Q. I have had chronic daily headaches and migraines with aura for years. I also have fibromyalgia, TMJ (temporomandibular joint syndrome) disorder and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). All of these involve chronic pain. I take Relpax® for the migraines, which helps a lot with the aura and works okay for the headache. I also take Cymbalta® for depression, but haven’t noticed any pain relief from it. The only other medication I seem to tolerate is Advil®. Since I have a headache “24-7”, with no beginning or ending, I never really know what causes it. How many pain relievers (like Advil) do you have to take to get a rebound headache? I never take more than two a day, but I wonder if taking them for several days makes my headache worse. I want to do anything I can to prevent an already difficult situation from getting worse. Continue Reading
I am a 51, almost 52-year-old woman. As a young child, I had chronic daily headaches. I cannot remember a time or day of no headaches. My first migraine was at age 5. I was running up the side of a hill; when I got to the top, it felt like a bomb exploded in my head. Since exactly that moment, I have had frequent migraines. At first, it was weekly. When I hit my mid-teens, they became much worse, and even more severe with my monthly cycle.
In 1976, I had my first CAT scan. Normal. In 1978, I was sent to a pain clinic and was diagnosed with vascular migraines. I tried biofeedback for six months. Since then, I have also tried acupuncture (six months, twice a week), sought help from a dietitian and chiropractor, and had my vision and TMJ checked. Continue Reading
Chronic facial pain can be very confusing both to the patient and healthcare provider. This can be direct pain – involving nerves that supply the face or indirect (referred) pain from other structures in the head such as blood vessels. The pain may be related to migraine, muscular syndromes such as TMJ, herpetic or rheumatic disease or injury. Many sufferers have had sinus and dental surgeries in the past.
Trigeminal neuralgia is a common cause of facial pain characterized by shooting pains in the face, often triggered by touching affected areas.
Facial pain may be difficult to treat and usually requires trial and error with various medications. Perseverance by both the healthcare provider and the patient is necessary. The antidepressants and/or the anticonvulsants can be helpful in some cases.
Dull, aching pain in the area where the skull meets the jaw (the temporomandibular joint) is a common symptom which may vary greatly in intensity. It is a pain that may radiate to the back or side of the head or down into the neck. Chewing, talking or any use of the jaw may increase the pain, as will excessive talking or yawning. There may be clicking, popping or grating sounds. The pressure around the head can be either tension-type or migraine-like. Vertigo, dizziness, and ringing in the ears are also complaints of this disorder. Continue Reading