I have severe pain at the base of my head, right below the hairline or the lower bank of my head where the neck begins. There's a few painful knots in this area on both the right and left sides... They're seemingly hard to the touch, moveable, and tender when I press them. This problem is causing headaches which get bad if my neck pain is increased and vise versa my neck hurts badly if my head is pounding; I have shoulder pain also. I've been treated for migraines but I honestly think there's another issue in place other than migraines. I never have pain relief no matter what I do. I've been dealing with this problem about 3 years and it's getting worse!! I'm worried that it could be something serious but with my research it seems to be trigger points or severe muscle tightness with tension headaches. I admit I sleep in very uncomfortable positions and my pillows in the past haven't been the best for my health. Sometimes I pop my neck and use heat treatment and this seems to make the pain worsen. I need professional medical advice so that I'll have general idea of what to say to a doctor or specialist. Thanks and hope to hear from you soon
I'm sorry you are going through this awful time. I had something similar (no lump) but stabbing pain to the right of my spine. No injury, started suddenly and was constant with a continuous headache.
Have you seen any doctor in 3 years ?
I was relentless in finding an answer but without results. Tests kept coming back negative except sed rate which is an inflammatory indicator .
The lumps are on both sides which I think is good, ruling out a tumor.
Movable is also good.
I think it's a Trigger Point which is also associated with Myofascial Pain disorder a type of chronic muscle pain.
Trigger Points are different than Tender Points because they radiate to other parts of your body like your headache.
Most pain reported to pain clinics are musculoskeletal pain.
There is something you could try :
- Record your pain from #0-no pain up to #10 the worst you can imagine.
- Apply moderate pressure slowly and release slowly. Hold pressure for a minute until the pain increases 2-3 pain #'s.
- If the pain does not decrease after one minute then slowly release and stop. It's probably not a Trigger Point!
You asked about preparing for the doctor's appointment ...
- Get a notebook because you should be doing a daily pain diary.
These are some questions he may ask:
- When did the pain start?
- When did you notice the lumps?
- How would you describe your headache?
- Constant or intermittent ?
- One area or generalized?
- Is your vision affected?
- Any nausea or vomiting?
- Dizziness or passing out?
- Are you having trouble sleeping?
- Do you remember anything unusual occurring before the initial onset?
Ex: Any injury, fever, dental problems ,flue symptoms, sore throat or stress?
- Did you travel ?
- Any previous history with you or your family?
- Has it changed in any way since it started?
- Does anything make it better? Worse?
- How has it changed your lifestyle ?(This one is important especially if you have not sought medical care in 3 years). I have to say he will wonder if you are seeking pain pills. Don't take it personally! This question also gives you a chance to tell him what you don't do anymore compared with before. It would be great to take someone with you to validate what you are saying.
- Does the pain affect your swallowing?
- Is your voice affected?
- Do you smoke?
- Past history of cancer?
- Do you have any symptoms of systemic illness : night sweats,weight loss,unexplained bruises or bleeding, persistent fatigue or breathlessness ?
I hope that helps give you some ideas.
Start recording your pain levels.
When you wake up .
An hour after eating.
The lowest and the highest it goes and the time of day.
Lastly, at bedtime and then how many hours you slept.
Best wishes to you.
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