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Author Topic: Headaches since March 5th. Brain tumor? Tension headaches? Am I going crazy?  (Read 1994 times)

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Offline painintolerance

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This pain is driving me crazy. And kind of worrying me. I don't have health insurance at the moment, so a doctor's visit is out of the question. About me: I'm a man, 23 years of age, average shape (as in, not as fit as I could be, but I could definitely look worse), I am NOT sedentary, my diet is pretty average but I cover my grounds. I also stay hydrated (mostly just water).

Another thing I must say is that I have TMJ dysfunction/disorder. Never been diagnosed, but I know I do, and it's been this way since July 2011 when my jaw began to pop every time I open my mouth, yawn, talk, eat and smile. Never has been the direct source of any pain before. Just an annoyance.

Alright, here's my current plight...

Back on March 5th, I started getting these random pains in the back of my head, on the right side. It wasn't too bad, but it was annoyance, as it would come and go, and come and go. Mostly on the back of the right side of my head correlating with the right corner of my forehead and occasionally on the left side of my head as well as the left corner of my forehead.

It still comes and goes. Sometimes I'll go a full day with no pain, and others I'll wake up with the headaches in the morning that will take five hours to go away. Other times, I'll wake up feeling great and then 3-5 hours later the headaches will resurface!

I don't get dizzy, but occasionally there's some mild nausea. I have gotten worried that it's a brain tumor, but my family thinks I'm nuts and overreacting, saying that if it was a brain tumor that they'd be the worst headaches in my life, and that I'd feel numbness in parts of my body and would be experiencing seizures, etc. They think it's simply tension headaches.

As for things I could be stressed out about, there's nothing really, asides from the usual stresses of life that are inevitable. I'm also going to sign up for classes at the local community college in June, and I'm outrageously nervous about that, but I doubt that's the catalyst behind the aching pains.

The headaches are annoying -- I can withstand them, but they are affecting the quality of my life as I can't fully relax when they occur.

Any advice, thoughts or comments to quell my worrying would be great and very much appreciated, as I'd pay the kindness forward.
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Offline painintolerance

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My family also thinks it might have something to do with my allergies, as springtime has since begun. Maybe so, but I dunno. I'm still worried. I've always had strong problems with allergies, but never, ever had headaches like these.

Something I've failed to mention in the first post is that I've taken tylenol and motrin. I'm honestly not sure if they've worked or not. When it/they 'work', it takes 2-3 hours for the headaches to go away. On days where I wake up with the specified headaches and I don't take any pain relievers, typically they go away on its own after 4-5 hours before eventually returning.

I also feel like my vision isn't as good as it used to be and my reaction times being off, but that could just be me overthinking, over-worrying and thus causing more paranoia within myself.

Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks.
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Offline bpadilla49

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I agree with your family - morning headaches can be caused by many things- tension in your neck from sleeping wrong, sleeping disorders, stress, being emotional before going to bed, low blood sugar upon waking, ect.

It sounds like you're overthinking things. I would say try to relax and see if they go away - but that's so much easier said then done. Also - another biggie of morning headaches that I just thought of was teeth clenching during your sleep! And since you have TMJ problems, I'll bet that's what it is! Most people with TMJ problems clench their teeth when they're sleeping, so they don't notice it. Maybe try investing in a mouth guard to wear when you're sleeping and see if that helps! I'm not sure if you have to see a dentist for that or if you can buy them over the counter, but I would seriously look into it!
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Offline painintolerance

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Thanks for replying, bpadilla49. I really do appreciate it!

But sometimes the headaches don't even begin in the mornings (most of the time, they do -- it did this morning; started at the center of my forehead, and then shifted to the top right corner of my forehead, and when I got up, I started getting the headache in the back of my head) and will just start up midday.

I've attempted to identify triggers, but I've failed to do so. They'll come on whether I'm walking around or sitting down, whether I've recently eaten or not.

