Posted in Fibromyaloga

The Headache


I have kept a low profile in the last few days due to a fibromyalgia headache that is still looming. There are a lot of difficult things about living with fibromyalgia but it seems like the worst of it is these headaches that linger for days.

If you have fibromyalgia (FMS), you experience muscle aches and pains all over your body. You also start to get more headaches and migraines the longer you have FMS. These headaches makes the disease harder to deal with and they contribute to the symptoms you are already dealing with including sleep disturbance, nausea, and fatigue. Every time I get one of these “fibromyalgia headaches,” I wonder if I am the only one, but the more research I have done, the more I realize I am not alone.

I call them fibromyalgia headaches because they seem to be a combination of a migraine and a tension headache. Further, most people think that taking an over the counter pain medication or prescription for the headache would solve the problem, but like everything else about FMS, it is not that easy. People with FMS will get one of three types of headaches: muscle tension headache, migraine or a combination headache. Lucky me, mine are a combination.

A muscle tension headache is also called a muscle contraction headache or a tension headache. This type of headache is caused by muscle contractions in the neck, head, jaw, upper back and shoulders. Muscle spasms are also felt at the base of the neck and into the temples. Think of them as a band tightening around the entire head. These type of headaches range from moderate to severe and can last from a few hours to a few days.

Migraines are caused by constrictions of your blood vessels and arteries, and are often referred to as vascular headaches. They are a result of factors like stress, fatigue and illness. The blood vessels in the head and neck constrict and then dilate, causing severe pain nausea, dizziness and eye pain. A migraine can move around the head, shifting sides. Episodes of anxiety, depression and fatigue can signal the onset of a migraine. Other symptoms include visual symptoms including double vision, blurry vision, flashing dots, bright lights, or distorted vision. A migraine can last from four hours to up to a week.

Combination headaches (tension and migraine) are common in fibromyalgia sufferers. Hence, here I am going on 4 days. Can you imagine a headache lasting more than four days? I have taken several different types of pain relievers to no avail, and I finally made it in to work today feeling like I am half-functioning. I am hoping the worst of it is over but I will definitely be glad when it’s over. In the meantime, please pass the Excedrin Migraine.

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6 thoughts on “The Headache

  1. *hands over medication*Yes, unfortunatley I can relate. To the headaches that is. My record was 8 days, my average 3 days. Not cool. Ah well. I hear only the cool kids have symptoms of brain tumors (pseudo tumor cerebri) without the F***ing tumor. Sometimes I wish it WAS a tumor so it could be dealt with. Then maybe I could have the vision in my right eye back.Sorry. Not usually so 'serious'. But thanks for lettling me vent. We just make the most of it, right? BLAH!

  2. Aw, Lana. Headaches are just miserable. I've never had a migraine, but I sure have had bad muscle tension headaches in the past. Damp heat — as in hot, wet towels draped across the shoulders and the back of the neck — were somewhat helpful, but my doc prescribed muscle relaxers, too, along with an analgesic. The last one I had (many years ago) took three days to go away; it just knocked the stuffing out of me.I hope you'll be over that nasty headache soon. Sending lots of comfort, calm and relaxing thoughts your way, m'dear.-Wren

  3. sorry Lana! I know how horrible the combination headaches are! I have migraines and tension headaches along with TMJ pain sometimes all together! EEK! They can certainly knock you down! Hope things get better for you!

  4. Thank you everyone for your well wishes. Leslie, I have TMJ pain too and I know exactly what you mean about it all together knocking you down. I am constantly trying not to grind and clench my teeth but the TMJ can make you real crazy.

  5. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, I'm so sorry! This is the one that just kills me. My last headbache was debilitating and lasted 3 days. And just a Q—does the SUN give you a headache?? I think I'm sensitive to the sun too because if I'm out too long in it, ouchie!!!

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