Post # 1
I have sharp, stabbing headaches, sometimes they ache, everyday all day for six months.
I have been put on deralin 40mg (propranalol) for three months and they seem to be making them worse. The headaches even move near my eye which they never used to before.
My doctor says they could be a ‘mild migraine’. I’m not nauseous, sometimes sleeping makes them worse.
Can anyone shed some light?
Post # 3
That sounds similar to mine. Mine are caused by arthritis in my neck, but sometimes just muscle tension brings them on. Maybe try putting a good massager at the base of your skull along with a muscle relaxer or aleve. With half an hour to 45 min its gone. Cant hurt to try. I’m sorry you have these, I know how miserable they can be.
Post # 4
“Mild migraines.” Right. I love it when physicians feel the need to put a qualifier in front of a diagnosis. It’s speaks so strongly of their confidence. If you’re seeing a GP about this, ask for a referral to a neurologist – hopefully one who specializes in headaches. A GP is not qualified to treat someone for this kind of condition. This could be migraines (not all migraines present the same way, so “mild migraines” would not be a correct way to describe the presentation – the correct way to describe the presentation would be something along the lines of “migraines without aura or accompanying nausea, vertigo, or light-and-sound sensitivity”), or it could be cluster headaches (look into this, some of the things you have said make this seem likely, but you did not describe your symptoms in detail so it’s hard to really point towards any particular type of headache as being more or less plausible than another).
I have migraines due to a head and neck injury I received a couple years ago, so I’ve done a lot of research on headaches (though admittedly, most of it has been on the couple of types that I get). Migraines can be caused by blood pressure (vascular) and by problems in the nerves and muscles in the neck (cervicogenic). Cervicogenic migraines are sometimes called “cervicogenic headaches.”
As a PP suggested, massage/pressure at the base of the skull, where the neck joins the head, can help relieve the cervicogenic form. Cervical traction devices or exercises can also help with this.
I am on a medication to help prevent my migraines, and while I still have them several times a month, they are far less frequent than they used to be (several times a week). Ask your physician about the possibility of a migraine-specific prophylactic medication (not an “off-label” prescription, but something actually FDA approved for the prevention of migraines).
I also experienced an increase in headaches (both migraine and non-migraine) when on propranolol (for something not related to the headaches). I know that propanolol is sometimes prescribed for migraine and headache prophylaxis, but it seems that many people also report headaches as a side-effect, so that seems to go either way (appears to be a crapshoot).
Post # 5
I second the previous poster about muscle tension. I think neck rubs would be pleasing at worst, and helpful at best, so it might be nice to give them a try. 🙂
Something I’ve noticed in myself is that I tend to get headaches more often when I’m dehydrated. Do you drink enough water for how much you exercise/sweat and/or your climate?
Post # 6
+1 on dehydration
Could they be tension headaches? Like, maybe you’re clenching your jaw while you sleep and that’s causing it? That happened to me several years ago until I figured out what it was. I sleep with a mouthguard now (I just use one from the store that you fit yourself), and take sodium naproxen on the rare occasion that I get one. Do your neck, shoulders, and teeth/jaws ache?
Post # 7
It sounds like what my doctor told me were referred to as Ice Pick Headaches: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/neurology_neurosurgery/specialty_areas/headache/conditions/primary_stabbing_headache.html
I had them daily a few years ago when I was working at a really stressful place. They eventually went away, but they are definitely painful.
Post # 8
Definitely go see a neurologist. I see one for migraines. I was having them constantly before I started medication, but yours sound different than mine. I take a mild antidepressant every day to control my headaches. A neurologist should be able to figure out what’s going on.
Post # 9
@AussieSummer: Has your doctor ordered a CT scan? Also, have you had your eyes tested lately?
I was getting headaches and my GP ordered a CT scan (which he said is standard procedure for headache complaints), which was clear, and said that it was migraines. My Mum suffered with them for years – but a very severe form where she would lay in a dark room for days, she’d vomit a lot – we’d have to get the doctor out to give her injections to stop her vomiting.
My first real migraine happened one Saturday following a really stressful week – it started as feeling like something was wrong with my left eye – it was like I’d looked at a really bright light and there was some kind of squiggle pattern in my eye. I was getting ready to go see the optometrist thinking there was something wrong with my eye, then the headache hit – it was like a dull, constant ache in the base of my skull. I felt so drained, and slept for the rest of the day.
I get pretty frequent headaches for different reasons. When I was waking up with them, I determined it to be from my neck (as it was really stiff and hurt to move) and got a new pillow. So far, so good.
I once woke up with a headache so severe- it felt like my brain was banging around in my head, very sharp, hurt to move, hurt when I laid down, just a constant pressure. It felt like my brain would burst out of my head. It stuck around for an hour or so, then just suddenly disappeared.
Have you ever had eye strain? That can cause headaches too. I get them when I try to watch TV without my glasses, because I tend to squint to try to see better. It feels like a pain behind your eyes. I’d recommend an eye check up anyway. I usually go once a year, which is bulk billed (mainly because with my private health insurance, I can get 2 pairs of glasses for no gap!).
I would go back to your GP and tell them the medication is making no difference and see if there’s something else you can try.
Post # 10
I found out my migraines were due to low blood sugar from hypoglycemia. Just thought I’d throw that out there, not sure how/when you’re eating but it can be a trigger. I would definately see a specialist though, it sounds like your doctor could use some help with this one, it might be outside his/her realm of experiance. There is no reason to continue suffering everyday and severe headaches could be a sign of something more dangerous. I’d definately check it out with a specialist.