I am currently being prescribed Norco for the constant pain and Soma for the constant muscle spasms in my neck and shoulders. The Soma helps, but the Norco just isn't cuttin it. I hav a dr appt 2moro. Help. What should I ask about?
It is possible you are having rebound headaches. Taking meds on a daily basis, even aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen and especially opioids, can cause what is known as rebound headaches. Soma also can cause rebound. It puts you into a viscious cycle because you take the pain reliever or muscle relaxant and when that wears off, the headache comes back, sometimes even more intense than before so then you take another and there is the cycle. I would recommend that you use medications very sparingly and try ice, heat, relaxation and massage first. You will be surprised at how well this works for tension headaches when used regularly, especially massage and relaxation. Get yourself one of those microwaveable heat packs like a Bed Buddy (you can get one at Walgreens for about $10) and a good gel ice pack and alternate the heat and ice. Use one or the other for 20 minutes on and an hour off. Avoid caffeine too. It can contribute to headaches, especially the tension type. Keep the medications to use only as a very last resort and as little as possible. I think you will find that once you get out of this pain cycle, you will feel much, much better! I, too suffer from severe headaches. Some are tension, (really bad tension and almost as bad as a migraine) and sometimes in a combination of migraine and tension. I used to get rebound from medications too. I had a Dr who told me that I was doing this by taking meds everyday. I really try to use the heat and ice and I have my husband or a professional do massages. At first, go often for a massage and once you begin to loosen up you can cut back and eventually you will find out how often you need to go to maintain. I also recommend chiropractic manipulations too. Getting your neck and back into proper alignment helps. Also dont sleep on your stomach. It puts your head and neck into an unnatural position and can cause spasms. I also like to use Celestial Seasonings Sleepy Time tea. It honestly helps. Once I was taking Vicodin all day for a headache with no relief and then my husband made me a cup of this tea and it helped better than the opioid!! I was truly shocked. I would never have thought that could be possible! But it did help. It is good when you feel a headache coming on to just stop and go to a quiet, dark room and just close your eyes and breathe deeply. Often headaches and tension happen because we breathe improperly. We breathe too shallow when we are stressed. Lay down and concentrate on keeping your chest motionless-put your one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Let the one on your belly rise while the one on the chest does not rise. This helps you to breathe properly and allows maximum oxygenation to take place. After a few minutes of settling your breathing, start concentrating on relaxing your toes, then work your way up to calves, thighs, buttocks, chest, arms etc. until you are very relaxed. You might want to set an alarm if you are working or need to be on schedule because you may find you relax enough to fall asleep. Some people find it helps to imagine yourself somewhere pleasant like the beach or a forest or whatever is relaxing to you. Another thing that is worth looking into is to go to the dentist so they can check your jaw alignment. I have TMJ and it certainly aggravates my tension in my neck. A special gaurd at night can help with that. There are many other measures to look into. An allergist might help, a naturopath can help you with natural and dietary supplements/herbs. Be sure you have had your eyes checked because poor vision can cause us to tense. Headaches are truly awful, I know! I used to come home from elementary school, probably 3rd or 4th grade and puke because I has such a terrific headache. Sorry this is very long but I wanted you to benefit from some of the knowledge I've gained from a lifetime of headache pain. If you need meds as a last resort, you might find oxycodone (Percocet, Roxicodone) is a bit stronger although there are debates on that from person to person! lol There is also morphine. Try not to get yourself into the daily habit though. It really can cause the headaches to worsen. Good Luck and all the Best!! I, very much, hope you find relief soon!
One thing you don't want to experience and that is rebound pain, example in my teens little later I use to have horrid headaches (not thought to be migraines) so bad that I ended up in ER often the usual treatment was IM Demerol + something to prevent nasuea, once the Demerol wore off my headache ALWAYS returned much worse than to start, (Oral meds can cause this too) but finally I decided I can't stand pain worse than it already is and refused to go back for treatment of pain, result pain finally resolved itself and no more Demerol, I just don't ever want another human being to ever have to cope with such a horrific experience Dzoobaby is right.
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