anyone have chronic pain in addition to migraines?

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anyone have chronic pain in addition to migraines?

Post  ConcordGrape on Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:13 pm

Hey all,
Recently I've gotten a handle on my migraines but I have had upper back/neck tension and pain since 2011 that has gradually worsened. I really feel helpless (sound familiar?), which is not improved by the fact that the tension triggers M's. Some days I feel great, no M, then my back with start hurting, my neck will seize up, and a M is not far behind.

The pain is nothing compared to migraines but it affects me just the same. Some days I have to lie down with heat pads because sitting or standing is too painful. Last night it woke me up (giving me a migraine), and lack of sleep ruined all of today. I've tried so many treatments--PT, acupuncture, chiropractor, massage, relaxation--to no avail. At best I get a few hours of relief and maybe see some short term improvement, but I cannot deny that my condition is worsening. I used to just have tension around the base of my neck, but now it is my entire upper/mid back going down to the low back, and all the way up my neck to the base of my skull, into the jaw, into my chest and shoulders. I'm not going to lie, it's downright scary to feel so out of control of this tension and pain.

Like migraine, this limits my ability to function in work and leisure. Nearly everything I do gives me pain, and I'm gradually cutting out activities (no more biking, tennis, running, hiking, rock climbing or carrying back packs). Even when I am careful to not flare up my back, it flares up anyway. I can't win! It is like migraines all over again, only I can't just take a pill with some promise of relief, I am forced to live with it. I've tried muscle relaxants in the past, but dont remember them doing anything. But i am so desperate I am thinking of asking my dr for a prescription again. I also take magnesium, which is supposed to be "calming" for the muscles, but I think I'd need to triple the dosage for it to do anything.

My issues are musculoskeletal in nature, so unless some surgeon can give me new muscles, I am out of treatment ideas. I am just barely managing it, and I am on the brink of a new bout of depression.

So yeah, does anyone have ideas/suggestions/magical relief methods? I will try anything.
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Re: anyone have chronic pain in addition to migraines?

Post  Kem10 on Wed Apr 15, 2015 5:58 am

Yes, I have spondylolisthesis which has severely pinched my spinal cord in the lumbar region. Mostly the issue is that my feet and legs get numb rather rapidly when I am on my feet, some days worse than others. It does make my lower back ache also but normally I do not need any pain medication for that but when I do have enough pain to be an issue, a TENS unit helps a lot. I purchased an inexpensive one from Amazon.
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Re: anyone have chronic pain in addition to migraines?

Post  Seaine on Wed Apr 15, 2015 6:23 am

I have very painful nerve pain from the sciatic nerve getting pinched in my lower back. It's caused by having loose ligaments so my back can easily get out of alignment, along with other joints in my body easily overextending. There's no treatment except for taking anti inflammatories when it flares up.

Surprisingly, when I stopped eating artificial food colors which helped my migraines, it helped my sciatica just as much! My only guess is that the artificial food colors increase inflammation all throughout the body. So, decreased inflammation equals decreased pain. It was months after I knew that the food colors worsened my migraines that I finally admitted that they had worsened my sciatica as well. It was just hard to believe that something that most everyone thinks is innocuous actually causes so much pain.

I still get the sciatic pain of course, especially when I do certain activities such as ride in a car for more than an hour or two, shoot guns, or drive stick shift with the car seat not pushed all the way forward. But, when I do get the pain it is much less than how it used to be. I remember taking 800mg Ibuprofen and it barely taking the edge off the pain, now I take 600mg and it usually totally erases the pain for the day.
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Re: anyone have chronic pain in addition to migraines?

Post  Mini on Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:09 am

I  also have chronic musculoskeletal pain issues mainly in my back, my arms and upper legs. This pain also makes me weak, because I tire easily. Like you this restricts everything. If affects my social contacts because I cannot enjoy anything any more being in pain and tired all the time.
I also have Fibromyalgia and painful spots around my neck, shoulders and other parts of my body.

In fact as my M got easier with years, this painful condition is affecting me more then M at the moment, because it is chronic and I don't get any breaks, just some more painful flare ups which can last for weeks.
I have no doubt that there is a connection between M and all these condition because they are all inflammatory in nature and I cannot take anti inflamm medicines orally.

The most effective relief for me (short term, obviously) is to have a long hot soak, but you must first check with your Dr if  it is all right for you to do that. This really helps, and easies the tension in all my muscles.

Then I rub some Ibuprofen gel (10%) in affected areas and this gives me a  reasonable relief.
I have noticed that all these painful conditions, including M, get much worse with the change of weather.

I hope that you find some solution to ease your pain soon.
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Re: anyone have chronic pain in addition to migraines?

Post  ConcordGrape on Wed Apr 15, 2015 5:57 pm

Thanks everyone for your replies, although it saddens me to hear how much we all suffer.

Seaine: food coloring seems to be your kryptonite! It is crazy how such a small and easily overlooked ingredient could be so damaging!

