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Forum Name: Miscellaneous Nephrology Topics

Question: different head pains


 Micheller - Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:14 pm

I am 32 year old female. I was 2 years old when I had a tumor removed from my top left side of my head. It was not cancer. The doctor also removed a large part of my brain with this (which is what other neuro docs have said from MRI's). I am on no medication for this and never was. I had migrains for more than 10 years til i figured that caffeine was the cause. for the past couple of years I now have what seems to be tension headachs. I have them daily off and on. I usually try a hot rag to get rid of them but if they are really bad i take some aleve. I also notice about a year ago taht a small spot on my head where my scar is, it sounds hallow. The only way i know to describe it is it sounds like as if i stuck my head under water and scatched my head. I does not hurt to touch it, it just really bothers me. I do not sleep through the night the headaches wake me. other docs do not know what it could be. they have tried many differnt kinds of meds with me and some do nothing and others are not better then the aleve. cat scans and mri's show nothing. I thought maybe stress, so i quit my job. i still hve the pains. My biggest worry is that at night when the headaches come at the bottem of my head and neck area, the top of my head, where my scar is from the surgery, hurts really bad. The pain is on the surface, just the slightest touch hurts. If run my fingers through my hair lighly it hurts. Even the pillow touching that part of my head it hurts. If i sit up for a 10-15 min. the pain on top of my head goes away.
so i guess my question is what could be cause tension headaches? How can i get rid of them? could food allergy be a cause of them? and then the pain on my scar at night. Is it a nerve thing and how do i fix that? It seems to be related to my headachs only when i lay down, should I be worried about this?Please any suggestions would help!
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:26 pm

User avatar Headaches that wake a person up from sleep are generally quite concerning for the possibility of a tumor in the head. It sounds as if your doctors have done the appropriate CT scan and MRI to look for this. Since the imaging did not show a tumor it is quite unlikely that this is the cause of the headache.

Your description makes it seem as if it more that you are awakened from sleep do to your head touching something and causing pain. Since the pain hurts when you touch your scalp I am quite suspicious that this is a nerve type pain. It is possible that some how a nerve that feeds the area of your scalp with pain was damaged somehow and now is extra sensitive. (That's simplified down a bit and not completely what happens.)

For nerve pain there are a few medications that may help. It is good that the naproxen (Aleve) helps but it would be good to find a controller medicine so you do not have to take the naproxen continuously. A medication called gabapentin is sometimes very good at controlling nerve pain. It was originally a seizure medicine that has been found helpful with some pain conditions. The trick to this medicine is that it takes a while to fully kick in. Usually it is started at a low dose which is subsequently increased over several weeks. Have you tried this medicine already? If not, you may want to talk to your doctor about it.

Hope this helps.

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