Tension Headaches?

Hi.
I was just wondering if anyone experienced the same thing…cuz what my dr is saying doesnt make much sense to me.

I had a brain AVM (right frontal lobe) which bled, followed by a craniotomy. Since the surgery, I have constant headaches in the back and left side of my head, nowhere near the incision.

The doctor says it is probably tension headaches (not related to the AVM or surgery). I know I’ve dealt with more stress since the surgery, but I’ve dealt with stress my whole life and never once had a tension headache. The started immediately following the surgery so I can’t understand how they’re not related to the craniotomy.

He also said it could possibly be muscle damage from the incision, but it’s been five months…the muscles should be healed, right?

Anyone else deal with headaches not near where they had the surgery? Or does anyone know what the cause may be? I am finding it so hard to function. This headache NEVER goes away. The painkillers I was given barely work. Anyone recommend good painkillers. My doc refuses to prescribe percasset or vacadin because people get addicted. He only gives acetominophen.

Mary Kate, Over many years, like you, i have dealt with stress,and the ‘normal’ accompanying headaches. They were so short, i have never taken anything stronger than panadol (Tylenol?). I started having chiropractic about 20 odd yrs ago (for a lower back condition), and with accompanying neck manipulation, the headaches cleared up for months at a time.
After my skull fracture and two recent procedures, headaches were to be expected. My chiro recently did my manipulation - after four months, and the only pains i have are where the nerve ending feelings are returning where my incisions were.

I don’t recommend chiro for everyone, and i have even read on here that chiro can ‘kill’ you, but a lot of what we read is from mis-information generated decades ago when Palmer University Chiropractic Graduates were shunned by the medical world. My guess is that the same medical professionals back then deemed all AVMs ( if the term existed) ‘inoperable’.

It may not be for you, but over here we have wellbeing centres, where chiros, physios, naturopaths, sports injury experts, yoga, meditation, reiki masseurs etc, operate under the one roof, and may be able to point you in the right direction. You may have similar facilities where you are.

Sorry if this hasn’t helped, but hindered! With each of us being different, your GP (doctor) may be just providing you with alternate remedies and explanations. Good luck in your research - i wish you all the best in your journey.

Mary Kate,
I understand your pain. I have a left cerebral avm and Im waiting to meet with a neurosurgeon for a consult to receive radiation. However because I have constant headaches (like an extreme tension headache mixed with a feeling of overwhelming heat coming from my skull…24/7). My neurosurgeon has perscribed hydrocodone-apap for me… I have both 5/500 and 10/350… The first number represents the dosage of vicodin/codeine and the second number is the acetominophen. The hydrocodone is roughly a generic of vicodin. My suggestion would to be to get a doc who will listen to you and maybe perform some tests to see what if anything is going on. I wish you the best.

tThanks for the suggestions. I tried a chiropractor but did not like him and felt he was lying to me, regarding the X-rays he took (long story). Also, he cracked my neck and I had worse headaches for about 3 days. Maybe, I should try a different one.

Tony Lopez said:

Mary Kate, Over many years, like you, i have dealt with stress,and the ‘normal’ accompanying headaches. They were so short, i have never taken anything stronger than panadol (Tylenol?). I started having chiropractic about 20 odd yrs ago (for a lower back condition), and with accompanying neck manipulation, the headaches cleared up for months at a time.
After my skull fracture and two recent procedures, headaches were to be expected. My chiro recently did my manipulation - after four months, and the only pains i have are where the nerve ending feelings are returning where my incisions were.

I don’t recommend chiro for everyone, and i have even read on here that chiro can ‘kill’ you, but a lot of what we read is from mis-information generated decades ago when Palmer University Chiropractic Graduates were shunned by the medical world. My guess is that the same medical professionals back then deemed all AVMs ( if the term existed) ‘inoperable’.

It may not be for you, but over here we have wellbeing centres, where chiros, physios, naturopaths, sports injury experts, yoga, meditation, reiki masseurs etc, operate under the one roof, and may be able to point you in the right direction. You may have similar facilities where you are.

Sorry if this hasn’t helped, but hindered! With each of us being different, your GP (doctor) may be just providing you with alternate remedies and explanations. Good luck in your research - i wish you all the best in your journey.

Hi Mary Kate,

One of the side effects from my craniotomy are tension headaches. I never got them prior to the surgeries I had, but I sure do get them now (and it’s 9 years since I’ve had surgery)! While I dealt with stress prior to surgery, I found I was just a lot more susceptible to headaches post surgery and I do have pain in places not anywhere near any incision.

I see a neurologist regularly and he manages my headaches. I’ve tried taking panadol (paracetemol) and neurofen (ibuprofen), but even taking both of those together didn’t help. My neuro has put me on endep, which is an ‘old style’ anti-depressant. I’m not on the endep for depression, but rather to help with the tension headaches as research has shown it can (and does for me). I currently take 20-30mg of endep.

I also found I was grinding my teeth in my sleep and this can cause tension headaches. Your dentist will be able to tell you if you’re doing that and will let you know what you need to do to fix it.

I’ve also found massaging my head and doing things to relieve stress help (walking, relaxation excercises etc) help.

I hope the headaches settle down for you soon.

Kind Regards,
Lou