What do severe headache and neck tightness during periods suggest?

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Posted on Tue, 9 Jun 2015 in Headache and Migraines
Question: Hi,

I am writing because of a headache (or maybe it is just tightness in my neck and back) that has lasted 8 days. I started my period on May 9th and came down with a headache that lasted most of the day on May 10th. I attributed it to my period and possibly dehydration since I did a long run the day before. I finally took an ibuprofen and it went away. Since then, I have had intermittent headaches and neck tightness (my lats feel very tense). It isn't terribly painful, but it is stressing me out and I am starting to wonder if my stress is what is making it not go away. I have read about tension headaches (but this one has lasted a lot longer than what I have read) and migraines (but this one isn't on one side). I have never had a problem with headaches, although I had a similar issue for about a week during my last period.

I plan on seeing my PCP, but he will likely not have an opening for a while and I don't know if this is serious enough to go to any sort of urgent clinic. Any ideas???

I should also mention that sometimes I start stressing about it and take a minute to really "feel" what my body is feeling and it isn't really pain in my head, but my neck.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Sameer Kumar 31 minutes later
Brief Answer:
headaches are probably due to PMS

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Thanks for the query to HCM for an opinion,

these are no tension headaches for sure as they have started along with your menstrual period which is a time when the body undergoes progesterone withdrawal and can cause multiple symptoms in the body which form a part of symptom complex called PMS . These may involve headache, nausea, vomiting , mood swings, lower back ache , mild abdominal cramps and sore breasts.
Such headaches are usually because of dehydration and also due to stress especially when it involves paperwork or eye strain.
It is unlikely to be due to any organic cause or any space occupying lesions in head as those pains are severe and continuous with severe vomiting and nausea. These are unlikely to be anything sinister.
It is advised that you should increase your water intake to 4-5 litres in a day and take ample sleep during night and also if need be please get an eye check up done for any refractive error issues.
Once these are ruled out then it can be safely attributed to PMS which can be easily tackled with NSAIDS.
Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E
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Answered by
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Dr. Sameer Kumar

OB and GYN Specialist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 1656 Questions

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