Tightness inside my head

Hi Everyone,

My diagnosis is “Migraine Equivalent”…but the Silent type…have Motion instead of excrutiating Pain. Just made 15 years of this nightmare. I use to have many more Vertigo episodes thru the years but the last 3-4 years they have subsided. Now i might get one very small vertigo spin per year and it’s generaly a slow motion one that goes around once and then stops. But what i am noticing more lately is that Tightness Inside my head is Increasing…Tension…pressure…and was wondering if anyone has these symptoms daily? It is chronic and the only medication that gives me some relief is anti-anxiety medication. It also helps to keep me feeling more stationary. I hope to be seeing another specialist soon and possibly try another anti-depressant of sorts.

If anyone here relates to the Tightness inside there head but w/out severe pain…please respond.

Joe

Wow! I have this sensation for several hours every day but never linked it to MAV. It occurs more so on the right side and is particularly bad when I am trying to concentrate. The urge is to massage it away (like I’d do with tightness on shoulders etc) but it changes nothing. I jokingly put it down to my brain cells trying to break through the fug of medication! I have another wierd sensation that occurs to a lesser extent and usually first thing in the morning. That is the feeling of someone pouring cold water over my head! :?

Since we started treating my symptoms as migraine related and taking preventative meds, I now experience the tightness around my head. For me, I have found out recently that this is caused by jaw clenching and night time teeth grinding. I figure that this tightness was always there, but I didn’t notice it until I started on the migraine meds.

Hi Brain,

It is interesting that jaw clenching and grinding your teeth was possibly already there but now more noticeable since starting on meds for the migraine equivalent?? I don’t believe i grind my teeth…but i have found myself when trying different medications for migraine that i clench my teeth and or jaws. Also…the Tightness/tension is mostly felt on what i call my bad side (right side of head -right temple area). The right side has always been the troubled area and when laying in bed years back when the vertigo was worse, i noticed turing in bed to my right side as when the vertigo would come one. Similar to BPPV.

What medications are you taking? Any improvement?

Joe

joseph,

I am taking enough meds now that I am beggining to fell like Elvis. Depakote for the MAV, Klonopin for the headaches caused by the Depakote, and now recently, nortriptyline for the teeth grinding/clenching.

I hate taking all of these meds, but I have gotten most of my life back. The Depakote took care of most of the MAV, and gave me back a good chunk of my life, but it caused some nasty headaches. (Kind of ironic!) I started taking the Klonopin for the headaches and got even more of my life back. Now I am having problems with my teeth from all of the grinding that I do, and started taking the nortriptyline wich has helped with a little bit of the head tightness and a lot of the dental pain, but interferes a little with the Depakote.

I wonder what med they will try next on this lab rat?

Hi Brain,

Glad to hear that you are making progress. So depakote is a anti-seizure drug? Not an anti-depressant? You would think only 2 prescription druges would be plenty…but i guess in some situations 3 drugs are needed. The drug depakote actually brings on bad headaches? Klonopin helps to calm them down?? Did you actually have bad headaches before taking this medicaiton or do you have the Silent Headaches like myself…my symptoms are Tightness, Pressure, throbbing and Tension + Motion…more noticeable on the right side temple.

I will be making a call next week to find out if i have been approved to see another oto-neurolgist. Might as well get one more opinion regarding MAV or Migraine Equivalent. Then that doc will monitor the medication. The big question is what medication to take? I used Amptriptyline for one year but didnot help very much. Xanex continues to be the most helpful medication.

Hope things continue to improve for you.

Joe

Joseph,

From what I have read, it seems that it depends on which med journal that you read as to whether Depakote is considered an anti-epeliptic, or anti-depressive. All three of the migraine preventatives that I have tried were anti-epeleptic.

Before I started taking the migraine prevetatives, I had frequent headaches that ranged from mild to really annoying. Most of them were not as severe as a classic migraine. I’ve taken my wife to the hospital for the classic type, so I know mine don’t get that severe. That is until I started taken the migraine preventatives, then most of my headaches were pushing migraine strength.

Before the meds, my headaches would start in the back of my neck, then wrap themselves around my head, or start at the temples and do the same. Once they made it all the way around, things just started tightening up. I would, and still do start clenching my teeth wich just made things worse.

