Advice for Chronic Headaches/sinus Pain/neck Pain

Updated on April 24, 2010
S.G. asks from Coleman, MI
15 answers

I am 36 and have been having alot of neck/tension pain for the past year. I have gone to a chiropractor for years and recently switched to another one because they were not able to relieve the neck pain. I have also been dealing with alot of headaches and been taking Excederin Tension Headache pills almost daily which usually help, but not always. My family dr. put me on Claritin D and Nasonex (a nasal spray) 2 weeks ago because she figures the headaches are being caused by allergies. I have not had much relief if any so far.
The pain in mainly in my forehead and neck and shoulders. Any advice/help would be greatly appreciated. TIA

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answers from Kansas City on

Deep tissue massage with focus on neck and shoulders.
That with my chiropractor and I'm always good for a while.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Boise on

Have you tried an acupuncturist? Mine has been sent many (skeptical) people from the hospital next door, and has been able to relieve so much pain.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I was very nervous about chiropractor care.

I had a 11 day migraine that would not go away even with prescription medication, the migraine led to muscle spasms in my neck. The migraine finally went away but I was left with horrible neck pain that was triggering migraines.

I was tired of being on numerous prescription that really didn't help and I was desperate to be pain free.

I found a Chiropractor that seemed very promising and went to him.
I left his office pain free, while I'm still a bit sore, it's a huge difference.
He does not push weekly treatments. He said it may take a couple of visits than after that come in only as needed.

I would suggest you seek a Chiropractor in your area but really research them and ask them about follow up treatments.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

For sinus trouble.... using a "neti pot" really helps a ton. It is nasal flushing. Doing it daily, will help, lots.

For your other pains, I would do acupuncture.
It is actually very relaxing and does not hurt.
I had it done when I was pregnant, both times. Its super helpful and completely got rid of my problem.

For your neck and shoulder pain... I would take a look at how your posture is and how you are sitting. Maybe the chair you use is even junk or at the wrong height... this is a super common problem. It needs to be ergonomic.

To me, these things will alleviate your pains.
Your sinus pain... can also create your headaches too....
My Husband has lots of sinus problems... and the only thing that helps him is the neti pot nasal flush, in conjunction with his allergy pill Claritin. You can find the neti-pot at any drugstore or Whole Foods etc.

I would not use Nasal spray too much or for too long... because it can create a dependence... for the nose. Just us a saline nose spray if you must.

The headaches, to me, are from your sinus problems... it creates a lot of cranial pressure.

all the best,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Although going to a chiropractor should give you relief, massage therapy works hand in hand with a chiropractor. Sounds like you have a lot of tension in your upper body in the muscles.

For me I know having a massage, has relieve headaches as it relieves the tension in my back. I would suggest getting a referral from a friend as far as a massage therapist is concerned. Just like doctors there are very good ones and well not so good ones.

Also, massage therapy can work better than any prescription, over the counter or otherwise with regards to your situation.



answers from Indianapolis on

I think the acupuncturist is a good idea, but since you're mentioning tension, I wonder if you're doing anything to alleviate stress in your life that may be contributing?

My husband and I both suffer from lots of stress and often have strain in our neck, shoulders as our body's ways of dealing with it. He gives great back rubs - deep tissue kinds - that really help.

I'm not sure I understand Kate's comment about Claritin D vs. Allegra. They are in the same class of drugs, but the "D" portion of Claritin is pseudoephedrine, a decongestant and stimulant. Allegra, Zyrtec all have "D" products available as well.

Excederin's main ingredient that makes it different from other anti-inflammatory products is caffeine. I know when my husband has bad head aches he often will get something with a lot of caffeine to help dilate the blood vessels.

He was also put on blood pressure medication recently to help dilate the blood vessels and get more blood flowing to the affected areas. He also was told to stop taking Excederin, Advil, etc. because they were causing rebound headaches.

I think your doctor is on the right track initially to rule out seasonal inflammation due to the excessively high pollen counts this year.



answers from Detroit on

Hi S.---I think a combination of a chiro (you might need to try several because not all chiros, like MDs, are created the same---each has differing levels of abilities), accupuncture and massage sounds like a good idea. I know that these things can be costly, but when you health and well-being is concerned, you can't be cheap. I see a chiro who practices upper cervical care and I think it is a good option. This 'style' is most concerned with the vertebrae that is attached to the skull. Once it is in alignment, the rest of the spine falls into place. How much time it takes to heal depends on how long you've been out of alignment.

