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Migraines

Old 03-29-16, 06:07 AM
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Tryingtoride
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Migraines

I have been suffering from debilitating headaches while riding. I have been seeing a chiropractor for about a year due to this and have bone spurs and bulging disks in my neck, and have had a bike sizing done. Yesterday it happened again, and it made me realize that they seem to be worse when it is windy. Any suggestions? I love riding and don't want to give it up.
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Old 03-29-16, 06:18 AM
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Are you hydrated? In other words, do you drink water regularly while you ride?

Do you take electrolytes on longer rides?

If it is specifically when it is windy, are you hunching your shoulders while you ride?
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Old 03-29-16, 06:58 AM
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I've suffered from headaches for a good part of my adult life. If you are getting them regularly you should see a neurologist like I did. I tried botox injections which were very effective (until I developed a resistance) and then later medication, which also worked well. My headaches are now almost gone completely.
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Old 03-29-16, 07:50 AM
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Yes, see a neurologist. Skip the chiropractor. My new neurologist fixed my migraines very quickly, should not have waited until my old neurologist retired.
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Old 03-29-16, 09:39 AM
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Neurologist and MRI said I am fine.
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Old 03-29-16, 09:42 AM
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They start about 3/4 of a mile into the ride. They seem to affect me more when it is windy.
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Old 03-29-16, 09:46 AM
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Allergies/sinuses?
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Old 03-30-16, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Tryingtoride View Post
Neurologist and MRI said I am fine.
If you have migraines you are not fine. New neurologist needed, get a couple more opinions. Before you see one ask on the phone if they are experienced with migraines. There can be specialist neurologists.
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Old 03-30-16, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
If you have migraines you are not fine. New neurologist needed, get a couple more opinions. Before you see one ask on the phone if they are experienced with migraines. There can be specialist neurologists.
Exactly! Neurology has become pretty balkanized and headache is an area where you will find especially wide variations in expertise. A nearby academic center may be your best bet.
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Old 03-30-16, 07:09 AM
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As others have suggested, possibly hydration.

People seem to mean different things with migraines, but I wouldn't be surprised if the bulging discs in your neck are related.
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Old 03-30-16, 07:19 AM
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Migraine actually means one thing to a neurologist. Skeletal problems in the neck can produce pain in the back half of the head, if the C2 nerve root is involved. Anything else is almost certainly coming from elsewhere.

Hydration? Sure. All the time? Unlikely.
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Old 03-30-16, 07:58 AM
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For me, migraines aren't so much "debilitating headaches" although there's definitely a headache involved ... but the aura and nausea accompanying the headache is the more debilitating part.

I used to get migraines really badly when I was younger and then not for year. Had my first one in a long, long time just the other day. The only way to deal with it was to sleep.



Hydration headaches, on the other hand, I get fairly frequently when I forget to hydrate enough on long rides.

And I get a lot of stress headaches.

And for a while there I was getting eyesight-related headaches, but fortunately most of that has been resolved.

Occasionally I get a headache from hunching my shoulders while riding.

But none of those are migraines.
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Old 03-30-16, 08:00 AM
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I too suffer from migraines, though they don't seem to be related to riding.

Yours could come from minor changes in blood pressure, tensing in the neck muscles, facial muscle use, ie. squinting, etc. If they're starting only 3/4 mile into a ride, I doubt that dehydration is the culprit since not enough time has elapsed.

All I can suggest is that you experiment, trying to address one suspected cause at a time. Try dark sun glasses, or try a more upright position, or try lower or higher gear use, try relaxing or dropping your shoulders, etc. In short, try everything, including changes in diet, or something like a good dose of caffeine before riding, or eliminating it (for me eliminating it brings on migraines).

Eventually you may luck onto the specific trigger and hopefully it's something that can be managed.
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Old 03-30-16, 08:53 AM
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Are you going out hard right away? Warming up first? Take a look at this article. I know I can get a small headache if I go hard right away without a little warm up. not a migraine, but not 100% at that point. It goes away once my body is warmed up, but I hate headaches.

Exercise
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Old 03-30-16, 08:56 AM
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I used to get them quite often. Like Machka, the nausea and visual auras were the worst, the latter being real fun when driving or riding. Went through several medications, but best treatment was a dark bedroom and some semblance of sleep. Did the whole neurologist and MRI thing to be told I was one of the "lucky ones," that get the visual cues that a migraine had arrived. One thing I have found to help is fish oil capsules (Costco's Kirkland brand), something I begrudgingly started taking after my boss suggested it, as she also suffered from them. Funny thing was that we would both get migraines around the same time, mostly during weather changes (and from direct sunlight, in my case). Just an option, although be prepared for fish burbs!
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Old 03-30-16, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
For me, migraines aren't so much "debilitating headaches" although there's definitely a headache involved ... but the aura and nausea accompanying the headache is the more debilitating part.
[...]
Aye, I get classic migraines too with the aura and nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, etc. I also sometimes get headaches on the bike, sometimes really bad ones, but, in my case they are definitely not migraines. Personally, my bike headaches are usually tension related and either a result of constant wind in my ears or from scrunching my face and squinting due to a stiff headwind or going directly into the sun.

At least in OP's case the MRI and neurologist visit has ostensibly ruled out a cerebral aneurysm. The neck problem could possibly warrant further investigation though, particularly if OP is keeping excessively tense in the neck/upper back/shoulder girdle region to compensate or stabilize the neck while in the riding position.
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Old 03-30-16, 01:32 PM
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Look into Alpha Stim technology. This was the first thing that worked for a loved one after trying botox, adjustments, drugs, etc. It was developed for TMJ, but was found to help many who also had migraines. It's an option to explore if others don't work.
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