The migraines preventatives that I have tried have all made that head tightness much worse which is why my headaches got so much worse. But I quit falling all over the place and got most of my balance back. For me the Depakote had few enough side effectst that I was willing to put up with the nasty a** headaches. Then my doctor and I tried adding the Klonopin, and that took care of the headaches for the most part, and most of the muscle tightness in my skull.

I have tried taking both Valium and Xanax for the dizzyness and motion problems with success, but it depended on the situation for which med I was taking. If it was stress induced, then it was Xanax, if it was just out of nowhere, then it was Valium.

If you really want some suggestions on meds to talk to your doctor about, Adam, the admin of this sight can tell you a whole lot more than I can. There are several different families of meds for migraine prevention and I have only tried one.

From my personal experience, the best thing to do is research as much as you can and then take what you have found to your doctor. It also helps to find a doctor that is willing to listen to you and discuss your options.

Brain,

Was wondering if you have problems with Motion Intolerance? I never out grew Motion Sickness. Trying to drive in a very Narrow, Curvey Roads in Mountains particularly as a passenger or in back seat of a car, Amusement Park Rides…particularly ones that go in circles have always been a definite…NO! Boat rides also bother me. When i was a young boy about 11 yrs old…went Deep Sea Fishing with my dad and i thought i was going to die from all the vommiting and dry heaves. Never did that again! What i understand from articles that i have read is that a fairly high percentage of people who have Migraines or MAV like symptoms never out grow motion sickness. So i was just wondering.

Also…prior to your chronic dizzy condition, were you going thru any very stressful times? I recall before the Vertigo and Rocking Motion began (in a chronic way - 1992)…i was having extremely stress from trying to learn a new job…that never worked out. I noticed after that i began to have occasional vertigo which evolved into a chronic condition of Vertigo and Rocking Motion. Sometimes i wonder if One a very stressful Event in someones life can trigger what we are going thru? I soppose somethings we will never know for sure.

Joe

Joseph,

I have always motion intolerance, but at a much lesser degree until everything else kicked in. As a kid, a remember a couple of summersault races, and only getting about three in before I had to stop and watch the other kids keep going and going.

I’ve also had positional vertigo as far back as I can remember. I remember as a teen trying to work under a car and getting that falling sensation that I am so familiar with today. The only difference was that back then, I could tolerate it because it did not make me nausice(sp?). Today, I have to take my car in to be worked on because the sensations I get now are so violent that I have problems holding my lunch down.

I learned as a kid to not look out the side windows while ridining in a car on long road trips or else loose my appetite for several hours. So yes, I have always had a problem with motion sickness.

Yes, my symptoms today were triggered by a very stressfull event in my life. My first son was born 2 months early and the doctors spent a week trying to keep my wife from having the baby. Every time I walked into the hospital room, they had another tube or monitor hooked up to her, and it had me freaking out about her health as much as the baby’s.

Hi Brian,

So we have a few things in common…Motion Sickness, we both experienced an intense stressful event…and both have benign positional veritcal like symptoms. When i visit the dentist and the chair is relclined backward…without medication i would be very uncomfortable feeling like i will go into a spin…same goes for getting a haircut…my haircutter always washes my hair first so when i have to recline backward in the seat so that she can wash my hair…if i’m not on my medication i would be extremely uncomfortable.

As far as the motion sickness…it has to be in mountains with curvey roads or riding on an amusement park ride that goes in circles…even a fast roller coaster could make me feel nauseated. Also have to stay away from boats.

Unfortunately…i will never know what it’s like to enjoy going on a Cruise Ship. Won’t be living that experience in my life time.

Brian…adam has given me a few names of prescriptions…and i am considering them.

Hope your child turned out ok.

Joe

Joseph,

I live in the midwest, so there really aren’t any windy roads to cause me problems. The main problem I have is that the roads are more level than the farm land beside them causing visual illusions of confusing motion. That’s why I always try to look inside the vehicle, or be the one driving.

Oh yeah, I know what that dentist chair feels like. We have figured out a system that works for me to move the chair. We have also found that by putting a towel under the nape of my neck, the chair can go back further.

In the amusement parks as a kid, the rides were far enough apart thanks to the lines that most of them didn’t cause a problem except for killing any apitite. The fast spinners did cause me more of a problem though. If my friends wanted to do them a second time, they went without me.

