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is there a doctor, nurse. . .?

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meaniemouse posted 4/16/2014 20:55 PM

anybody who knows about the human body?

My 24 year-old daughter who lives about 600 miles from me has had severe migraines for the last four months. Like nearly every day. She's seen a doctor who prescribed all kinds of meds, she made some dietary changes, and other stuff but really no relief. Had a CT scan of her head, nothing there. So her doctor refers her to a chiropractor. Immediate relief that lasts for a week or so. Daughter decides to go on a weekly basis and chiro decides she better have some xrays to see if she's got something going on with her neck/spine.

Xrays today, radiologist calls her within a hour and says she has a C2 fracture or what's referred to as a hangman's fracture and is usually a result of an auto accident, a football injury or diving in shallow water. She has had NOTHING like this happen to her EVER.

Tomorrow she's having a CT scan of her neck and spine. I'm freaking out because everything I read about this is frightening. She sent me a copy of the report but it's just words to me as I am clueless about this sort of thing and need to know if I should be making plans to go there or just wait. I don't know what to do.

Help. . . .

[This message edited by meaniemouse at 8:55 PM, April 16th (Wednesday)]

ThoughtIKnewYa posted 4/16/2014 21:00 PM

I'm neither, but I wanted to send your daughter mojo for tomorrow. (((meaniemouse)))

meaniemouse posted 4/16/2014 21:22 PM

Thanks, TIKY-- I appreciate it. It's just so bizarre.

ArkLaMiss posted 4/16/2014 21:28 PM

Me, I'd go. You just never know. you will both feel better if you go, I think.

purplejacket4 posted 4/17/2014 00:31 AM

It depends on what part of the vertebrae is fractured on if it's dangerous or not. Many people have stable fractures that we are entirely unaware of. I doubt the Chiropracter did that by adjusting her neck.

If chiropractic care helped her headaches they are probably muscle tension headaches instead of vascular headaches like migraines.

jjct posted 4/17/2014 07:17 AM

I would go...
Will you keep us informed? Thanks.
Prayers and healing mojo!

tushnurse posted 4/17/2014 08:22 AM

This sounds like a NO Big Deal fracture, given it is C-2 she would be told to get her butt to the hospital immediately if they thought there was any chance of her damaging her Cord.

This also is fairly common, and may be an old injury that happened years ago, and the fracture is now showing up but is causing some sort of impingment on her cord, and thus the headaches.
As long as she isn't having issues with numbness in fingers or hands, I would urge you to take a deep breath and just wait.

Also if your daughter is well endowed it this can pull and put lots of pressure on the C-spine. Very common in women with large chests. Tell her to go buy some new sturdy bras, and see if that helps. I have 3 patients that I am currently working with on wellness plans that all had upper back/neck pain and headaches. They have all seen great improvement with better bras. One is wearing sports bras to work and no longer has any of the pain that she was actually going to see a surgeon for.

She may have seen improvement through the chiro because he was temporarily getting things back into place, and then they come back as her muscles tend to pull things out of whack again. That is why it is essential to not just go for the treatments, but also do the exercises they give her to help strengthen the muscles that are out of wack.

Good luck.

jo2love posted 4/17/2014 08:33 AM

Sending mojo and good thoughts. Please keep us posted.

meaniemouse posted 4/17/2014 10:22 AM

Thank you jjct, ArkLa Miss and jo2love SO much for the good thoughts and concern and purple jacket and tushnurse for the expert advice. You people are the BEST.

I just talked to her--she had her scan this morning but apparently the neurologist can't look at it for a day or two. This is the same place she had the xrays yesterday and they were concerned enough to call her back within an hour and get her in for the scan first thing this morning.

She is off work again today with a severe headache; she is frustrated all she wants is for the pain to go away, or at least be manageable. She has missed a lot of work, seen a lot of doctors and taken different meds that either didn't work or had side effects she couldn't tolerate.

I hate being so far away; I know she's an adult and is in charge of her own health care, she has great insurance so that's not a problem, but I feel like she needs an advocate in navigating the health care system. She was never sick as a child, none of my kids were, so she just doesn't have any experience with it.

I will pass along your suggestions tushnurse and purple jacket. Her boyfriend's father is a radiologist in another city and has looked at her old scans and the xrays and is going to look at her most recent one this morning and maybe shed some more light on it.

Again, thanks so much for your help. There's nothing worse for a mom than being so far away and not being able to do anything to help.

meaniemouse posted 4/17/2014 15:39 PM

CT scan says no problems with head, neck or spine. Bizarro, given results of the xray yesterday. Definitely good news but now left with what to do about chronic migraines, pain, meds that are ineffective, missed work and where to go from here, given that she's there and all of her support and doctors we know and trust, are here.

Thanks to everyone who responded. I appreciate you taking time to help.

Lionne posted 4/17/2014 15:53 PM

It's possible her headaches are a combination of tension/vascular headaches. Maybe some migraine type. The best thing I ever did for myself was find a doctor who specialized in headache. NOT a neurologist. Mine was a GP who did special training and advanced research on headaches. My treatment was tweaked until I found what worked for me and included prophylactic medication and supplements as well as meds to take when I got a headache. I also get trigger point injections, am on a daily stretching regimen, and have a headache diary that helps keep treatment on track.

Hope she finds some relief.

jjct posted 4/17/2014 16:03 PM

Hi meanie! Good news then. Can't imagine someone walking around with a C2 hangman's - glad it was a false alarm!

For the headaches, there's an easy old folk-remedy:

Face up, roll up a flexible gel ice pack under neck so the neck "curves" (like a cervical pillow).
Put heat (hot water bottle etc.) on thighs.
20-30 minutes...she can even go to sleep with it, it can be that comforting...

Has she started a new job or activity (or something new) in the last 4 months?
Whatever it is, if she's been doing a lot of this:

(Flexion) Say, working on taxes, excess studying, etc...
it places a lot of pressure on the neck muscles.

She can counteract much of that by just lying across her bed with her head hanging off. (Extension)

(not even THAT far, really. Her shoulders can stay on the bed :)

It might be diff to do at steps. More and more time every day - get to 5 minutes.

Poor baby. I hope it's just something like that (posture/biomechanics), & not some weird internal thing. I doubt it is - given she's always been as healthy as a horse.
(((meanie & DD)))

meaniemouse posted 4/17/2014 17:39 PM

Thanks SO much! I copied/pasted the information and sent it to her.

Her job involves sitting at the computer ALL the time.

And I just got an email saying she's got an appointment with a headache specialist on May 8th.

Whew! What a difference SI and 24 hours makes!


tushnurse posted 4/17/2014 20:04 PM

I myself suffered migraines and know how debilitating they can be. It stinks for sure. I just had my baby girl 14 at the dr today for headaches. They started in Feb and have become a daily occurrence. First thought was eyes. All was well there. Did a headache assessment (Cumberland) on her seemed more mograinic in nature. So her Dr today did the same thing the neurologist did for me. Low dose amitryptilline.
I did the same for about 2 years when the migraines became a daily issue.
I am thrilled the CT was Ok. Also glad she's seeing a headache specialist. They can be tricky and typical meds don't always work.

I would encourage her to start some Pilates to focus on strengthening her core this CNAake a big difference of her headaches are a result of neck strain. And don't forget new supportive bras help too.

[This message edited by tushnurse at 8:06 PM, April 17th (Thursday)]

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