Why Does Everything Hurt So Much After Brain Injury?

Return to article

Comments (65)

Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.

My neurologist wanted to do Botulism injections for the head and neck pain, but my insurance would not approve it. I'm on Lyrica, which works better than Neutotin, tramadol, topiramate, and one that starts with a L. Acetaminophen IV's seemed to help me some. I get the burning Charlie Horses that feel like my veins are having the Charlie Horse, instead of my muscles. I get a lot of cramping, in my legs, toes, fingers. I've had a pacemaker put in. I'm now dealing with Narcolepsy, and excessive daytime sleepiness. I take meds to stay awake, they don't always work. I don't like the way my brain feels on Narcotics, so I won't take them. I've seen too many family members become addicted to pain medications, alcohol, and cigarettes. I know the pain I'm experiencing in my neck, shoulders, and back are from the accident and are definitely nerve related. I had some young Physical Therapist try and tell me it was muscle pain. Believe me, I know the difference. I'd rather have muscle pain over Nerve pain. Sometimes my migraines are so bad, all I can do is sleep. Other times, I'm in so much pain, I can't sleep. Because of my sleep disorders, I don't like taking anything that makes my brain fuzzier than it is, so I won't take narcotics. I had my Pacemaker replaced last May, and just had a local anesthetic. I was awake, talking to my Electrophysiologist, the Medtronic representative, the Nurse, and other two individuals during my procedure. I just have local anesthetic when I get RF in my lumbar and cervical spine. Sometimes the tingling nerve pain is so bad, I can't walk, or I don't want anything touching my skin. I use a lot of ice, to numb my skin. Tiger Balm helps with headaches, sometimes. I'm trying to use more numbing agents that are applied topically, like Deep Blue, Biofreeze, etc. Sometimes it will numb the pain long enough for me to fall asleep. I used to use Xyrem for my sleep issues. But because of my cognitive issues, I was afraid of accidentally taking a second dose in error, not always a big deal when you take the lowest dose of some medications. Problem with Xyrem - the first side affect listed is death. I could see where Xyrem would help you sleep through the pain, but I don't know if they have tested it to be used that way, or if the FDA would approve using it to help patients with severe pain, to be able to sleep through the pain for a while, because sometimes sleep is the only thing that will help get rid of a migraine. I should check with my sleep specialist, and see if they could check with the drug manufacturer and answer the questions concerning FDA approval for nerve pain patients. I'll ask my pain management MD, and Neurologist as well. I have realized that if focus on the pain, it tends to get worse. I've increased my tolerance for pain by ignoring it. Running around barefoot in the snow may have helped as well. I have started wearing coats during blizzards, but not always. Therapist tell you to hold a piece of ice, tightly in your hand, to try and shock your brain out of being stuck on the same thought, or issue. I can hold a piece of ice in my hand until it's completely gone and it doesn't bother me. I'd try numbing the nerve endings. Put water on some wash cloths. Fold so it will fit on your forehead, place it into a snack, or sandwich bag. If you feel a headache coming on, have nerve pain in your back, or legs, place the washcloth on, or towel, and let it numb the area. Watch out for frostbite. Repeat as many times as it takes for your brain to stop recognizing the pain sensors, and try to have some much needed sleep. You might need to have someone assist you, just in case you do fall asleep, so you don't get Frost bite. Try Tiger Balm and ice together. Or, Biofreeze and ice. Or, Deep Blue and ice. If you try it and it helps, I will be so happy to hear you've found some relief. I feel for you! Pain sucks!
I've just been diagnosed with post concussion syndrome and it sucks! I have little pains in my muscle every now again. I'm only 14 and it reallly really is the worst thing in my life so far !!

Hey I'm 19 and have had p.c.s for two an a half years man it really does suck, it makes everything in life ten times tougher for me its vision an horrible anxiety, I feel your pain man hang in there there will be a cure for all of us soon but all p.c.s victims gotta speak out an make it aware to people because most don't even know what post concussion syndrome is, stay strong dan,

Amen to you speaking out as well. I’m 20 months into PCS and as some symptoms were thought to have subsided, I was mistaken with one relapse after another. I’m not sure if it will be a life long battle, I surely hope not. But it’s a day to day struggle that has broken my suppossive iron clad spirit. The brain fog and confusion and anxiety and pain that comes with this injury is invisible to the naked eye. So it feels as if we are in this struggle alone and in the dark to its legitimacy when it comes to the medical world. Many drs will question the legitimacy of symptoms. And connected them to anxiety. This drives a steak through my chest. And angers me far more than my now constant emotional outbursts I have from no longer being able to control my emotional behavior.
We know our body’s. drs give us only moments of there time to explain ourselves then cast judgement, not a prognosis. It’s daunting to question people of there stature. But I know who I was prior to injury. And that person fails to exist currently. And when you feel as if your thoughts are slipping into quick sand faster than you can grab them. Or your head throbs to the beat of your pulse. Or you feel displaced in the world. And disoriented. Among a thousand other issues, I would say thats far greater then a psychological issue. In fact the anxiety which we are plagued by is real but it’s not the cause, it’s a side effect to our inability to function in everyday life.

