Happy New Year all!
I’ve been waiting a while to report back on what has occurred because as we all know with this migraine crap, it could all just be some weird and unexplained remission (and it might be that still!), and I could be right back in the shitter before I know it.
I have always known that my neck is a MAJOR player in this ongoing migraine drama but it appears I had been missing a key spot. Migraine activity triggers neck pain for me and neck pain triggers migraine activity. It’s a positive feedback loop that is a one way ticket on the hell express if not interrupted.
While in Japan in early November and after 3 days of walking miles around Kyoto and taking a lot of photographs with a new dSLR and rather heavy 135mm Canon lens, I started feeling really bad. On top of that, the pillows I was sleeping on over there were hard – filled with beans or something – sort of like hard bean bag sacks that you could mold but still like concrete really after you’d been lying on it for a few hours.
Anyway, I was a mess after Kyoto. Neck and head was in pain, head was super fogged up, I had some BPPV-like symptoms one morning that lasted for the day with my eyes moving all over the place, always felt tired, sleep screwed up, light and sound sensitivity … blah, blah – it was the full monty. So about a week later we stayed with friends and they had this really cool leather recliner that was all sort of S-shaped. I kicked back in that looking at the city below and then started having a prod around my neck to see how bad things really were. I went to the area I always do and that is a trigger point or knot right at C2 on the upper right side. Agony of course. And then I ran my index finger down the LEFT side, which I normally thought was unremarkable really. But I hit a bump there at C2-3 and holy crap was it ever sore when I dug a little deeper. Everything had been sore many times before so I thought none of it previously. This time, however, I decided to really get stuck into that one knot knowing full well it could send me off the rails for days with dizziness and so I kept the pressure on and moved my finger over that knot about 25 times until my eyes were watering and until it let go and the pain was much reduced.
Off to bed I went and in the morning it was like a new dawn. Clarity and the miserable prickly feeling gone and all the other crap was reduced considerably but still low level. Once back in Sydney I went to the physiotherapist and told him the story and to please focus on these so-called trigger points. He found 3 of them all up but by far this C2-3 area was the worst. So I saw him twice and kept at it myself in the evenings after work.
So over Christmas, my threshold for migraine has risen DRAMATICALLY. I was drinking booze and coffee, and eating chocolate with no massive fallout. Not perfect of course and it’s still there but this is to the point where I feel like I’ve been let out of jail and can go a little bit crazy and not pay with my left arm for a change. It appears that the one trigger point on the left side has been ground zero for years and I was unaware.
So I would encourage any of you who think your neck is messed up, has painful knots in it (trigger points) to see if having that looked into and relieved removes a substantial migraine trigger. Of course I still have to live the lifestyle otherwise my neck will easily fall apart again, especially now that I’m back at work and staring at a computer screen all day. I’m moving as much as I can with frequent breaks to avoid any more neck seizures.