Usually around the time of our hormonal cycle, certain changes or flares tend to occur. Heightened skin sensitivity, allodynia, gastroparesis and more. So as of yesterday – Dr discovered a specific type of headache which mimics migraines but isn’t the same. Though it can make you / makes me completely debilitated for 24 hours plus…
After she explained the differences between the two, a light bulb flickered in my head. I know now why none of the migraine medication worked to reduce even just a little pain! Normally by the second dosage, symptoms begin to subside. But this time it remained obstinate.
in specific – is pain that refers from a source in the neck and presents itself higher up, in the head. It is caused by another illness or physical issue usually due to a neck disorder or lesion.
In the upper neck area there is a region called the trigeminocervical nucleus which interacts with the sensory fibers from the upper cervical neck.
This allows pain referral between the neck, face and head, explaining why when there is a headache the source of pain may be in the neck instead.
Common signs and symptoms of people with cervicogenic headache include:
– Altered next posture
– Restricted cervical range of motion
– Upper cervical joint dysfunction assessed by manual examination
As described above and below; in my case, this headache rebounds due to cervical compression at susceptible times; such as – prolonged writing periods, specific movements, sleeping postures, and so forth.
This cervicogenic tension headache can be reproduced or triggered by active and/or passive neck positioning and/or movement, or by pressure application to the affected regions.
Trigger points (tight and sometimes sensitive knots in muscles) are usually found in the:
Cervical and shoulder musculature
Which can cause headache when manually or physically stimulated
WHAT WORKS TO RELIEVE PAIN?
One: Well, along with cues provided from my side, Dr is excellent at figuring out the jigsaw and then works through the misaligned vertebraes / cervical compression – chiropractic treatment.
Two: Heat packs a minimum number of 3 times daily. Once upon awakening, second in the afternoon, and third time prior to bed.
Three: You’ve gotta include and for most days remain disciplined on prescribed physical therapy or stretch regimen. (I am allowed a leeway and skip days when other symptoms exacerbate, but don’t take advantage unless necessary)
Four: Applying muscular balms and oils. Essential oils included. Some like wintergreen, peppermint, eucalyptus, ginger, menthol etc.
Five: Whatever pain meds you are happy with.
(A friend emphasized on ice packs)
⚠️ Caution on this note:
Dr explained it’s ok to place ice on the forehead or nape for few minutes but take it on and off. Don’t leave it there lest you fall asleep with the ice positioned that way. Or even if you do not fall asleep, it will make you pass out because cold on the head drains blood from the vessels. A normal person or someone with a different health condition shouldn’t pass out easily, but because we’re prone to fainting with POTS, it can happen in a matter of few minutes.
A sensible piece of advice because I notice my BP drops instantly when a cold front arrives and becomes a little difficult to raise.
Syncopes are something you want to avoid to the best of your ability because of the complications or damage that can possibly arise if an episode occurs while you’re in a position, place, or activity that endangers yourself further. My cervical compression came about due to syncopes and ever since it’s been a chronic, ongoing, recurrent issue that doesn’t leave. Treatment only manages the pain and other symptoms from time to time…
Important to mention: I seek advice from people who may have good tips to offer but also do my own homework and seek advice from someone in the relevant field before trying something totally anew.
This is imperative to avoid unwanted issues that could’ve happened by doing head stands for low BP or using ice packs for migraines and cervicogenic headaches, had I followed any advice blindly. (Especially when desperate for any relief)
Please apply your discretion, consider the broader picture of your condition carefully, and seek professional advice from an expert you trust.
UNLIKE A CERVICOGENIC HEADACHE, MIGRAINES:
Refer to a neurovascular disorder and present with signs of:
– Mostly one-sided (half) throbbing head pain – lasting 4-72 hours
– A group of neurological symptoms including increased sensitivity to light, sound and smell, nausea, and a variety of autonomic, cognitive, emotional and motor disturbances.
– Triggers of a migraine attack are frequently associated with a wide variety of internal and external triggers such as:
Sensory overload and more…
I covered the topic of migraine triggers and therapies in the following three chapters