Mini: Yes I think the biggest issue is the unrelenting silent pain that most people don't understand. It definitely makes activities/socializing less enjoyable, and even if I do have a fun time (playing a sport, for example), I feel punished later by the increased pain and always question whether such short-lived happiness is worth all the extra suffering. The people who understand this best also have chronic pain, and the unanimous solution is to accept the condition. I think for me, personally, my thoughts can be extremely damaging and so I need to focus on keeping them realistic and neither positive nor negative. One thing that makes me feel better is realizing that nobody is perfect and we all suffer. Every single person experiences some type of physical pain, emotional imbalance, or trauma/stress/grief.

Soaking in the bath is a great idea. I will try to make baths a regular part of my routine. I also have tigerbalm that I use for migraine relief. I should try this on my back.

I haven't been paying attention to how weather affects my back pain, but this is a good point, I will start to make a note of it.

Thanks again, and I do feel better today Smile
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KEM10

Post  dcook60 on Wed Apr 15, 2015 6:18 pm

i have spondylolisthesis also.  my right leg hurt for 5 years, intermittently, before it was diagnosed.  my daughter had liposuction and thought to offer me the "garment" she had to wear for several weeks after that procedure on her abdomen.  (very painful btw, no one tells you the whole story before surgery.....i know because i've had 15 surgeries.)

if you want to pm me, kem, i can tell you about this.  i call it my "strait jacket", because it's pretty tight, but has almost CURED my problem, as long as i wear it daily.  it is not a girdle nor a spanx, but a sophisticated, well-made thing tight enough to keep the lumbar vertebrae in place.  

before my diagnosis, i had never heard of this condition, and i'm in an allied medical profession.  i'm sorry to hear you have back pain; i never have that, only leg pain, and it is quite intense when it does occur.

this thing might be worth a try for you.  dianne
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Re: anyone have chronic pain in addition to migraines?

Post  lorente on Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:51 pm

I have degenerating disks in my spine, and arthritis has set in. For the past 15 years or so, I've had waves of what I call my "back attacks," when the pain is sometimes so severe that I can't walk. Stress and weather changes--particularly bad snowstorms, ice storms, thunder storms-- seem to bring on the attacks. Acupuncture works well--particularly electro-acupuncture--and I also have a series of yoga poses I do every day that seem to help. (I had to give up acupuncture when I retired, because it isn't covered by insurance, and I can't afford it anymore.)

In some people, DD causes no pain whatsoever, and in those of us who have pain, DD can improve on its own, although it might take years. Mine has improved tremendously over the past three years, and I hadn't had an attack in months, but I jinxed myself last week and mentioned it to my dr, and the next morning, I could barely get out of bed. I was on a cane (and hydrocodone) for several days, then the back pain went away and I had a day of migraines on Sunday. On Monday, though, I felt great. Normally, the back attacks end in sciatica for at least a day or two, but without it, I felt like a new person; I felt energetic, went on two walks, my mind was absolutely clear, I was just so happy.




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Re: anyone have chronic pain in addition to migraines?

Post  Mini on Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:13 am

Concord Grape,
you are so right when you say that we need to learn to accept that not much will change and adapt to it, instead of trying "to fight it".  Making some changes  which will still allow us some activities which we can enjoy, preparing for them in advance and making sure that we will have time to recover the day after (which I found is vital, no matter how modest these activities are).

You are also right when you say that no one understands what it means to live with constant, unrelenting pain and how exhausting it is to do anything at all. I was deeply hurt recently when a close and dear friend of mine made a hurtful remark (that I should get more "fit" by doing more exercise and then things will be easier for me - this was when I had to stop and rest, because I was uncomfortable walking and had to stop to recover).

IN fact when I try to "get fit" no matter how gradually, I pay dearly for it every time by hurting more and feeling more ill because of it.

I am absolutely certain that she had no intention to  upset me,  but I was deeply upset because she knows all about me, and that I live with pain so if she does not understand, it made me realise no one understands.
So you are very right to say that only people with pain would know what we are talking about. I try not to judge her, but the hurt remains.
We are still friends, but at some stage (I am busy now, off for holidays soon) I will tell her how she upset me and why, I am certain she will be horrified that she hurt me. She did not mean to...

About bath, make sure that your BP is fine, and check with your doctor if it is all right for your to have  hot bath because it is not advisable in some conditions.
Thank you for raising the subject.
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Re: anyone have chronic pain in addition to migraines?

Post  Sprout 87 on Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:44 am

I don't have the kind of chronic pain you're talking about but my daughter does. She's had migraines since her teens (she's 42 now) & was diagnosed with RSD about 15 years ago. She takes pain medicine for the RSD but it doesn't do anything for the migraines so she just suffers through them. Fortunately, they seem to be getting further apart. She has missed out on a lot of activities because she just can't deal with the flare ups that come after.

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Re: anyone have chronic pain in addition to migraines?

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