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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 1985
Experience:  Neurosurgeon - Brain, spine, and peripheral nerve surgery
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I have extreme headaches,pain in ears,dizzyness.My physician

Customer Question

I have extreme headaches,pain in ears,dizzyness.My physician has tried as much as he can.Thishas been going on for weeks..This has been going on since my heart attack,three weeks ago..I am very depressed and feel hopeless.The headaches are so severe...
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 8 months ago.
Hello!Welcome to the JustAnswer.com chat dialog. I am a Family Medicine doctor, board certified with active licenses and certification in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as Integrative Medicine & Naturopathy, with advanced training in Neurology, Cardiovascular Medicine, Gastroenterology, Endocrinology, and Psychiatry. I am also well-trained in Functional Medicine. Perhaps most importantly, I consider myself a patient listener. I have read your post and observations about your headaches. I'm so sorry to hear of your struggle. Would you prefer a summary answer to your question, or would you prefer more back-and-forth, where there will be a series of more questions and more details clarified? Either way, I’ll do my best to take the appropriate time to help you.
Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 8 months ago.
As I say, I'm happy to continue with back-and-forth questioning, that seems to be the better way to learn more about your experience and hear what has been done, and what is left to do. If I am to offer general advice, based on the very little information you've presented, I would offer the following: The feeling of pain in the head/neck area, associated with dizziness can be a signal of a range of different things going on. Your body has only a limited number of ways it can communicate with your brain. For example, if your finger is touching a flame, your finger will tell your spine that your spine must move the finger, and the signal also then travels up to your brain to let you know that your finger touched a flame and needed to be moved. With this example, you can see that some of the signaling happens even without your brain being the first one to be informed! A feeling of pain coming to your brain from your neck could mean several different things. 1- It could mean that the nerves in your neck or sides of your head are sensing pressure that they are interpreting as "pain" because they don't know how to interpret the feeling as something else (like pressure or hot temperature, for examples.) With this example, perhaps you have muscles that are sore and the nerves that are communicating with your brain are telling your brain that something is "wrong" with the muscles but isn't using signals that are familiar to you. So, a first possible cause is muscle soreness in the area. This could be from exertion (overuse) or from muscle breakdown (under use) 2- It could mean that there is pressure on the nerve as the nerve passes through its nerve channels, either in the neck area or in your spinal column. If the nerves themselves feel pressure, the pressure may create signals that are confusing, and feel unusual (like electricity, or cramping, or pain). Thus, a second possibility is mechanical nerve irritation. This could be related to #1, in that a sore muscle may be bigger than usual, and may be pressing on a nerve causing it to express pain, or it could be mechanical pressure from another source, somewhere else in the pain pathway. 3- Your brain could be interpretting more familiar signals in an unusual way. Sometimes, our brains are fooled by the signals they are receiving from our body, even when we're not aware of it. This can happen when you're unusually tired, distracted by unpleasant thoughts or stress. In summary, If you have grave concerns about your health, it is always important to consult a doctor/nurse practitioner/physician's assistant nearby. There are aspects of the history you're experiencing, and of a physical exam of your body that can't translate over this type of online communication. That being said, most head/neck pains tend to be of muscular origin, most commonly from overexertion, and the pains tend to be temporary, short-lived. The numbers I listed above are much more likely, and there are other possibilities even still. A physical exam would help a doctor understand more about your struggle, and would prove important clues as to what's going on. Without these, it is difficult to offer definite "answers," but here are some possible ways you could help yourself feel a little better: 1- keep a journal of what you're experiencing. Write down what you feel (in detail), where you feel it, how long it lasts, what makes it worse or what helps it go away2- try slow stretches for your back, arms, legs, and neck. Do these help? make it feel worse?3- try placing a bag of water + ice over the areas that are bothering you. Does that help? What about a warm towel?4- after consulting with your doctor to make sure they are safe for you to take, you may consider taking some over the counter tylenol or ibuprofen. Do these help? make it feel worse? 5- consider taking a long (30-45 minute) brisk walk. Believe it or not, exercise can often help many illnesses. It's a natural way of hitting "reset" on your body. Combined with excellent sleep habits, exercise is one of the best natural medicines your body has.
Expert:  Dr. Caplan replied 8 months ago.
Can you help me understand what treatments you have tried with your doctor?