BTW, except for a high pitched voice, you would never know there was any difference between him and any other boy on the playground. Thanks for the concern.

Hi Joseph,
Brian sound right.
i remember going on antidepressant years ago for this virtigo thing and clenching of my jaw due to meds caused alot of this and my dentist said it was commen and that there are mouth guards you can have made for this,
it will also save you jaw from further problems like TMJ wich could eventualy cause alot of pain. or jaw displacement
but having said that alot of people get tension and presure during an atypical migraine attack, i know i do, infact apart from aura an virtigo its the only other symptom that really bothers me.
jen new to the forum, not dianosed waiting waiting waiting.
goodluck jen

— Begin quote from “joseph0952”

Hi Everyone,

My diagnosis is “Migraine Equivalent”…but the Silent type…have Motion instead of excrutiating Pain. Just made 15 years of this nightmare. I use to have many more Vertigo episodes thru the years but the last 3-4 years they have subsided. Now i might get one very small vertigo spin per year and it’s generaly a slow motion one that goes around once and then stops. But what i am noticing more lately is that Tightness Inside my head is Increasing…Tension…pressure…and was wondering if anyone has these symptoms daily? It is chronic and the only medication that gives me some relief is anti-anxiety medication. It also helps to keep me feeling more stationary. I hope to be seeing another specialist soon and possibly try another anti-depressant of sorts.

If anyone here relates to the Tightness inside there head but w/out severe pain…please respond.

Joe

— End quote

Hi Joseph
I get the tightness in side my head but no pain its like being out in a cold wind when you get that ache i thought it was just tennsion now im wondering is it migraine as i saw my consultant in august and she kept saying about migrains but i dont suffer from migrains i told her im only
taking serc at the moment and that dosent do a thing for me she wants to try beta blockers but thats in 6 months time but when i have an attack my
blood presure drops and beta blockers lower blood presure .
Any sugestions would be greatfull :lol:
Best wishes
Janet

Hi Janet,

I have different ways of describing my tightness in my head. Sometimes i will say it feels very heavyish inside my head and other times will describe it as if like when you ring out a wet sponge (the tightness) or even if i slightly tense up my fist and that is just another description…but all of this is withoutpain but i feel a throbbing like sensation and that brings on a rocking motion. I can get an actual run of the mill headache fairly easily if i skip meals and don’t eat enought food or of course eating certain foods or over stimulation/stress. The only medication that has helped me (no cure) is Xanex whichis anti-anxiety medication. I use to take a stronger dosage but the last 3-5 years i have only been taking one pill per day…and on bad days 2 pills and that helps me to function and hold a part-time job, go to a movie, hang out with friends. W/out the medication it is extremely difficult to function because it can feel as bad as Deep Sea Fishing.

Joe

Joseph,
I used to get a tightness that would precede the vertigo. Since I started the klonopin, it’s limited to a tingling at my neck sometimes. The tightness would sometimes lead to a rush of severe vertigo–the kind that makes you fall down. I would feel it in my head and neck.
Klonopin has helped me not get that feeling anymore. I’m stable on my current dose, and considering cutting it down, to see how low I can go.
I found a link to vertigo center at John’s Hopkins, and they actually recommend klonopin as a treatment–one of many potential preventive meds.
hopkinsneuro.org/vestibular/ … r_Migraine

I liked their summary of MAV–only they call it “otic migraine”
Kira

Hi Kira,

I take one tablet of Xanex daily which is similar to Klonopin. It also helps to decrease the tightness and i feel more stationary…but there is always a little tightness and heavyness inside my head. Anotherwards, the xanex doesnot take it all away even if i increase the xanex. It only helps so much. Also…the Xanex prevents me from having Vertigo. Without it i know for sure i would have more vertigo episodes.

By the way…i don’t get any tingling in my neck. But each of us are different with different symptoms.

Joe

tightness in my head/scalp was one of my first symptoms, before the dizziness even started. It was on the same side as my migraines used to come. It is almost constant now and worse when the vertigo is worse.

For a time, it was more of a tremendous tingling which felt like it was either inside my head, or in the scalp - i could never figure. That always came at times of stress. This unpleasant feeling seems to have resolved.