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The right side of my neck and head are very painful. I have…

The right side of my...
The right side of my neck and head are very painful. I have frequent episodes of this every since I had an arterial dissection 4 months ago. Tylenol does not help. I cannot take NSAIDS. What can I do? Is it related to the dissection and, if so, why would it still hurt?
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Answered in 7 minutes by:
12/17/2017
Dr Uzair
Dr Uzair, Doctor
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 10,339
Experience: MBBS, FCPS (R) General Surgery, 5 years experience in Emergency Medicine.
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Hello, my name is***** and I shall be assisting you today. I'm reviewing your query & will get back to you shortly. Thank you for your patience.

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Which artery did you experience the dissection in?

What is your age and gender?

Let me know.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
My vertebral artery. I am 28 yo female

Thank you. Was this on the right side as well?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
No injury. It just happened. It dissected then I had a blood clot. I am not sure where along the artery (as in up high or low), just that it dissected

Right sided vertebral artery dissections can cause ipsilateral (on the same side) symptoms of neck pain and headaches. This is not unusual. More cause for concern are contralateral (on the other side) symptoms such as loss of pain and temperature sensations, weakness or paralysis or numbness.

Sometimes, the trapezius muscle can go in to spasm and cause same sided neck pain and headaches.

At this point in time, do not take an NSAID as that might aggravate the dissection but you can apply an anti inflammatory gel or a lidocaine/prilocaine or capsaicin topical preparation over the counter at most pharmacies and massage it on the neck and back of the head four times a day and keep the neck wrapped with a scarf and keep it warm. Do gentle stretching exercises also.

I sincerely ***** ***** I have helped you, and that I have earned my 5 star rating today! Please remember to rate my service by selecting the 5 stars at the top of the screen (rating me now does not close your question). We can continue here until you are satisfied, simply use the reply box and let me know. Thank you!

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
How long will this last for? It had been four months. Also is it OK to massage? Someone told me that I could worsen the dissection since we don't know why it happened. No I don't have symptoms on the opposite side. Only the same. I get pain on the opposite side occasionally, but I think it is more strain that causes it.

Therapeutic massages can make it worse but there is no evidence for that.

For the topical preparation, you just have to do a gentle rubbing massage. The vertebral artery is not a superficial artery and does not get affected by rubbing a gel on the skin.

This can last for 6 months depending on the severity of the dissection.

Hope this helps.

Please do leave a 5 star rating for the service.

Best wishes.

Dr Uzair
Dr Uzair, Doctor
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 10,339
Experience: MBBS, FCPS (R) General Surgery, 5 years experience in Emergency Medicine.
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Thank you!

Glad I could help.

Take good care.

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