The Migraine Associated Vertigo Community
Read our welcome post, user support wiki & visit our member recommended products page

Head heaviness

Hi everyone! I hope you are all doing well! I just thought I would ask as ive been having terrible head pressure that I cant even navigate into the kitchen to make myself a cup of tea! :confounded: im having to regularly rest my head and find that Im constantly holding my neck asif its too weak to carry my head.
On a good day when pressure isn’t as bad I always feel asif I struggle to keep my head still because its so heavy… especially bad when the ear pressure accompanies this too. Driving in the car I always have my neck supported with a cushion and its difficult to keep my head still…

Anyone else know the feeling?
:two_hearts:

1 Like

Often. Used to be all the time. Typical MAV. More around the back of your head, and/or temples? MAV is described as a ‘variant balance disorder’. The cerebellum (the balance bit of your brain) is located quite low down back of head. Actually you may find it’s a good sign. As the other symptoms diminish it may get worse, or just seem more obvious. I find if I’ve got that, it’s a bad balance day. Things are more acute. If I don’t have it, I’m good.

Stiff neck, head feels lt weighs a ton, tight head and ears full too. When I first had chronic 24/7 MAV dizziness I had permanent rear head pressure and stiff neck. The stiff neck is very common with any balance issues. Muscles probably tightened because brain is trying to balance more through head and spine alignment or something. Helen

2 Likes

@Onandon03 Hello Helen how are you doing? Thank you for replying :blush:

I completely relate. Yesterday was a bad head heaviness/ear day and I also felt a little groggy maybe the Amitriptyline I kind of felt odd all day, almost asif I was spaced out. This morning the heaviness waxes and wanes in severity. Funny you should say… when I do have that which is everyday!! I think it kind of takes over and you dont notice your other symptoms as much. Your right. Dont get me wrong I hate hate hate being dizzy but this pressure for me is one of the worst. Im completely debilitated by it at time and I feel so wobbly even trying to navigate with a 10ton pressure all over my head. It does vary in places throughout the day though.

I was hoping to go into Oxford this week and have a walk around the city for some fresh air… we will see :crossed_fingers:

1 Like

It isn’t the head pressure in itself making you worse I’d say. The head pressure is a sign to you that your system is worse , more sensitive, than usual. I’ve wondered if it’s constructed blood vessels cause the pressure. Just guessing, I’ve had it so bad I couldn’t lift head from pillow for days on end, felt it would burst. (@dizzy3 always tells me this is the migraine headache). Couldn’t sit upright at all without head support for years. . Too much strain on balance system. I would think, unless you know Oxford will be very very quiet, a trip to town is about the worst thing you could do to aggravate the symptoms. Quiet walk in the country away from much traffic better idea, or you could end up a heap on the pavement. Remember the supermarket trip? Helen

@Onandon03 Oh really? I wasn’t sure if that is the actual migraine as I tend to get this heaviness all day at varying degrees, then the Migraine usually comes but I suppose we are all different with our MAV… yes maybe I will opt for a short walk in the woods - you’re probably right :thinking: yesterday I attemped to drive my car… only up the road but it was fine. I dont want to push it because I felt as though I needed someone to sit in the back and hold my head in place :see_no_evil: have you found a particular food trigger that sets off your heavy head? I am interested to find out if it does bother me eating certain foods… im having trouble finding things to eat for breakfast on the John Hopkins diet… do you have any suggestions? :plate_with_cutlery:

1 Like

I’m not sure either, whether that pressure is a ‘migraine’ or not. It’s common enough symptom though.
. I always say I don’t get migraine headaches unless that is one and of course some people do believe MAV is really just a migraine that started and never got around to stopping. I don’t know. Do be vety careful with driving. In UK you must advise DVLA and your insurers if any condition which could affect driving ability and dizziness/vertigo is one such condition. You may not be insured otherwise. Any trigger can increase head pressure, it’s a symptom. Foods will do it, Salt, and ham/bacon will for me. That I’m sure about but probably there are others. I’ve only been trying diet and caffeine restriction since October and low/no caffeine does seem to help with head pressure, One non-food related thing that also helps is not putting even more pressure on your head, by cleaning kneeling down, by bending forwards to pick up rgings off the floor. Looking forwards and down at tablet etc, anything like that, avoid it,

I try to do John Hopkins but I haven’t dropped dairy. Because of other health issues I must have calcium in abundance so I take milk, butter and factory-made Cheddar cheese. For breakfast I have cereal. Porridge mostly with milk. I find filling sandwiches a problem and don’t know what I would do without cheese, Helen

I also have a lot of head heaviness and pressure pain. Like you find it hard to sit upright as my head feels heavy, like my neck isn’t strong enough to hold it up. I’ve got to a point with the dizziness now that when I don’t have a pressure headache, but “only” dizziness, I feel I’m having a “good” day…!
Fingers crossed the medication is going to remove that symptom soon, I’ve got high hopes reading other people’s revovery stories.

