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Hi, I’m new here- I’ve been experiencing migraine since I had a head injury And whiplash at work over 25 years ago. These used to be pretty sporadic (one every three months or so) and took the form of a warning visual aura in the left eye followed by headache and light sensitivity. A lie down with migraleive did the trick and I’d be ok in a few hours. In about the last two years my pattern has changed where I now have no visual aura, but start with dizzy spells, occasional vertigo and a whooshing in my ear, my neck stiffens up and I am nauseous, vomit and get headache- these attacks can last up to three days. They are happening more and more frequently and in the last 6 months have been awful.
I’ve tried acupuncture and I’ve been back to the doctors several times as the migraleive or other over the counter stuff wasn’t helping, I’m now on my third triptan but it’s been little relief.
Does this sound like vestibular migraine? Does anyone else differ as result of head/neck trauma? And if so have you been successful in finding a treatment that worked? I’m currently on day three of an attack and I’m seriously thinking I can’t cope with this for the rest of my life! I think this is linked to my neck injury but the doctors just aren’t looking at it. I’ve tried physio- it just seems to bring on an attack!

Welcome to the forum, @Jools . Sorry you’ve been suffering.

There have been many members who’ve got MAV from trauma including myself.

I suspect trauma has a better prognosis than predisposition. I have largely recovered. Only tinnitus and mild hearing loss remains (which I expect to improve still further)

Unfortunately such injuries are very complex, I suspect, and the symptoms are part of the process of your system readjusting and heading back to homeostasis.

If I’m frank it might take a very long time but there is light at the end of the tunnel for sure!

Keep experimenting with symptom control in the meantime (including medication as required) so you can optimise your quality of life whilst nature does the rest.

I suspect you will be fine ultimately. Hang in there!!!

Patience is a must: I had one symptom, imbalance for over 3 years! But it did eventually go away despite feeling like an eternity and despite feeling like it would be with me forever (it wasnt). My personal diary is here My journey to Hell … and (almost) back. if you are interested, but there are plenty of others in that Category to read and compare.

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Except the fact mine appear to be hormone rather than injury related we sound very similar. I could have written up my experience similarly. The condition moving from episodic to chronic and symptoms changing from more classic migraine type stuff to vertigo/dizziness is not at all unusual. In fact it can almost be considered diagnostic. I had vestibular attacks that lasted three days (in my case virtually exactly, I could predict the end) for over a decade, then, unfortunately, they extended to 8 days, then became 24/7 daily symptoms. You can as @turnitaround says, read his, mine and many others history in the PD section.

I suggest you seek out a neurologist, have some imagining done and then if/when they find nothing conclusive as is usually the case start on some preventatives before your condition has a chance to escalate further as happened with me.


Thank you for your replies. My doctor finally referred me to a neurologist with a particular interest in migraine- he seemed to dismiss the idea it was linked to my accident and didn’t even examine my neck even though I told him the attacks seemed to be triggered by neck strain. He did send me for MRI of my ears and head (not my neck) which I had last week and I’m currently waiting for results.
Are others here on triptan type medication? as these just don’t seem to be working for me

Some people take triptans as abortive but I think you’d find most who can get relief for such don’t bother with forums on migraine. They just get on with their life. It’s the less responsive types end up here. Many medical professionals pay no attention to where it’s come from most probably because there’s not often a cure anyway. Its much more a question of relieving symptoms to improve quality of life. To obtain relief you need to break the cycle. Look forwards not back. If the neurologist didn’t offer preventatives ask your own doctor. Propranolol taken daily as preventative is very good at stopping vertigo attacks. I’m living proof of that one. Amitriptyline is another good one and that is also used long-term for chronic nerve pain. You may well suffer more neck pain than most because of that injury however neck pain is common MAV symptom. I had a tight stiff neck for several years, still do on occasion. Forms part of a vicious circle.

Yep I had that too. It’s infuriating. I changed doctor until I found one that made sense.

Come on, I spent 45 years mostly perfectly fit and healthy and only became crazy sick with this after an accident. It’s obvious!

The problem is many doctors go by lists of symptoms, dogma, and don’t use obvious common sense!

Many also tend to be too focussed on individual parts of the body and don’t treat the body as the integrated system that it obviously is!

Believe me, if you damage or have an issue with one part of your body it’s going to effect other parts.