I had brain surgery to place a VP shunt. Sometime during or in post op, I suffered a minor stroke. 3 years later, I have unexplained pain ranging from migraine headaches, to severe pain in muscles and joints. I have to wonder if the brain trauma caused this.

To Marc: I feel so bad for your pain. I recently have been learning about concussions due to my own injury in June 2016. Science & the medical world are learning more & more about the nature & the sometimes life altering symptoms of concussions. They are learning that they don't go away with time, in fact if you push it they can increasingly get worse later. I learned about vision therapy from a neuro optomotrist. & cranial sacral therapy helped mine. Also getting strong, non addicting sleep medicine & pain pills help to heal your brain. But I was told to use pain, eye sensitivity, & fatigue/stress as warning signs of overdoing it & when you don't rest from the brain completely it will only get worse. So I don't take pain med during the day, instead I rest with ice in a dark room. At night I take herbs for stress & adrenals & essential fatty acids ( the brain needs healthy fat). I also take non addicting sleeping pills (trezadone) & as heavy pain pill as is prescribed to sleep. They say minimum 10 to 12 hours a night of sleep in order to recover from a concussion. Even though rest is vital & necessary during the day or for days until the pain or fatigue or hearing or eye sensitivity eases, it should not take the place of sleep. Also drinking Atleast a gallon of water every day is essential for brain healing. If you could get disability temporarily & focus on healing the brain injuries you would have a better chance of actually healing. I was living in a dark room for 4 to 5 days only to have tolerable relief for half a day, until I started doing these things & changed chiropractor, and started cranial sacral for concussion and got sleep medicine. Up until the last few days, I have pretty much lived in a dark room with heat & ice & book on cd for the last 3 months due to debilitating migraines from an undiagnosed concussion & torn neck ligaments. I finally feel some hope. My good days last until about 2 then back to the dark. My email is ladymisslmp@gmail.com if you are interested in learning more of what I am. I don't normally respond to these chat things. Sincerely Jill


 My name is Marc. I've never been diagnosed with anything other than 2 concussions within a close period of time, following an accident in which the crash was so quick and violent that my seatbelt buckle broke and I was tossed into the windshield, causing concussion. Shortly after this, within 1.5 years I experienced an accident where I was at work and my hard hat dropped off and my head got smashed by something from above me off of a staging, knocking myself unconscious, then I awoke in the hospital.. I was working again after this as a groundman for a lineman as he loaded a steel jug with a cleaning solvent into a canvas grunt sack, suspended from an aerial messenger line. I heard "Look out!" and bang, down I went. Knocked so hard in the top of the hard hat I thought my neck was broken. Since this time, my life has slowly changed and has become a complete nightmare, over the years, transforming me into a daily and nightly headache, neck ache and back ache filled miserable person that would see doctor after doctor for nearly 15 years before I finally explained my condition to the right doctor capable of making a real diagnosis for the first time. I have been plagued with more full body 5 hour long mri's, more ct scans, x rays,ultra sounds and such that I should hold a record for not dying from being overexposed to these fields. My suffering which included painful constant muscle spasms, massive head and neck pain, burning eyes, loss of memory, and awful episodes of random nerve pains, burning in the legs, I mean like they were on fire, constant bone breaks that happen so easily, and now 2 ruptures of the distal bicep tendons, one 4 years ago putting up a baby gate on my left arm, and one just weeks ago pulling a snow blower into my shed after rearranging my shed after the season's last mowing of the lawn.. These tears happened too easily, there is something plaguing me other than this pain disease... .. I'm suffering in agony, typing one finger with my non dominant hand, praying to God to get some sleep, teary eyed, depressed, wishing something would help.. pain killers only take the edge off, they only make me not care about the pain if I take double the dose, more than I should, but I'm limited to pain meds because my normal breakthru pain meds and long term meds stopped working to assist the pain and are mostly worthless since the recent injury. Advil helps to cure 10-15%  of the acute pain but gives me bleeding ulcers that make me vomit advil acids up looking like scabbed blood is in it. It seems nothing stops the suffering and agony. I sometimes I wish I would die , but I have a very loving  family to support and I could never do anything so unfair or cowardly as taking my life. I really don't know what to do, I have constant rf nerve blocks done on my neck, every 6-9 months...  my neck pain returned 2 weeks ago along with spasms after my bicep injury, and I just had the rf block done in July. I have no idea what to do.. I need help with the pain, it's driving me insane it hurts so bad and my mind seems to be playing tricks on me, I'm getting shooting burning pains everywhere as if people are dying cigarettes out on me periodically, this is no joke. I wake at night from this and have had nightmares of getting shot, then wake from one of these pains and cant go back to sleep.. nothing helps. I need pain meds, but I need something else with it to assist me. I've tried neurontin, it makes me feel nutso and doesn't kill the pain, I've tried lyrica without success. I've taken every oxy, roxy, morphine, dilaudid, opana, you name it, even have self medicated over the years with the wrong things and have never found anything that helped the pains go away. I've been on Medrol dosepacks and it'd help for 2 weeks but it'd return worse than it was. I just don't understand. How can one's heart problems and functions disappear like magic but be in so much pain and be so depressed for so long? Why doesn't this pain disease go away? What can help me? My only med that helps anything significantly is a neuropathic pain compound made of amitryptylene, neurontin, lidocain and another med plus an icy hot base or similar and an old non drowsy muscle relaxer / pain reliever called lorzone. If I don't take it daily,my pains become worse. It's awful.it seems as if it works, but causes more painful pains as a side effect if i forget to take it. aspirin won't help, tylenol does nothing and it feel;s as if maybe i only had a pool filled with liquid lidocaine would be my only option. please help.. i need somebody's assistance with names of meds to ask my doctor to try to give samples of, anything to reduce my agony without having to lose my current meds. At this point, it isn't an option for me to lose them, I'd never get to work. i'm lucky to be able to get up  and out of bed for 5am because I've been up most of the night in pain. I take my meds while in bed, enabling me to barely get out of my bed because the pains are so debilitating until the wake up pains are relieved somewhat so I could rise, have coffee and get to work by 7, that is if I am lucky enough for the meds to kick in. It's the only time I feel them anymore, empty stomach in the am. 

