Never ending headache

My husband has 'only' had his headache since Easter. he's seen 3 different clinics - neurology, orthopaedics, and (I forget the name) some kind of stress specialists without any real help. He's had 2 CAT scans and one MRI and all the help he can get are more pills, amyiltriptiline, co-codomol and tramazol , to name a few.

We've just returned from a round trip to see the orthopaedic man who has told him he must learn to 'live with it'. he's normally a cheerful person but this has thrown him into a black depression which is totally out of character, I can sympathise with this but he doesn't want any 'interference' from me.

He has his own one-man business so is unable to take 'time off'.

Google etc is no help (it concentrates on migraine and acute pain) so how can I help him, without interfering in what I don't really understand?

10 Replies

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  • See an Alexander Teacher. The headache may be due to postural problems. Another therapist to use is a McTimony chiropractor. If they work then the cost of these therapists will be worth it.

    The medical profession have very little understanding of muscle behaviour and pain or posture and pain.

    Hope this is helpful.

  • Hi...... Here is what I have learned. .... hope it is of some use. There is a recognised syndrome called New Chronic Daily Headache. .....also migraine is not as always episodic but can also become daily chronic migraine. No matter what .. Your husband should try to see someone who is an expert on headache/migraine. Try to find out about a migraine/headache clinic you can access. You will need a referral from the G.P. Living with daily pain is a horrible thing... And one heck of a fight. I speak from experience! . It is hard not to be depressed at times due to the unrelenting pain as it effects so much of one's life. I hope your husband finds a better medication and can get some control back. Good luck!

  • Thank you both. It seems such a simple thing, a headache ... take a pill and relax doesn't it? From what he's told me, this is a headache (one single headache that's with him all the time and doesn't come and go) but his GP says its not a migraine. I haven't found the difference between a migraine and a headache, but I understand migraine pain is from the nerves and the neurologist ruled this out. Its not a severe pain, just a never-ending background to every hour of the day and night.

    As its not my pain I find it difficult to describe and can only pass on what little information he gives me - and understandably he gets irritated if I question him. He doesn't help me understand and gets snappy if I intrude - he's angry I think because he's used to really good health and this has knocked him for six.

    If he has to 'live with it' well he's got to deal with it in his own way, but some kind of physio really must be started soon if the problem is indeed with his neck, or some kind of relaxation therapy if its neurological. I don't think the NHS will help with this so we'll have to find a local therapist.

    At the moment I'm reading as much as I can, but he doesn't want to talk about it and is trying to 'forget it'. That seems to be his way of dealing with the problem. We've been married 50 years, but he's not the person I thought I knew.

  • I am sorry that things are so awful. No.... .... Chronic Headaches and Migraines are very misunderstood.... Everyonethinks it's " just a headache" They have no idea of what this can do to a person or how it affects and changes your life. My migraines have put me in hospital ... Have lasted for days on end and become daily.......I have passed out , and thought at times that I was having a stroke.....GPs know very little and in my experience don't much care.... "It won't kill you so live with it" seems to be the message from the ones I know:(. I don't know much about constant head pain that is not migraine but your husband needs to check out any referred pain from neck? I have been to physio, chiropractors, osteopaths and acupunctue practitioners over the last 6 years.... And it is only recently that I have begun to find my way through. I really hope that your husband will let you help him. Keep us posted....you are not alone.

  • I agree that there is nothing to lose by trying things like Alexander technique to help in a very gentle way with correct spinal positioning. If there is any suggestion that it might be coming from his neck or spine though, please don't go for chiropractic manipulation - that could very easily cause far more problems than good if there is something out of place that is pressing close to the spinal cord or spinal nerves.

    Going along with the neck idea, encourage him to experiment a lot with pillows for sleeping - most people use a pillow that is too thick, leading to a bad neck position at night which would then mean waking up with a headache. You really do only need a very small pillow just supporting the hollow of your neck. I find a thin ordinary pillow with one of those microbead travel type roll pillows right under my neck works well, but it has taken a lot of experimenting for me to not wake up with headaches.

  • Has he had his prolactin level check Hun, I know this sounds strange but I had this about two years ago I went through hell, I found out I had a small prolactin tumour which can be treated very easily but he need to get a blood test done for his prolactin levels when they did mine they where 5975 when they are meant to be under 400 and I was get such bad headaches I was getting nose bleeds blackout, my moods would change, I was a different person it was a scary time for me let alone the people around me. I hope this helps. Please keep me upto date

  • Prolactin, never heard of it - I'll google it in a mo - thank you for yet another suggestion that no-one's mentioned yet. They're talking about syringing his ears now ..... I suppose it could be that (he's selectively deaf though I think, because he hears an awful lot he shouldn't!). But its a simple procedure, if not very pleasant, and I think these simple things should have been tried in the first instance.

    It may be worth mentioning that he says this headache is constant in that it doesn't come and go - it never stops, it doesn't come on in the mornings, or before eating, or after exercise - its there all the time with no real changes up or down, sleeping or awake.

  • Have they checked for diabetes Hun, sound like it. With prolactin it is very rare in men but it can happen, I really hope they get to the bottem of it!!! As it can get really bad when you just don't know what to do with yourself, I got to the point I didn't even want to eat. I would just cry all the time which would make the headache worst, so it was catch 22 !!

  • Oh Wow DbH, he was diagnosed diabetic about a year ago and prescribed metformin. I just re-read the side effects and headache is one of the 'less common' ones. You may have hit the nail on the head. We are now on a low carb diet and he's lost some weight although I haven't.

    Thanks, I'll look into this. Hope your own pain is getting better, or are you another one having to 'live with it'?

  • I have had headaches for about 4 months and told I have chronic daily headaches. Because of the stress they caused I have got sensitisation, which makes them worse. They say pain killers don't work you just get rebound headaches. I am on amitriptyline so at least I can sleep

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