GCA?

Hello I am a 23 year old female who for the past 3months has been suffering from random aches and pains. It started off with a terrible headache which the led into neck pain and neck stiffness. Headache has gone now still get the odd neck pain but not like it was. I see my doctor for blood tests, Esr was 25,29 & 28 and crp was tested once and was 21. I suffer with health anxiety also so this isn't making me feel better. For the last 3 weeks I have noticed only because I can feel it not see it, it feels like a vein/artery on my right side on my forehead I was worried about gca as my bloods where raised but doctor said as its not tender or sore it isnt gca. Just wondering does this sound like gca? Thanks.

15 Replies

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  • My GCA was diagnosed in part because it pain meds didn't give any relief to my headache.

    I hadn't heard of GCA before so didn't worry about it.

  • About 2 months ago maybe bit longer I had a terrible headache and that did not go with pain relief, I haven't had the headache for around 3 weeks now, I am just so worried.

  • When I was diagnosed with PMR and GCA I had a swollen artery in my head and jaw claudication but NO headaches or scalp tenderness at all (about the only bit of me that didn't hurt!) and even the doctor poking the swollen artery didn't hurt, to his surprise. Everyone is different but I think you are very young to develop GCA which is probably why he is hesitating.

  • Hiya thanks for the reply. Have seen the doctor today who looked and felt the artery on my head and also checked the pulse on temporal artery he has said all is fine and thinks the bloods are raised due to chronic sinus problems. I'm not 100% sure I believe this as I worry ever so much but I l also have too believe what they say. x

  • This sounds like a logical diagnosis. I live with a person who has suffered from sinus headaches for years. Take the sinus diagnosis and see what you can learn about how to deal with it. There are ways to help keep the sinus cavities draining properly, including regular use of a neti pot. Pain can also cause tension in the neck, for example, and that can just make the pain happen more often and become chronic, so learning some good relaxation techniques, perhaps even a couple of sessions of massage or physio could be helpful. All the best - do let us know how you get on.

  • Hello thanks for your reply yes I think I need too accept what doctor has told me just so hard when oyou suffer from health anxiety. Exactly what you have said the doctor explained too me also. I have been given a spray so will be using that everyday and also have just gone and bought a facial steamer as he said that will help alot as well and to go back in 2 months. I am going to see a chiropractor too as apparently they can help with the posture and things? Thanks for your reply x

  • The thing about a physiotherapist, as opposed to a chiropractor, is the physio will give you exercises to do which will help you maintain any gains you get from the treatment. I don't know if chiropractors do. Worth asking him/her at your appointment. Btw physio exercises must be the most boring activities on the planet, but I've done my back exercises religiously for many years now and I know they've helped me a great deal.

    New exercises my current physiotherapist has given me actually have straightened up some mild scoliosis I was developing! :)

    Good luck!

  • Oh right I will have too ask. Yes I am a carer for my nan and she had to have physio and she got very bored with them haha but she persevered and feels much better so will also ask gp about that when I see him on the 2nd. Thanks

  • You might find Pilates helps your posture - and more enjoyable than the average physio exercise - many are the same!

  • Ill have a look into that thank you :)

  • I see a chiropractor, he does give exercises and I find him more effective for everything he does compared to a physiotherapyst.

  • Yes Im waiting on an appointment from the chiropractor what sort of things do they actually do? Thanks

  • I see one that uses a Chiropractic tool, that is gentle as I didn't want to have him crunch me {As I thought} In fact I have since allowed him to use his hands if he feel he needs to and he has never ever hurt with what he has done. I also have my shoulders and hips massaged and he does traction on my leg as I have a hip problem. He is far more caring than any other doctor I have seen, but then he is private not nhs. He is the one who told me I should go to my doctor because of my polymyalgia. He also thinks the hospital are fobbing me off about my hip and suggested I ask for a scan yesterday. The rheumatologist seemed a bit annoyed but booked me in for one.

  • I'm pleased you have such a good chiropractor. I'm wary of them mostly because my uncle had neck problems, went to a chiropractor, and was so badly injured by the treatment that he had to take early retirement. Also my father, a gp, had several patients who went to chiropractors for back problems and ended up worse than ever. But perhaps the training has improved since then? (These experiences were in both UK and Canada).

  • I asked right from the start not to have my neck cracked as I had heard stories about that. I went because of tendonitis in my shoulder to start with. My son who suffers from hypermobility syndrome was told by the hospital they couldn't help him and he was almost registered disabled as he had so many problems. We were amazed at how he started to respond to seeing a chiropractor, as suggested by a feldoncryse lady. (she was suggested to us by a dr) but she thought a chiropractor would be better for him. This was over 15 years ago and he just got stronger and was able to do a full time job.

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