Really bad headache!: How does any one else manage... - NRAS

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Really bad headache!

How does any one else manage Really bad headaches?

I have AS and currently waiting to commence anti TNF therapy but have had the most painful headache over the last 24 hours and nothing not even migraine meds are helping.

What else can anyone suggest?

Thanks Lisa

6 Replies

So sorry you're suffering this sappy it can be so wearing. I do but mine's related to cervical spondylitis & can be as bad as a migraine at times, though is more or less continual at the moment till I question my Rheumy next month for an answer to relieve it. As it is I'm trying to keep it at bay by taking max dose of co-codamol & if it persists to the point of being sick I do as I did with migraines & try to relax & sleep it off hoping it's eased when I wake. My migraine med doesn't work either, I've tried also tried that in desperation but do find when I take myself off to bed if I roll a feather pillow into a barrel shape & place it so my neck is supported properly it can ease the pressure a little & my head doesn't bang quite as much.

Hope this helps but if it continues ask either your GP or Rheumy nurse to see if they think it could be related to the drugs you're taking & if they can offer up any suggestions.

Good luck, feel for you.


I would say see your doctor ASAP. Chances are there's nothing to worry about, but I don't think you should struggle with this on your own. If I were you I'd phone my GP right now and even if all that happens is that he or she can put your mind at rest, that's a result.


Hi Thanks for your replies. :-)

I've been to gp today and they've done bloods etc and given me some different meds. If it doesn't go in next 24-48 hours then got to be referred whatever that means?? If gets as bad again tonight as last night got to go to a&e!

Wish I knew what was going on!


Yay! Don't panic, just keep on top of it to play safe. In your shoes I'd get the flask out ready to fill with tea or whatever ready for A & E so it'd feel almost routine if you do need to go there. I'm sure you'll be okay, especially once you start on anti-tnfs, but meanwhile if you need help or reassurance just take what's on offer.


Pleased you acted quickly sappy as quick onset headaches or migraines could be caused by a number of things. Taking bloods should give a better idea of where they're being trigged from. It could be something as simple as a reaction to a med & a rise in your BP causing it but that's usually a more intermittent sudden onset headache. Hope it's eased with whatever was prescribed & it's subsiding at least a little this morning.


Check with your GP first, but AS headaches seem to often be related to inflammation right at the very top of your spine. I use voltarol gel over the area, and make a really big effort to keep my neck in a good position both in bed, and during the day, and that helps. Also a heat pad can relieve it quite nicely sometimes. I have an amazing electric one that has a collar and a waist belt to strap it onto my back, and that does give nice heat all the way up.

Its not much fun when your neck is involved like that. Also, make sure your rheumatologist knows that you are having problems - its either a sign that your disease is not well controlled, or possibly that you are beginning to have problems with osteophytes there. Keep up the AS stretches too - moving your head to the fullest (comfortable) range of movement every day. If you need the AS exercise guide, its downloadable from the website, and they even have an AS exercise app as well. I can't do all the exercises, but I do as many as I can each day.


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