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Sunday, December 3, 2017

the unforeseen complications of cervicogenic headache after surgery

click pic for great article

This.
A Headache From a Pinched Nerve

So many years of physical therapy, strength training, mobility work, chiropractic, and massage for a nasty whiplash from an ancient very nasty accident that healed with all kinds of scar tissue hardened throughout the soft tissues, all nicely undone during one little surgery requiring precautionary airway during anesthesia.

I have everything in that above 'headache' link's list regarding causes for cervicogenic headaches. Another outstanding article is Cervicogenic Headache from the American Migraine Foundation.

I've thought a lot through the years about what it must have been like for people who've had their heads chopped off. Guillotines were heavy enough to lop them off quickly, but someone hefting an axe over another someone held over a stump could easily rebound off a cervical disk. I mean, I've actually done that butchering chickens in the old days, and I hated it. Chopping through neck bone isn't easy, especially when someone is squirmy, and getting a clean lop requires a confident and meaningful downward swing with a good axe. When I hear in the news about journalists' heads being cut off in other countries, I know it's not quick and that they suffer quite badly.

Television makes it look easy. Characters with nothing but swords whop heads off left and right, no problem. If our heads could come off that easily, we'd all be losing heads every time we fall down the stairs or on a patch of ice. Our necks are almost like a string of crochet or macrame, all those interlocking pieces with really tough fibers wrapping around and through it all, because the nerve trunk must be protected at any and all cost. Mother nature made sure our necks are super tough with lots of bone in the way.

I'm a great example. I was thrown out of a flipping car and hyperflexed my neck so hard that my ear was pretty much on my shoulder as I was flung out the window. I was conscious and remember the entire thing. My neck bent like a tree under a tornado hopping around. If you've never seen a solid tree bend in a wind wall, it's really freaky. Trees aren't metal poles, and they can take a bit of bending before they snap. Ice on branches is like that, too, you wouldn't dream a big branch could actually bend so far down and still be ok after the ice melts. Human necks are like that. They don't look like they could really be that bendy because our necks are so short, but mine bent like a spring board shredding all the soft tissues on one side, and how my neck never broke is anyone's guess.

Amusingly, I ran into this doozy just this morning. They still make it sound too easy. Most people aren't strong or practiced enough nowadays to pull this off.


After years of living with sometimes excruciating pain, I had whittled it down via loads of therapies to almost no pain and a whole lot more mobility. By then I had developed arthritis in my neck, both degenerative and stenosis, plus I had a couple of bulges showing up along the way, and about a year or so ago a hands on massage therapist even found a little cystic scar in the very worst spot that finally broke down enough for me to turn my head freely to the left without pain for the first time in years. Well, a lot of that pain is back now, and I can only think maybe being held in one position with airway was really hard on my neck. I'm having a super fibro flare with shooting pains going all over my scalp and down my shoulder, and my neck feels like it took a hard punch. I know this is nothing new and that time and patience and more therapies will help me work it out, but it's been very hard not being cranky, as you can imagine. I'm trying not to be short with people, but it's quite a challenge when all this pain is whinging around my head. One of my cranial nerves feels like it's getting electrical zaps every few seconds, and this has been going on for several days.

Thank goodness the surgery itself went spectacularly well, and I'm healing fast. The pain level in that area has gone down exponentially, and I'm looking back and can't believe how much pain I had been living with and how much it was affecting my overall health and my appearance.