It's not a tumor, but this headache is going to kill me anyway.
July 2, 2012 7:28 PM Subscribe
I have had an insanely painful headache, possibly caused by a pulled muscle in my neck, for over week and nothing I have tried has helped. I have seen my doctor and his diagnosis/suggestions haven't really led me anywhere. Help me come up with more things to try before I go crazy.
posted by joan_holloway to health & fitness (27 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The Saturday before last I experienced intense pain in the back of the left side of my neck, where the spine meets the head. I couldn't turn my head at all and basically stayed horizontal. Later in the day I developed the worst headache of my life, all focused behind my left eye and above my left eyebrow. The kind that makes me double over in pain and scream. Since then I've been out of work because basically all I do is sit around with my eyes scrunched in pain. The neck pain is still there, but has lessened a miniscule amount since Monday.
I went to the doctor a few days ago and he said that due to the neck pain that occurred first he thinks I pulled a muscle in my neck from stress which is causing strain on my face muscles. Awesome. His suggestions were to avoid stressful situations, do some gentle neck stretches (he demonstrated how), and ice the tender part of my neck. I've been doing that but it's not freaking helping! I've been on leave for the whole time in the most stress-free situation possible (no 8 hours in front of a computer, no eye strain staring at a monitor, no crazy clients yelling at me, etc), yet I am constantly doubling over in pain.
Meanwhile I've been scouring the internet and Ask Mefi for other ideas. I have tried all of the following, none of which have made one dent:
-800 mg of ibuprofen every few hours
-1500 mg of tylenol (just once because I am scared of tylenol)
-adjusting my caffeine intake both up and down
-continuing to drink my usual 48-60 oz of water per day
-staying in dark quiet rooms
-heating pads on the neck/head
-smoking cigarettes (I am NOT a smoker but I am getting desperate and will basically try anything that has some sort of numbing effect)
-drinking or not drinking alcohol
-checking my blood pressure (staying around 110/70 which is my normal level)
-trying to eat regularly, focusing on protein (opening my mouth strains my face which makes the pain worse, though)
-trying to sleep a lot, with and without the help of sleep aids
-worth noting: I had an eye exam two months ago and my vision is fine
So. Tomorrow I am going to try acupuncture. What else should I consider trying? Anything special to try for a pulled muscle that is taking forever to heal? For example, would shiatsu massage possibly help or make things worse? And finally, at what point should I go back to the doctor?