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bulging disc C4-C7 & daily migraines

Started by lisadailey on 05/17/2010 9:42am

These migraines are getting worse and now I'm having them on a daily basis. Why? Besides losing all my strength in my neck shoulders and arms, now i'm losing strength in my legs too. Why? Last mri report shows I have spinal stenosis and bilateral neural foraminal stenosis. I have lots of pain in my neck and arms. Can someone explain what's up with the headaches, and what's happening inside my neck? Thank God for my DOCTORS!!!

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Hi Lisa, I have been living with those headaches for the last 5 yrs...go to bed with them and wake up with them..I have had 2 surgeries, nerve blocks, and electrical shock(x2) (Greater Occipital nerves) to kill the nerves that are causing the problems..The stenosis that you have can be cleaned out and may or may not return. Not knowing if you have had surgery or not can be the relief that you are looking for..The nerves that are being pinched will definately cause the pain in your arms and I would hope that your doc has ordered a EMG to find out right where they are being pinched..It doesnt seem like your doc is helping you much. If you are having those symptoms things can get damaged and if left untreated could be permanent..Im not saying that to scare you, but thats what I was told by a neurosurgeon & neurologist... GL and hope you feel better

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Hi Lisa..seen this article and thought you might like reading it ..It gives a pretty good perspective on our headaches.. Larry http://www.spineuniverse.com/forward/ema...


Finally an answer to what happened to me and why I hurt everyday. Everyone has had an explaination for what is wrong with me, rebound headaches, too many pills, or it must be something other than your neck, or something that "all the drs" just haven't found yet. I feel like I'm all the time having to defend myself. My primary care physician has always said that whatever disc was causing it was really one up high. He has always known where the headaches were coming from. Finally, I can understand what is happening and why. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, and caring enough to help!


Im glad it helped and I hope it will eventually get you some relief ! If there is any info that I have or experienced, that can help you with, ill be glad to try...e-mail me krocket711@yahoo.com ..Take Care... Larry


Hi Lisa, Hey I was just to the Dr's last wk and he told me about a treatment for the neck pain/headaches..They have come out with procedure called "field stem".. The doc told me that they implant a wire under the skin at the base of the skull ..it is connected to a battery / control..It is supposed to stop that signal that causes the neck pain/ headaches..I have a consult on 8/26 with a Doc that has performed this procedure, and has I guess he has pretty decent success with it..The procedure is supposedly very easy and can be taken out if there were any problems or it doesnt help..sounds like a win/win and its not another major surgery..Something I am jumping at in a heartbeat..I will let you know what info is given to me and when I am scheduled to get done..Larry.. any questions you can e-mail me and hopefully ill be able to answer.. krocket711@yahoo.com


Lisa, Hi, I am going through almost exactly the same set of symptoms and truly understand what you are going through. I have a similar result on my Mri. I have had these for about 15 months and have realized it is a very rarely occuring problem, especially if you have this bi-laterally. The first Neurosurgeon I visited said "I've never heard of this before." The second said try some celebrex. The third checked my arms for nerve damage and said I was okay. Kind of feel like you are getting kicked to the curb a bit. Now I'm going to a University of California Hopital and am hoping for the best. My symptoms change so quickly it is often hard to describe them. I have done quite a bit of research on them and here are a couple of more that resemble our little problem. Bartschi-Rochaix syndrone and Barre-Lieou Syndrone to go along with cervical migrane..
I have an appointment next week to have the nerves in my face tested. My worst fear after all this time and 5 doctors is that they will find nothing unusual. I'm hoping they can just take the Dremel tool and do a roto rooter on my C- spine.

Best of luck Tim


Hi Lisa:
Wow, I was blown away when I read your post, & the replies! tI sounds just like me. I've been referred to a neurosurgeon, diagnosed with C4-5 diffuse disc bulge, facet arthropathy at C2-3,C3-4,C4-5. Foraminal stenosis at C3-4,C4-5,severe at C5-6 & C6-7, ...the list goes on....( after the MRI's, nerve tests, pain management, etc., etc.) ...with migraines & headaches almost daily.
I am waiting to hear what surgery he recommends, then try a 2nd opinion, & even a 3rd!
I am now researching for the best cervical surgeon in St.Louis, MO....or if I have to travel, I will.
The last post was 2 months ago, and I'm very curious...how are things going now? Any news about the "field stem" procedure, or other surgery?
The article was informative. I'm already on Gabapentin (Neurontin) and NSAIDs (for the past 15mo.) and am on my 6th different 'migraine' medication.
I hope you are doing better, and have some 'hope' for the 'rest of us'! lol (We have to keep a sense of humor, or what's left?)


hi lisa-

some other possible causes of your migraines, although they may not be with your medical issues, are:

magnesium deficiency, muscle tension, shoulder imbalances, high blood pressure, sinus infections and bacterial infections.

They can stem from nutritional deficiencies, high blood pressure, tight muscles, chronic muscles tension or poor body alignment. Some things that work are a combination of trigger point therapy, yoga, posture changes, diet changes, and especially improving your body alignment to balance the muscles in your shoulders.

Pain in the neck can from:
injury, a mechanical or muscular problem, a trapped nerve caused by a bulge in one of the discs between the vertebrae or arthritis of the neck.

Many things can trigger neck pain:
trauma or injury
worry and stress
falling asleep in an awkward position
prolonged use of a computer keyboard

Stay as active as possible. Try to go to work and keep your normal everyday activities. Avoid driving if you're unable to turn your head quickly. If you've had pain for a longer period, consult a specialist or physical therapist, chiropractor or physiotherapist, but be sure to get your doctor's recommendation first!

These symptoms may indicate a more serious underlying problem:
anotherg illness like unexplained weight loss
tenderness or pain in the neck bones (vertebrae)
the pain gets steadily worse despite treatment
if one or both of your arms become affected, eg persistent numbness, weakness or clumsiness -
SO, if your PCP or specialist isn't providing some options, i'd get a second, and maybe even a third opinion.

Arm pain is sometimes not a symptom of something wrong with the arm, but a problem in the cervical spine (neck). Neck problems can affect the shoulders, arms, and even hands. These problems can be caused by wear and tear over the years, trauma, or simply "over-doing-it" one weekend. It can also be caused by nerve damage or arthritis.

Obviously, with your spinal issues, none of this is surprising, but you need to get prompt attention from a medical specialist. I'd keep track of your neck pain with something like this below. i'm not a medical specialist on your spinal issues, but i hope some of this info is helpful:

(Include start time/end time)
Type of Pain
(dull, aching, hot, throbbing)
How painful?
(Rate the pain:

Possible Causes
(Did something trigger the pain?)
(What did you take? Did it help?)


Hello, everyone --

I'm sorry to hear, Lisa, about your migraines, and I hope you've found help.

I would suggest that you check out our sister site, Practical Pain Management. We have a Migraine and Headache Center ( http://www.practicalpainmanagement.com/p... ).

As on SpineUniverse, articles on our pain management website are reviewed by a medical professional (in this case, a pain management specialist) before being published -- so you know you can trust what you read.

SpineUniverse Editorial Team