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Developing headaches

Started by scottdeltatin on 01/18/2011 9:50pm

Hi all. Quick review. I had surgery for a herniated disk in march2010 and went back to work for the summer only to go out again. The same surgeon ordered an MRI reviewed it 1hr later and said he saw nothing wrong and my injury is different as symptoms of pain are on opposite side. 2 epidural shots later(no help) symtoms change to pain down both legs with numb foot down left. That was before t'giving. As I'm awaiting a selective nerve root block (lumbar) next week I've started to develope headaches that come and go. They started a few days ago. The pain and numbness symptoms vary in intensity where a week can pass with mostly aches(pain scale 3-4). Flare ups intensify in pain and last several days but the new one with developing headaches has me confused. I was under the understanding headaches caused from back ijnuries don't come from the lumbar type injury but from up higher. I have been taking alot of percoset this past month and wonder if that would be the cause. They are not stress headaches as they come up from behind the neck and don't radiate to the forehead. Any one have any experience like this?

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4 Responses


I get the exact same headaches and take basically the same stuff, but without the acetaminophen (APAP). Percocet contains oxycodone which is a narcotic pain reliever and APAP which is a general purpose pain reliever available over the counter, AKA Tylenol. The mixture of both drugs put the percocets in a different category as far as the FDA is concerned and is less addictive, potentially less abused and targeted for short term use, 30-60 days. Docs prefer to prescribe it because it reduces their risk and liability of distributing high risk narcotics like ocycodene and oxycontin..

My pain starts in the back of the neck and works upwards,,,sorta a dull constant pain. I'm still trying to figure out if it's because I only take 1/2 the prescribed dose and need more, or should take even less. It boggles my mind that that such strong pain meds can caused headaches, but it's a common side affect in 10% of patients.

Tell your doc about the headaches and maybe he will switch you over to Vicodin which is hydrocodone and Ibuprofin (Advil) combined. Tradeoff may be relief from headache, but slight increase in pain level related to your back pain.


Scott: I suffer with terrible migraines ALOT, but it's because of 3 cervical (neck) herniated discs, not from the lumbar area. I had L5-S1 fusion surgery 12 yrs. ago, but never experienced headaches then. I'm also thinking that perhaps it is the medicine you're taking - talk to your doc about that and Good Luck! When I do get those headaches, I take Butalbitol (plus 1 aspirin) & it seems to work. Hope you start feeling better soon, and hope all goes well with your upcoming procedure. Don't forget to update us after that, ok? Take care!


Thanks Phil and Dee62,

What you say makes sense on the meds(Iguess). I'll talk to the doc and try to get the script changed.
My shot is monday.Dee62, you said youhad the fusion done 12 years ago? They're talking about going that route with me depending on mondays results. I don't like what I've been reading or hearing on that subject. I understand that your going hear more of the negative when researching this stuff. I hope your going to tell me yours was successful and your pain free?



YES, my surgery was a total success! I had the anterior procedure (went in from the front, instead of a 6 inch scar on my back), they took bone from my pelvis and fused 2 pieces (which had been hallowed out) between the vertebrae, after removing the disc. The incision is at the 'bikini line' (just below the belly), a vascular surgeon held all my organs aside while the spinal surgeon worked on it. I felt the difference immediately! Wore a 'corset' brace for only 4 mos. and all lower back pain was gone. The surgery was a complete success. Before surgery, I went for a 2nd opinion and that surgeon said he would've made the incision on my back & I'd wear a brace for 6 mos. I, personally, was happy with the anterior procedure...seems like they're doing that alot more nowadays. I was 36 at the time & my youngest of 4 was only 2 yrs. old then (the older ones were 10, 13 & 15). Of course, they helped alot, and I didn't lift anything more than a gallon of milk for those 4 mos. Although the thorascic & cervical areas of my spine are bad now, I still have NO LOWER BACK ISSUES ANYMORE. Good luck & please update us after your surgery (if you have it). Take care!