2 Likes

@Onandon03 Its odd how it fluctuates so much, it can be so bad almost asif it will burst like you say… well today I drove my car again (another short journey) but I felt ok. And yes DVLA are very much aware - but thank you for info!

I can’t really start my diet properly yet, but I have eliminated caffeine from my diet as of a week ago… the diet I will really have to put my efforts into but im sure once I get going I’ll be ok!:crossed_fingers:

I actually did a test a while ago that showed I was infact intolerant to cows milk so changed to organic soya milk instead… I mean of course it is not going to be for everyone but even starting yo cut out the obvious food choices like, chocolate and caffeine is a start :grinning:

@LucyLabrador Its dreadful isn’t it Lucy?! That is the most frequent symptom I have almost everyday since I can remember. Hopefully it will start to elievate now ive started Amitriptyline. I dont know Im just hopeful! :crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers:started Magnesium 500mg aswell so we will have to take one step at a time

Oh, I cut out chocolate and oranges a thousand years ago, and commercial red wine soon afterwards. In fact the red wine was gone so long I’d forgotten not to drink it and then at family anniversary dinner was persuaded to drink three glasses. Oh, Boy! I soon remembered. Apparently alot of people can’t take milk, it’s far more common than I’d realised. I’m not sure about soya milk. Depends how it’s made. John Hopkins diet doesn’t allow for anything fermented which tofu is, and I think some soya milk may be but not certain which. Helen

1 Like

You see at a similar stage of “recovery” to me… lots of *** symptoms and bags of hope re: medication :smile:

@LucyLabrador bloody hope so Lucy! Had this since I was 18!! Im now 27! Only diagnosed 2.5years ago… so well overdue some relief!! Heres to getting well and supporting one and other :kissing_heart:

1 Like

Absolutely, 2019 is going to be better !

3 Likes

The heavy head is so annoying remember describing to a Neurologist when I was younger it felt like I had a bowling ball as a head… he looked at me strange lol. I’m currently going through the heavy head spell too, often find myself leaning on my hand for support. When I turn my head there’s a lag between what I see and my head moving so weird.

3 Likes

I came across this thread through the search. I experience head heaviness but it’s not my entire head. It’s like the central portion of my brain like the size of a tennis ball feels heavy and almost like it’s pulling my center of gravity down. It’s a very yucky feeling. It makes my brain feel like it’s just kind of flopping around just on top of my brain stem because i also have a hollow “tube” feeling just below the heavy pulling down tennis ball feeling. It’s so strange, I can only describe is as a yucky feeling because it makes me feel gross and sick to my stomach because of the pull. The feeling comes and goes but it’s worse than the anxiety.

1 Like

I’ve had an extreme version of this and I named it The Magneto Head

1 Like

This was…and still is a very big symptom for me James. I describe it the Neuro as a magnet coming into contact with a fridge
Jo

2 Likes

It’s really awful isn’t it Jo? I hope that settles for you very soon. Mine went away thank goodness. I’m sure eventually yours will too.

Sounds like subjective (internal) vertigo to me as in the title “Chronic Subjective Dizziness”. Vertigo can be either subjective (internal, you feel you are moving) or objective (things/environment around you appears to move). Vertigo causes nausea and actual vomiting extremely commonly. Neuro-otologist told me vertigo, in either form, is indicative of the condition.

Incorrect posture will change your centre of gravity. As MAV is a balance disorder when people are acute they tend not to be maintaining correct posture. Personally I find it totally impossible. Soon as our natural alignment is lost our head will feel increasing heavy. There’s a ratio somewhere. Every inch out from the natural alignment we are the head feels n lbs heavier. For sure that doesn’t help much either.

MAV seems to work in vicious circles. I’ve always found increased head pressure just pushes the head forwards and down. Like a strong giant’s hand. The farther forward the head goes the heavier it feels. That tights the neck and shoulders result of which more incorrect messages reaches the brain and the circle continues.

1 Like

Yes, I notice that my posture when I sit down is terrible. I slouch a bit and my head will go forward, putting pressure on my neck. Standing up makes me feel better. I know I have issues with my neck being out of alignment but still need some imaging done first.

1 Like