These headaches are getting annoying, and worrisome. :(
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Offline painintolerance

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My vision also seems to be slightly blurry. Not to the point where I'm impaired, but to where I notice it. My reaction time is slower than before. I also (inconsistently) experience nausea from time to time. Not hardcore, but it's there.

Another thing I've noticed is that my left eye will twitch often after I sneeze for about 5-8 seconds. Happens a couple times a week.

I just don't know how these are mere tension headaches when I'm not majorly/overly stressed out about too much at the moment. Yeah, again, there's things that I'm anxious about in the future that worry me quite a bit (signing up for college classes in a few months; haven't been inside of a classroom since December 2009), but nothing out of the ordinary.

I can't help but worry about this. :\ Somebody, please quell my anxiety. I just wish the headaches would go away completely.
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Offline richdelb

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Hi.  I frequently wake with tension type headaches and I really believe it's from clenching / grinding teeth in my sleep.  In my case I believe it's more a clenching than grinding as my dentist says there isn't really any signs of grinding on my teeth.  I sometimes wake up and my head / face  / TMJ joint is VERY stiff and I KNOW it's that I clench very tightly some nights. 

You mentioned TMJ in your original post.  Perhaps you are onto your issue right there?

Hope it gets better soon.
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Offline painintolerance

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Hi rich. It could be, but I dunno. When it comes to sleeping, I'm -- admittedly -- a mouth-breather (lifelong habit). I know I don't grind my teeth at night, although I'm not sure about the clenching.

Do TMJ headaches include the back of the head, though? Like the right, left and middle? And the forehead, too, simultaneously? I've done mild research (and by research I mean Google) to try to find out to no avail.

Just nervous and worried about these headaches. I've had TMJ since July 2011 (never actually diagnosed; just self-discovered) and never had any possible headache-related pains until now, which I don't even know if they are related or if it's something serious. :fragend005:
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Offline richdelb

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Not really sure about the back of the head thing, but I know when my issues are really flaring up the top of my neck (well the entire neck and shoulders) hurt like hell... so...
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Offline Dayvid

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I've done my fair share of research (unfortunately) on what you're worried about. And the pains you describe aren't the pains that usually occur. It's usually a worsening headache, more painful than any you've had before and you KNOW something is wrong.

Sinus issues are something to look in to for sure - If your eyes, ears, teeth, nose etc give you bother. It's possible. My head and my mothers especially, are where we get the brunt of our sinus issues. And often at the back of the head, but everywhere really.

Not too knowledgeable on TMJ and if they cause headaches. But a link is worth noting, surely it's possible?
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Offline JesserCat88

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Hey,
So I have been experiencing these issues as well. A brain tumor was never my worry, so I didn't look into that too much but what I did find was that if you hunch over a computer, tablet, or cellphone for long periods of time, you are activating and manipulating your upper back/neck muscles. This causes them to tighten and in response, close around your nerves leaving you with tension headaches. There is also another thing I found to be an issue with me and after my first visit with a chiropractor it was fixed, I had a little bit of a misalignment and it was causing a lot of stress on my neck making the back of my head ache and thus, giving me a head ache. I was told the alignment could have been caused by something as dumb as laying wrong, or turning my head wrong, or even cracking my neck (which I am guilty of).
Just a few things to think about. You don't have to be stressed to get a tension headache. That's not what a tension headache means, it's the tensing of the muscles holding your head up.
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Offline painintolerance

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To all: I really appreciate the replies. Thanks for taking the time to post! It means a lot.

@JesserCat88 ~~ Interesting, and thanks for elucidating me with the real definition of a tension headache! But I'm not on the computer for too long on most days, and I'm only one of the four people on the planet that has yet to switch to a smartphone (I use my phone sparingly, asides from the occasional text), so I'm not sure about straining that way. Maybe when I sleep -- I can tend to be uncomfortable and might unconsciously tense up at night. No clue. I'm pretty sure I have mild scoliosis. Was 'told so' by a nurse way back in middle school to get it checked out and I never did, but it never really bothered me throughout the years. (And I also take a daily dose of vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 for bone health). I can imagine my alignment being all screwy.

