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Terrible headaches

I have been diagnosed with an 8mm herniated disc between c5-c6. I have undergone anti-inflammatory meds, nerve meds, physical therapy and one injection. Prior to injection my neck hurt, head some and left arm felt like it was at a rave all day long. Post injection my arm has settled but my head and neck are worse. I feel less "with it" as well but I think the constant, migraine like headache is at fault. Has anyone else had this as a major symptom and particularly as well, did surgery help? I was very active before, so being exhausted non stop is miserable. Thank you so much!


  • MunkzillaMMunkzilla NYPosts: 207
    edited 09/21/2016 - 10:57 PM
    I feel your pain. I have a migraine nonstop everyday 24/7 since 2014. I had a c5c6 herniation impinging the spinal cord with a bulging disc at c4c5 and c6c7. I had several eipdurals, facet injections, occipital nerve blocks, trigger point injections, PT, and an ACDF this past April. Please note after my first epidural the headache went from bad to full blown migraine dibilitating status. That is my personal experience. 

    My long story shortened up a bit. The migraine is still there. I am now waiting to see a neurologist about this, as nerve damage is suspected from the herniation. Basically I live on medications at this point. Most days I am bed ridden from the migraine, vomiting, cannot be in contact with light or sounds.  The neurologist has a 7 month waiting list, I am 4 months into my wait. The original thought was in addition to my other symptoms, the ACDF would help the migraine pain. It did not so here I am. 

    I hope something works for you. This is not something I would wish on my worst enemy. I hope you find relief. 
  • maehaleymaehaley PennsylvaniaPosts: 320

    I have herniations at C5/C6 as well. I do have a constant headache but not always migraine like. My pain goes from the base of my skull, down into my neck, across my shoulder blades and down into my arms with bad muscle spasms in my trap muscles. I am in my 4th week of physical therapy, which so far is just aggravating things. I saw a pain management doctor and am scheduled for a steroid injection with twilight sedation tomorrow. I am very nervous and not very hopeful. Is that the kind of injection that you had?

    Munkzilla your experience with the injection scares me-I have seen a lot of people get worse instead of better! I was told I may have a spike in pain after the injection and then it could take up to 2 weeks to see any results. And then it is only aimed to reduce the pain by 50%. I want something to take it away completely, but that doesn't seem to be an option?! Did you have sedation? I am nervous about that as well...

    At this point I am on 2 low dose Percocet a day and up to 3 Soma muscle relaxers a day with not much relief. I saw a Neurosurgeon yesterday who did not recommend surgery and said that 80% of these cases resolve on their own with conservative therapy like PT and injections. So far I am not hopeful but I will see how it goes. I don't like that it is a "wait and see" game. I am also exhausted constantly. I don't know if this is from the pain or the meds or both. Its like I'm dragging myself through the day until l can lay down with my heating pad again.

    Heaparso, what does your doctor say about any of this? What type of doctor are you seeing? Just curious.

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  • Hi maehaley!
    My epidurals were done with sedation, and I cannot remember the actual injection. I went in to the OR and the next thing I remember was being asked if I wanted juice and cookies. I much prefered that over the non sedation that happened for my bilateral c5c6 facet injections, that was scary, extremely painful and an all around horrible experience in my opinion. Twilight is the way to go! 

    Aa far as pain after the injections, I was ok tge day of the injection. The next day I was sore, nothing crazy. On day 3 the pain spiked to worse than it was before. That lasted about 2 weeks, then it all settled down and went back to where it was originally. I had no relief at all. I hear some people do, so I can only tell you how it went for me. 

    It seems lumbar epidurals give more relief than cervical. My husband has had lumbar ESIs and they do help. 

    I hope I did not scare you more. Like I said different things work for different people. Just keep a pain diary afterwards so you can go over changes and when they happen with your doctor. I hope it works and you get relief. 
  • maehaleymaehaley PennsylvaniaPosts: 320
  • morgank47morgank47 Vista, CaliforniaPosts: 55
    Recently had trigger point injections, facet injections, and epidural on c6-c2. Same boat, medication ridden and ibuprofen / gabapentin seems to be only thing relieves headaches. Scheduled occipital nerve block next Monday will update. All injections done without sedation, cervical epidural I was a little uncomfortable, but others were easy. Also received lumbar epidural at l5-s1 2 months ago and it relieves my symptoms of numb toes, numb feet, and tailbone pain. Lumbar epidural more tolerable without sedation than cervical. Nothing relieves migraines which start at base of skull (c3-c1) and spring over top of scalp to either one or both eyes. If persist through pain, nausea, vomiting and vertigo ensue. I wish everyone with this he best of luck because I know how frustrating it can be to feel restricted to only a few hours a day due to pain / vertigo. Herniations in my neck aren't big, but three impinge left Nueral foramen (nerve?) from c3-c6. Modic changes c2/c3 and compression fracture of c6. Stay away from light / sound / and keep the ibuprofen close. 
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  • Hi all

    I cant add much more to what others have said.  I have seen it all and done it all when it comes to injections.  I have had them done with and without sedation.  Occipital nerve blocks are by far the most painful because they use nothing at all.  They stick the needle under the scalp and move it around and then do other side of head.  Hurts like...I don't even want to tell you.  The nurse comes in and holds both your hands to help keep you still.  I would never do this again.  After everything I have done I have gotten zero relief from headaches through injections.

    The only relief I get is through medications.  I am waiting for my acdf and since munkzilla said no luck I am now worried.  However I will go through with this because my arm is killing me and I can't sleep


  • morgank47morgank47 Vista, CaliforniaPosts: 55
    Oh, you can just rock me to sleep the next few nights until my occipital nerve block dmo... Lol. (Next Monday) 
  • dmoddmo Posts: 602
    edited 09/22/2016 - 2:27 PM

    Sorry morgan,

    I have had so many different injections its not funny.  The occipital was the worst most painful.  If you can ask for sedation before you go, even if you have to have procedure done in hospital.  The bad thing is I got zero relief from it.  Wish I had better news but hey, maybe yours wont be so bad.  Looking forward to hearing from you. 

    ps. It will be a long distance rock to sleep as I am on the east coast.  lol


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