I also recommend meditation, lots of lavendar and Bach's flower remedies. You can find those at any health food store as well as Whole Foods. They make a stress relief formula. I'd also look at your diet. Many foods can cause headaches. My MIL had migraines until she eliminated chocolate and certain cheeses from her diet. You should keep a food journal and do an elimnation diet.

Eat lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, using animal protein sparingly. Reduce or elimnate cows milk, it is designed to make baby cows get big quickly. I say this as a reformed milk drinker. Go to to learn more.

Drink lots of water. I tend to get headaches because of being dehydrated. And you might have to go through withdrawal from the Excederin (because of caffeine) to see if these headaches are rebound headaches.

I wish you the best of luck. Think positively and don't let the pain frustrate always makes it worse.

In health, D.



answers from San Diego on

I'm soooooo with you.

I get migraines cause by 2 things:
- neck tension
- sinus schtuff

I carry all my stress in my shoulders & neck... and I have chronic sinus infections.

aka I get a lot of migraines.

Sudefed (pseudoephedrine, NOT "pe") takes care of the sinuses... massage takes care of me' neck. Not having insurance that pays for massage leads to hell on earth. Ugh.


answers from New York on

O.k, If you have been taking over the counter pain relief daily for a long time you may have a rebound headache. Neck tension can also cause headaches. Do you have any other allergy symptoms or just headache?

I suffered years with neck pain with headaches and going to a chiropractor without relief. My relief was found with physical therapy. Your symptoms are probably related to muscular problem not your spine being out of alignment. The physical therapist can treat and evaluate your condition. Has anyone told you that the muscles in your neck are tight? Muscle spasm or Muscle trigger points can cause a great deal of pain and pain can also be referred elsewhere in your body, hence headaches, making diagnosis difficult. The area of injury may not be your neck, maby your shoulder and the pain is just referring to your neck. That is what happened to me. All our muscles are attached and can affect one another. If a physcial therapist evaluates and feels that they can't treat you they will not continue treatment, a chiropractor thinks that he can treat/fix everyone, hmmm

Chiropractors require that you go in for an adjustment 2-3X per week and in order to manage your pain, usually a chiropractor requires that you see him for a lifetime. Physical therapist evaluate and treat and teach you how to maintain back, neck and muscle health you go for your prescribed number of therapy sessions and then you are finished. hmmm, I will stop here before I get on my rant about chiropractors.

No, I am not a physical therapist.

I hope you find relief from your pain.



answers from Kalamazoo on

Are you getting enough water? Drinking about 2 liters (@8 cups) of water a day is a minimum, and most of us don't do that. You need more if you do caffeine.



answers from Lansing on

I can help out the kate respond for Allegra D vs clartin ,yes they are in the same class of drug. But not all drugs work the same for every person. I know because I have tried them all Clartin D Allegra d Zyrtec d. The one that seems to work for me right now is Clarinex d. I have skin allergies on top of nasal allergies so it complexes things. I have to fine on that works for both. If the one you are on is not working than just ask your doctor to try a different one. I know zyrtec makes me way to tried and I can not function. Just keep trying and you will eventually find one that works.



answers from Lansing on

Have you been tested for food allergies or intolerances? Sometimes foods that our bodies cannot process or does not like can have an impact on our bodies in strange ways.

If after a few weeks of treatment from a new chiropractor and having them review your new x-rays your pain is still with you, I would suggest going to an allergist for food allergy and intolerance testing.

I hope you feel better soon.




answers from Mansfield on

Is your chiropractor taking xrays? If the adjustments are not helping and there has not been xrays taken I would request that some be done. Chiropractors are skilled at finding the changes in your spine once they have seen the xrays but I would not recommend being adjusted without them.



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answers from Chicago on

Most allergy suffers do not get relief from Claritin D. Ask your doc for an Allegra prescription and that should help clear it up. She could also give you a z-pak, not for it's antibiotic properties, but for its anti-inflammatory properties which help relieve the congestion.

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