Do you also experience any blurry vision or dizziness, even just a slight/noticeable amount?
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Offline painintolerance

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Well,

Yesterday morning, I woke up with a mild headache in the top right corner of my forehead. Immediately upon waking, I took two Motrin pills and it went away within an hour.

The rest of the day, I was fine.

Then, last night, I started getting these excruciating pains out of the blue, right in the back of the right side of my head, pulsing and affecting -- again -- the top right corner of my forehead and what felt like the top of my head. I went to bed early and tossed and turn for about two hours because the pain prevented me from going to sleep. It felt like a combination of a stabbing, throbbing, BURNING pain. Felt like A LOT of pressure. I ended up succumbing and taking two Nyquil liquicaps, and rested up for another 30 minutes before dozing off.

Woke up today with a slight headache in the top right corner of my forehead again. Haven't taken anything for now and it's still subsisting.

I hate this. I just want the headaches to go away so badly. I can't stand worrying that it might be something serious.  :(
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Offline JesserCat88

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My vision is definitely affected by these headaches. I'm actually awaiting a neurology appointment to discuss a possible migraine issue. I don't have a dizzy problem but every now and again I'll get this light headed feeling like I stood up too quick. The problem is when everything in your neck tenses, all your nerves, veins, muscles strain trying to do their job while being confined to a small area. I have had all of your symptoms except mine is on the left side and I even have days of facial tightening. I know I am stressed and tense though so my muscles hate me. I was also just informed today and tight muscles around the spinal column can actually cause your neck to curve causing the slight misalignment that would give you these dumb headaches. What you need is to get a heating pad and apply that and ice alternating for 20 minutes 3-4 times a day. and getting a massage wouldn't hurt either. Doesn't have to be a professional. Just anyone who can help release the tension in your shoulders, neck, and back of head. My husband does this for me and it works wonders.
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Offline painintolerance

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Thanks for the info, JesserCat88! Interesting, to say the least.

Today, I woke up with the headache in the right corner of my forehead. I never took any OTC pain relievers like tylenol or motrin today. The pain in the right corner of my forehead stayed for, basically, all day. Stopped hurting for a few minutes here and there, but never really went away.

Just about 30 minutes ago, I started getting the usual pain in the right back side of my head. It's usually a bit across from my ear and sometimes the pain shifts a little higher in that general vicinity (this happen to you in the same general area on your left side, JesserCat88?). Still hurting. I can think and do things while these headaches/pains are going on, but they are annoying, and they also affect my sleep.

I'm getting ready to head to bed. Just took 3mg of melatonin, which I hadn't taken in six months. I had to take it or else the pain is going to keep me awake.

Any and all input from any and everybody is definitely welcome. Still nervous/worried, but only because these damn headaches in these two different places are so inconsistent and sneaky as to when they are going to surface. I can't stand them. Before March 5th, I'd never had headaches like these in my entire life, so it's still disconcerting.
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Online Bella41123

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Finally someone with the same pain as me! I had this for 7 months now it all started with my tooth being filled in my jaw was lowered to much that my tmj became outta place I started experiencing burning scalp sensations and shooting pains randomly I really thought I had a brain tumor I had a ct scan done normal! An MRI because my neurologist thought I needed one to reassure my self NORMAL. I noticied like the condyle of my tmj in front of my ear dislocated I finally got my answer I had TMJ for these past months that cause my scalp vein sore and my shooting pains before I always woke up with headaches but then it stopped then it just became the shooting pain at random times of day it's stay feeling this I know. I tend to clench my teeth a lot when I sleep and throughout the day. I take it as it comes I believe the more you think of it the more it comes and becomes worse the tightness of the head. I'm getting a mouth guard to see if that will take the pains away but just know you are not alone!
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