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Date of last update: 10/04/2017.

Forum Name: Headaches

Question: migraine or something else...

 angel242 - Wed Jan 02, 2008 6:42 am

Hi... I had a car accident about a year ago after which I started having neck and back pains. I was given pain killers and was told as a result of a neck MRI that there was a straightening of my spine in the neck area. 6 months ago I had another car accident and the pain has gotten worse. I wore a neck brace for a while, this helped a little. But the real problem is my migraine. I didnt used to have them till about 7 months ago. I get an attack at least twice a month, lasts for 4-5 days and I sometimes end up hospitilized. My neck stiffens a lot during the attacks and I get a fever everytime I have pain. Lately I ended up forgetting a lot. I couldnt recognise my fiance the other day - it was only for a second but it was enough to scare me. I see lights every now and then and I am not sure if this is because of the severity of the pain or not. I have been to a neurologist and she told me the pain was due to my neck injury. But it is not getting any better and I am tired of using pain killers. I am tired all the time no matter how much I sleep and I get dizzy very frequently. What could this be, what should I do?
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Mon Feb 11, 2008 4:01 pm

User avatar Hello Angel242,

Headaches commonly will follow neck trauma from car accidents. In particular, if a person has a history of headaches or migraines, the resulting neck trauma can worsen the occurrences and make them more common.

Sometimes some physical therapy can help with this. Occasionally, what happens is that there is some slight malalignment of the neck due to the accident that then causes the muscles to tighten up to protect the area. This, in turn, leads to the headaches. Physical therapy can help loosen the muscles and ease the tension in the neck.

With your other associated issues such as the memory problems these headaches may represent complex migraines or basilar artery migraines (migraines due to spasming of the basilar artery in the back are of the neck/brain). I would suggest you see your primary care doctor or neurologist again to see about using a prophylactic medication to help prevent you from getting so many headaches.

Best wishes.

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