I’m just coming off day two of an attack, started Sunday evening (usually is evenings) after I’d been on a long walk, started with the motion sickness /dizzy feeling, had a slight headache, went to bed took my zolmatriptan and an hour later vomited and the pain subsided (I thought because of the medication) and then I managed to sleep. Next day no headache but felt irritable and woozy all day, went out shopping with the kids and started feeling worse again. Motion sickness and whooshing sound in my ear. Went up to bed early At 8.30 took another Zolmatriptan - no relief - in fact my headache was excruciating for several hours, whooshing sound in my ear increased with the intense crushing pain in my head- the pain had me weeping at times it was so bad. Felt nauseous all through this but no vomiting. At around 4.30 in the morning I vomited - then started to feel better- it’s almost like the vomiting is a trigger for the pain to subside!

Presumably you are still awaiting test results prior to starting some prescribed treatment regime. Hope you’ve not too much longer to wait now we are approaching the end of The Festive Holiday. Might be good idea to reduce triggers, ‘out shopping’?, whilst waiting. May make life bit easier to bear.

Vomiting is a common relief for migraine. It’s never helped mine but migraineurs frequently say they felt better after vomiting.

Be careful about the triptans. Only ever use them as prescribed. More often than that and you’re setting yourself up for rebound or medication overuse headaches. That’s it’s own level of hell. That said, I’m glad you find relief using them. Triptans as a class are useless for me.

Re triptans -I’m finding them not much use to me tbh- I’m on my third type, recently started and it certainly didn’t work last night, I think the previous night was just a coincidence.

Don’t think that’s how it will work tbh- the gp sent me to a neurologist who suggested tests “to rule other things out” due to recent changes- he said if nothing sinister was found then there was “probably no reason to continue seeing me” but to be referred back to my gp.

I’ve only had a couple types, neither did anything.

The doctors I’ve seen aren’t interested tbh, just want to write a prescription and get you out. I’ve funded physio and acupuncture myself to try stuff.
Cut out things in my diet etc- no changes- the only advice the neurologist gave me was to drink more water :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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Any decent up-to-date interested gp should be perfectly able to prescribe you a suitable preventative to trial. Getting one that suits you is just a question of trial n error and your gp should be familiar with those in common use. Suggest you keep a list of attacks, frequency, duration, severity on a scale 1-10 ie prepare a case for warranting preventatives if you want to try to break the current cycle. Neurologists aren’t essential for migraine management. Handy if willing but not essential.

It’s great to get to a root cause but rarely happens. For twelve years and more I’d have been grateful for somebody - anybody - prepared to write a prescription. All I could find were people who’d tell me there was nothing they could do for me and not to bother them again with the same problem but to get on my way.

That’s shocking!
A prescription that works would be great, here’s hoping the next one is the right one.

I’ve been keeping a log on an app- it sent me an update today that I’ve had 30 days out of the last 90 Affected-I was quite shocked it was so regularly - considering 2-3 years ago I’d get 1 or 2 days in about 120.

From those results looks to me like you are well overqualified to warrant using a preventative rather than an abortive. One study I read earlier today placed qualification level at more than four attacks in one month. If you do go down that road don’t be too disappointed if you find your next prescription - your first preventative - doesn’t prove the One For You. That could take several attempts over several months but you should get there in due course. Most people do. Btw for many people a gradual increase in frequency, duration and intensity is the norm. Just read my diary for one example.

Will have to see what my GP suggests following my scan results. Had a scary moment this morning- walked into my sons bedroom and suddenly everything spun, a buzzing in my head and everything went black. He has a narrow entranceway to his room and I kind of slumped against the wall. He shot over to stop me falling, when I “came round’ my heart was beating triple time. I’d just recently eaten and drank and hadn’t suddenly stood up so wondering if this is all linked to my other symptoms. I still felt heavily in postdrome following my previous attack. Scary If so as if this happens at work or when driving it could be dangerous!
I’ll bear in mind what you said about preventatives- but I’m willing to Give anything a go!

Sorry to hear that. I would imagine it’s all MAV. Do let the medics know you’ve actually blacked out if indeed you did. Its obviously significant. I say that because it’s a question I’ve always been asked at any investigation so it must be. I’m no medic but I think whether you black out or not is indicative of certain types of migraine. Bickerstaft, or Basilar migraine comes to mind but there are others. I’ve no idea why its so significant. Preventative measures appear the same. Losing consciousness with it isn’t uncommon for some people. As you were already below par, ie tolerance thresholds are low and you moved to a different room something triggered it. Could have been change of light or you were moving too quickly for your vestibular system to keep up. I assume it’s not low blood pressure. You certainly need to reassess driving, operating machinery etc now. Laws vary country to country.

Been there, lost time in the twilight zone and to seizure. They ask me about it, too, but it hasn’t changed treatment options at all. Maybe they’re trying to rule out other stuff.