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Chronic Migraines or Occipital Neuralgia?

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Unread 02-19-2013, 12:48 AM   #1
mack_fitzgerald
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Default Chronic Migraines or Occipital Neuralgia?

Hi! This is my very first post here, I've read a lot, but I have some questions of my own.

A brief history on myself:
I'm 17. I've had 5 concussions. One each year for the past 5 years, basically. They've all been "mild" but they've all taken me a really long time to completely recover from. My fourth one took me about 14 months to fully get over.

I was hospitalized during concussion 3 and 4 for really bad migraines and was treated with DHE. That helped the pain going away for about a month, but it always seems to come right back.

During concussion 4, I was diagnosed with ADHD that was most likely derived from so many head traumas as well as being diagnosed with POTS.

This most recent concussion I got a little over a month ago, I was standing in the goal kicking balls out - I'm the manager for the school soccer team since I'm not allowed to play contact sports anymore - and someone shot the ball straight into my face. I didn't lose consciousness or anything like that.

My headaches don't seem to be getting any better at all, I know it's only been a month, but they're pretty unbearable. I've seen several different neurologists and "concussion specialists" and I've tried all kinds of different medicines, but nothing seems to lessen the pain.

The first four of my concussions were all "sports-related" and they were all traumas to the back of my head, a couple of them giving me whip-lash as well. My headaches are generally more on the right side of my head, like right on my hairline in the front and near the bottom of the back of my head. I also occasionally will have a "shooting" pain go up the back of my head. These headaches are generally pretty on-going, I'll have times where I feel fine, but I'll have headaches still multiple times a day, and they're worsened when I try to do school work or read or anything like that. My neck hurts incredibly bad all the time. I feel like I've had whip-lash for the past two years or something, it's always really stiff and aches and it feels like it just needs to be popped, but it never pops. I also am super sensitive to sunlight. I can't be outside without sunglasses or else I get an awful headache, the glasses take a little bit of the edge off. I'm also nauseous quite often in addition to an ability to concentrate and remember minor things.

I've done as much "research" as I could, and I can't decide if I think this sounds like Occipital Neuralgia or just chronic migraines or Post-Concussive Syndrome or something totally different..

Please please please help! And sorry I wrote so much...

-Mack
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Unread 02-19-2013, 03:03 PM   #2
Brain patch
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I am sorry you are suffering so much. I have these same sort of problems. I have had over 5 concussions from passing out and falling straight back on cement (this was diagnosed as hypoglycemia). In 2006 I was in a MVA and was knocked out and ever since that time I have had trouble doing the most basic things, have slurred speech at times, light and sound sensitive, Tinnutitis etc. I was able to get in to a really good neurologist/movement disorder specialist and he diagnosed me with post concussive syndrome manifested by cognitive impairment, chronic pain and fatigue. I am going for an MRI tomorrow and a neuropsychological evaluation on the 25th. These were the things recommended to me in order to determine the extent of the traumatic brain damage. Your case sounds similar. With how many concussions you have had. I noticed mild impairment that I had to work around for a long time but the MVA knock out took me down. Maybe you could try the above mentioned things to get some answers. I was just being treated for chronic pain and migraines until I had a seizure and went to some specialists. Good luck to you.
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Had MVA in 2006 resulting in post concussive syndrome manifested by cognitive impairment, chronic pain/ fatigue. Chronic pain of head, neck, back, left leg.
Other problems include REM sleep behavior disorder, nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy, chronic migraines associated with nausea/vertigo, episodes of passing out, hypoglycemia, liver dysfunction (had accidental overdose of acetaminophen in 2009) had liver and kidney failure, hernia, degenerative disc disease with compression of nerve root, PTSD, and other problems associated with functioning problems from traumatic brain injury (light, sound sensitive, easily overloaded, easily distracted, cannot focus, anxiety problems etc.)
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Unread 02-27-2013, 05:21 PM   #3
JVerive
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The shooting pain that follows the line from the back of the head to the hairline is very typical of occipital neuralgia. This may be due to direct injury to the nerve (usually originating at the second cervical vertebra - C2) from a concussive incident, or it may be a result of a whiplash event. This second outcome is often generally referred to as "cervicogenic headache", which may include any of the cervical nerves.

