Screw diamonds. Lidocaine is a girls best friend.

Right now I'm looking for stop-gaps until I can get in again in Sept. I even had them put me on the call if there's a cancellation list.

Have you ever been diagnosed with anything other than migraine?

ltman's picture

BC powder in a Dr.Pepper. Works as well as Imitrex and you don't have to time it. Heating pad for the neck and head. Goody's works better but the acetominephin has me worried. Husband has disc issues, he's on gabapentin.

B22S22's picture

I used to have them BAD... always associated with my period, and being birth control made them worse. I'm not on BC anymore, but within 24 hours of my period, I get a headache. Sometimes it stays just a headache, sometimes it progresses into a full-blown migraine. My neck gets stiff (occipital nerve), I have an aura (sorts of like seeing fireworks), and light/sound seem to be amplified. Then the nausea/vomiting sets in.

I used to take Imitrex, back when it was only in injectable form.

Now, Goody's headache powder is THE BEST! I swear by that stuff.

DarkStar's picture

I've heard Botox works wonders for migraines

I have had back issues for a few years now, this past year has been especially bad. I pinched a nerve on Sunday and got my very first prescription for Prednisone. is a miracle drug!!! I haven't felt this good in about a year. It gives you a LOT of energy house hasn't been this clean for a long time! It was hard to fall asleep last night, but I'm going to take it earlier in the day.

P Popper's picture


I love BETTER GET YOUR DUMBRELLA!... there's a lot of stupid out there today!

P Popper's picture

I had stress related migraines that eventually morphed into bells palsy, and those symptoms are similar to stroke, too. numbness, tingling, I lost feeling in parts of my face and tingling numbness in fingertips with headachey/sinusy pressure in my head. I couldn't close one eye for a couple days and now, one side of my face droops slightly. if I get seriously stressed and feel the tingling, headachey, etc, I know my bells palsy is acting up and I try to drink lots of water, rest, and take ibuprophen(sp?)

Good luck.
Go to the Dr. just to be sure.