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chronic tension headache

(26 Posts)
mumslife Mon 08-Dec-14 21:40:23

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birchwoods Mon 08-Dec-14 21:49:21

I have suffered with tension headaches for a long time, often called cluster headaches. I had a bad spell when I started uni and the doctor there said that one headache triggers the next so you need to break the cycle with some strong painkillers (ibuprofen and paracetamol do nothing for me). What worked for me was cocodamol. It's very strong and always made me a bit woozy but it got rid of the headaches! Try her with two tablets before bed one night (with food in her stomach) and see if that helps. If she's being sick that sounds more like a migraine though (I also suffered with them as a teenager, horrific). You can get specific medication for migraines I believe. I hope she gets it sorted.

Could a certain food be a trigger perhaps? Oranges and chocolate are common culprits I think.

birchwoods Mon 08-Dec-14 21:50:05

I have suffered with tension headaches for a long time, often called cluster headaches. I had a bad spell when I started uni and the doctor there said that one headache triggers the next so you need to break the cycle with some strong painkillers (ibuprofen and paracetamol do nothing for me). What worked for me was cocodamol. It's very strong and always made me a bit woozy but it got rid of the headaches! Try her with two tablets before bed one night (with food in her stomach) and see if that helps. If she's being sick that sounds more like a migraine though (I also suffered with them as a teenager, horrific). You can get specific medication for migraines I believe. I hope she gets it sorted.

Could a certain food be a trigger perhaps? Oranges and chocolate are common culprits I think.

mumslife Mon 08-Dec-14 21:54:08

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SunbathingCat Mon 08-Dec-14 22:04:26

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mumslife Mon 08-Dec-14 22:10:47

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booksandchoc Mon 08-Dec-14 22:21:37

I have suffered from these on and off for years. I had them on and off for months about 4 years ago and had a visit with the dentist, I mentioned it in passing after a 'how are you' and he realised I clench my jaw a lot after feeling the muscles around my face and head. I didn't even realise I was doing it. I do still get headaches but realise now if I'm clenching my jaw, it's mainly stress that causes it.

It may not be the cause but it's an avenue that a doctor may not think about.

SunbathingCat Mon 08-Dec-14 22:25:20

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mumslife Tue 09-Dec-14 07:26:32

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mumslife Tue 09-Dec-14 07:27:12

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SunbathingCat Tue 09-Dec-14 11:12:15

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mumslife Tue 09-Dec-14 12:31:21

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Auriga Tue 09-Dec-14 12:41:43

Even though the pain isn't 'throbbing' they sound like migraines. Have a look on the London Migraine Clinic website and see if the descriptions there ring a bell.

Cluster headaches are a migraine variant, by the way, they are not tension headaches.

Modern treatment for migraine is with soluble aspirin and anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen) if you can tolerate it, along with domperidone or similar for nausea and vomiting.

SunbathingCat Tue 09-Dec-14 13:22:34

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RawCoconutMacaroon Tue 09-Dec-14 13:36:23

The painkillers are a double edged sword tho... They can make the situation worse (withdrawal headache) and the ibuprofen can cause nausea/gut problems too (I have them with a Zantac).

After many years of chronic migraine and "normal" headache, I did find a total change in diet, to grain free, primal/paleo (for other reasons) almost completely eliminated them, and allowed me to identify a few other food triggers.

Some of my more unusual triggers are Xanthan Gum, cinnamon and mouldy cheeses like Brie, blue cheeses, and will all of those, a little is ok but any larger amount isn't.

As your DD has no previous history of migraine (and it does sound like cluster migraine to me), or headache, can you think of anything that's changed? Birth control pill? Changes in diet (ie if she's recently gone veggie, is she eating much more cheese than previously)? Any other health issues that she might not think are part of the same problem?

mumslife Tue 09-Dec-14 16:59:17

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mumslife Tue 09-Dec-14 17:02:16

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mumslife Tue 09-Dec-14 17:06:38

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Namechangeyetagaintohide Tue 09-Dec-14 17:11:37

This is going to sound daft but I always find a hot water bottle or similar on the back of my neck helpful. More so than painkillers for me personally. For tension headache at least.

mumslife Tue 09-Dec-14 17:38:04

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dotnet Fri 12-Dec-14 07:59:43

Don't know if I'm going off track a bit here, but I'm a headachey person (though not in your poor daughter's league by a long way.) I've noticed that I'm not helped by paracetamol, only by aspirin. There was something on the radio a month or two ago where the speaker was saying some people can't metabolize paracetamol, it isn't a blind bit of use to them. Might be worth checking if the active ingredients in the medications your daughter is taking are the same as in paracetamol. It could be that she's a non-metabolizer. I don't suppose the ability to metabolize paracetamol is something many (?any?) GPs would check.
You could try looking up in the internet about this - it might get you on the right track to more useful medication.

Stuffofawesome Fri 12-Dec-14 08:11:41

Google sternocleidomastoid syndrome. If that could be the problem, or for other types of tension headache trigger point massage can fix it. although professional treatment will help it is something you can/need to do regularly through the day yourself to maintain it but it is not difficult to do once you know how. hope she feels better soon

CatCushion Fri 12-Dec-14 08:25:47

Has she had a sight test at an optometrist lately?

CateBlanket Fri 12-Dec-14 08:26:10

Definitely see the dentist - s/he might be able to make Dd a guard to stop any night clenching or grinding. Then see physiotherapist for massages.

Does DD spend a lot if time on iPad/phone texting? Physiotherapist who treated me for tension headaches said young people are damaging nerve in neck (she was more specific but can't remember medical terms) by their poor posture when using these devices.

chloejaynemummy Fri 12-Dec-14 09:33:22

You have to be carefull with headache pills as you could end up with rebound headaches which is what I had. After years suffering with terrible headaches all on one side worried I had something serious endless tablets I was put on for muscle relaxants like amitriptyline which just knocked me out I got a 2nd opinion from a doctor sent me to a physio and perscribed me voltarol to out on my neck and shoulder and I tell u what iv not suffered as bad since! Pretty much gone from a headache everyday to once a month? The physio said I was so tence in my back that my muscles where cramping around the top of my spine xxx

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