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Severe Pain When Resting my Head - Struggling to Sleep

Discussion in 'Pain and Inflammation' started by SeanQHX1, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. SeanQHX1

    SeanQHX1

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    I thought I'd make a separate thread on this symptom as it has been causing me a lot of grief recently. When I rest my head on any pillow, I get a severe pressure pain on the area of my head that I'm lying on. The pain on the area quickly builds up to the point it becomes unbearable, forcing me to lift my head from the pillow. And as soon as I lift my head, the pain almost instantly goes away. The time it takes for the pain to build up depends on which part of my head I'm lying on, with the back of my head being the most severe. Lying on the sides of my head can also cause this pain on the opposite side. Lying on a softer pillow only delays the time it takes for this pain to build up.

    I havent been able to get much sleep with this pain as I can't properly lay down anymore. And the co-codimol I've been taken, which helps my bad headaches, doesn't do anything with this kind of pain. I expect I would need something like morphine to alleviate it somehow.

    Has anyone else here experienced head pain like this or have any idea on how to treat or manage it? Thanks!
     
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  2. Moof

    Moof Senior Member

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    I wonder if it's a symptom of high or low intracranial pressure. This is the pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid that bathes your brain – and as with blood pressure, if it's too high or too low it can cause problems. Have you spoken to your doctor about it?

    If it's just the skin that hurts, might it be allodynia? Some people who get migraines are prone to getting that, especially during an attack.

    Hope someone else can suggest something more concrete.
     
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  3. SeanQHX1

    SeanQHX1

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    @Moof I was thinking myself that it could be an intracranial pressure problem. The pain seems to be coming from directly under the skull. I also have a variety of pains all over this area, particularly at the back of the head. But I've never had a migraine. I'll be seeing a neurologist and another doctor soon so hopefully I'll find an answer.
     
  4. Moof

    Moof Senior Member

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    Fingers crossed you get some answers, it's the sort of symptom that can be really worrying as well as a nightmare to live with.
     
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  5. Wolfcub

    Wolfcub Senior Member

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    @SeanQHX1 Another thought is some kind of nerve entrapment of course, possibly.
    I am really sorry you are unable to sleep for it. Sleeping in a chair with feet up is not the same, but might be your best solution for now. I hope that you get an answer and some relief.
     
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  6. Judee

    Judee Senior Member

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    Can you try a microbead pillow similar to this one >>> HERE?

    I think they make them in other shapes and sizes too.

    That might alleviate some of the pressure until you can find out what is going on and get treatment. Be aware though, they do make an odd noise as the microbeads shift about which might be distracting if you are noise sensitive like I am.


    Edit: Glancing at the Q & A section someone did mention they can have a chemical smell.

    We've bought them before (not the one in the link necessarily) and I think I do remember a slight smell but I think it off gasses pretty quickly.

    We are moderately to almost severe on MCS (multiple chemical sensitivies) if that helps.

    If you're in the states you could see if your local Walgreens has them and that way you could do a sniff test before purchasing but I would call before taking the trip there to make sure they have some in stock.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
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  7. SeanQHX1

    SeanQHX1

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    @Wolfcub It could be also. Yes, this symptom has been the worst so far, all my other problems are beginning to a backseat now. Thanks, hopefully I'll find an answer soon.

    @Judee Thanks, I live in the UK but could probably find one of these online or at a shop like Homebase or B&Q. I don't have any known allergies or sensitivities so I expect I'll be ok sleeping on one.
     
  8. Moof

    Moof Senior Member

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    Only other thought, @SeanQHX1, is that I was once unable to lie down for several months because of extreme pain due to an overuse injury in one of my shoulders. I decided to get out my garden recliner in the short term, whilst I looked for an affordable recliner chair. In the event, I found it so comfortable that I didn't need to spend money on an upholstered version! It was only about £30 from Wilko's.

    If you find you really can't lie down, it might be worth trying to borrow one, to see if it'll work until you manage to sort out the problem?
     
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  9. SeanQHX1

    SeanQHX1

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    @Moof I could give it a try. I've also got a recliner that I can use. The main problem I'm having though is not being able to rest my head down, even putting my hand on my head causes this pain. Resting on my cheek so far has helped me get some sleep.
     
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  10. Wolfcub

    Wolfcub Senior Member

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    @SeanQHX1 You've probably tried all these things already...but what sort of pillow do you normally use? Is it about 4 inches thick or greater? (Like most average pillows, whether soft or firm.)

    For instance, I have never been able to use a normal pillow like that, and have to lie more flat with only just enough soft support under the natural bend in the neck, and use a light feather pillow which I can shape very easily. It's the correct support (for me) and keeps my head and neck straight when lying flat.
    If I use a normal pillow it pushes my neck forwards in a horrible unbearable position.
    But I think that can depend on one's body shape. People who are thicker-set in shoulders and back may need a thicker pillow to make sure their neck and head is in a pretty straight line to the body.
     
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  11. Molly98

    Molly98 Senior Member

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    @SeanQHX1 I also suffer with the type of head pain you describe when resting your head on a pillow. The same thing happens, no matter which side I lie on I get a pressure pain build up there, it often spreads to my face and behind my eyes too.

    I have had this every day for a few years. I wouldn't describe mine as severe, probably moderate, chronic and can really wear me down. It can cause me difficulties getting to sleep too, and is so frustrating because lying a different way doesn't help it just means the pain will start to build up on whichever side I lie on. I can't be upright for more than a couple of minutes due to my POTs, and sitting or standing causes me pain both during and after but lying is also not restful and comfortable due to this pain.

    I am also based in the UK and have some good specialists for POTs, ME and hypomobility EDS but no answers so far with regard to this type of pain.

    CBD oil can help to take the edge off and relax me and help me sleep better and LDN has helped with the general sense of brain inflammation and brain fog though not particularly with this symptom.
     
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  12. sb4

    sb4 Senior Member

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    Hey @SeanQHX1, if you have not read through this thread I HIGHLY recommend it. A guy got all his CFS removed by discovering he had CCI and correcting it with surgery.
     
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  13. SeanQHX1

    SeanQHX1

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    @Wolfcub The pillow I have is about 4 inches deep but made of memory foam, so it's rather soft and my head fairly sinks into it. I've been getting comfortable sleeps on it untill I started getting this head pain. The pain seems to only be caused by pressure on the scalp area though. The position of my neck or any other part of my body doesn't affect this pain. I also get stiff necks in the morning from resting my head in awkward positions to avoid the pains.

    @Molly98 Your pain sounds similar, although mine is purely on the scalp area and doesn't spread anywhere else. And the pain I get is severe and kind of like trying rest my head against a very hot pipe or boiler. I'm not sure if CBD oil would do much with it.

    @sb4 Thanks, I'll have a read through it. My illness seems to be a lot different from CFS though.
     
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  14. Wolfcub

    Wolfcub Senior Member

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    I know. That thread is very impressive. It makes me wonder how many others could have the same problem and no-one would know without the correct MRI.
     
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