For what it's worth, occipital neuralgia and other cervicogenic headaches can be caused by trauma that is not visible in an MRI. The diagnosis is often one of exclusion of other things (including migraine.) Shooting pain is almost ALWAYS an indication of neuralgia, so don't let it be brushed off as migraine variant. Migraine medicines rarely have any effect on neuralgia. One exception is amitriptyline, which is often used as treatment for nerve pain and as a migraine preventitive drug.

What medications have you tried? The most effective drugs for nerve pain include anti-depressants and anti-seizure medications. I can give you a list to discuss with your doctor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mack_fitzgerald View Post
Hi! This is my very first post here, I've read a lot, but I have some questions of my own.

A brief history on myself:
I'm 17. I've had 5 concussions. One each year for the past 5 years, basically. They've all been "mild" but they've all taken me a really long time to completely recover from. My fourth one took me about 14 months to fully get over.

I was hospitalized during concussion 3 and 4 for really bad migraines and was treated with DHE. That helped the pain going away for about a month, but it always seems to come right back.

During concussion 4, I was diagnosed with ADHD that was most likely derived from so many head traumas as well as being diagnosed with POTS.

This most recent concussion I got a little over a month ago, I was standing in the goal kicking balls out - I'm the manager for the school soccer team since I'm not allowed to play contact sports anymore - and someone shot the ball straight into my face. I didn't lose consciousness or anything like that.

My headaches don't seem to be getting any better at all, I know it's only been a month, but they're pretty unbearable. I've seen several different neurologists and "concussion specialists" and I've tried all kinds of different medicines, but nothing seems to lessen the pain.

The first four of my concussions were all "sports-related" and they were all traumas to the back of my head, a couple of them giving me whip-lash as well. My headaches are generally more on the right side of my head, like right on my hairline in the front and near the bottom of the back of my head. I also occasionally will have a "shooting" pain go up the back of my head. These headaches are generally pretty on-going, I'll have times where I feel fine, but I'll have headaches still multiple times a day, and they're worsened when I try to do school work or read or anything like that. My neck hurts incredibly bad all the time. I feel like I've had whip-lash for the past two years or something, it's always really stiff and aches and it feels like it just needs to be popped, but it never pops. I also am super sensitive to sunlight. I can't be outside without sunglasses or else I get an awful headache, the glasses take a little bit of the edge off. I'm also nauseous quite often in addition to an ability to concentrate and remember minor things.

I've done as much "research" as I could, and I can't decide if I think this sounds like Occipital Neuralgia or just chronic migraines or Post-Concussive Syndrome or something totally different..

Please please please help! And sorry I wrote so much...

-Mack
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Unread 02-27-2013, 10:51 PM   #4
Dmom3005
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Hi also come to the Concussion and PSTD forum.

You definately have one.

I have had a few also. I also have benefitted from Physical therapy for
headaches.

Donna
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Unread 03-01-2013, 08:01 AM   #5
countrygirl58
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Default Occipital neuralgia

Hi, I'm new to this group and looking for relief of this long ongoing burning in the back of my head. I have been diagnosed since 2006, but actually began in 2000, just did not have a name for this. The burning is always low on my right occipital nerve area but then without warning it can "fire up" to a pain scale way about the 10 on pain grade. I have had shots med physical therapy, pretty much given up on going many places or making promises to do most outings with family or friends. I'm not depressed just apprehensive about thinking a day ahead for anything. This "burn" dictates my daily life. I have recently been to a neurosurgeon who is thinking I will benefit from having a pain stimulator implanted. Has anyone had this done and how successful is this for you. What limitations do you have? Thanks for any responses
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