Hello. I suffered my TBI in 1993, when I was 22. I seem to remember a lot of "body" pain afterwards, but I think things got a little better, for a while. Of course, I was also on Amitriptylene for several years. I am on nothing as of now, except Ibuprofen and alcohol. I am a functional abuser of alcohol. I don't drink during the week, because of work, but I usually drink and sleep all weekend. I've been trying not to do that as much, and I hurt quite a bit. I've also noticed that the older I get, the more reclusive I get. I don't go out and/or socialize much. I don't go do things with people (unless drinking is involved). I seem to either go to work, or sit in my recliner or go to bed... I don't enjoy my life anymore.

My mom had a ruptured brain aneurysm and she is recovering. Next month it will have been a year since they saved her life by inserting a coil. She has improved tremendously but her biggest deficits are her short term memory and severe weakness in her left side arm and legs. She says her leg hurts and that's why she walks funny (sort of a skip/limp as she does not extend her leg in the normal stride manner. She says it feels like it's asleep but she can move it if directed. Is this nerve damage? What can I do to accelerate healing or help her in any way? I want her to be a able to walk unassisted but safely and I will do anything to help reach that goal.

Hello, I too have a tbi, My pain started around a year after the injury, ,which was to the thalamus area of My right side. I take Lyrica and opiods, both of which lose their effectiveness, over time. I have sharp, burning pain on My entire left side, including the left side of my face. I believe that most of the pain is from poor circulation due to incorrect signals from the brain. It would be nice to have a pain free day, or part of one, it just does not get better for more than a few hours every week. I have sounds in my ears, hissing, and like crickets, 24/7. Walking is a miserable situation as I am worn out by simply taking a shower. If active one day, i have to sleep the entire next day or more to get any strength back at all. My domain is My bed and  My bedroom, Where the difference is that I did run a .8 billion dollar restaurant chain, rarely felt tired, and was never in the bed or inside. My condition is gradually getting worse, I am in hope that there will be improvements in pain and movement. My body is very spastic as well. All of this does get to Me when challenges face Me in My family, as I feel unable to fight back, to work, to protect My 4 children. I thank My family for keeping Me out of an institution. I do seem to have My thoughts in place, close to normal, any slight distraction creates confusion, i have to take everything slowly. It, at first seemed that My mind was lilke scrambled eggs and the Lord has allowed this to improve. We all want to work, there is no way, Huge changes from day to day, and minute

I suffered a severe TBI with hemoraging of the brain which had to be cauterized, it happened in 1987 when I was 24. Now at 53 years old I am experiencing severe headaches and much nerve pain in my right hip. The doctor's say I need a new hip. I am very blatant about being a survivor of a severe TBI. I cannot find a Dr. whom will do the research, to understand that it is just Nerve pain that I suffer from? 

Hi, my name is Lori I am a TBI Survivor. My Head Trauma was just descovered, it is 34 years old. I've had 7 or more Concussions, Bruises on Brain and Contutions. I Fractured my Skull in half down the back, when it happened I was drunk. The injury was Intercranial, so I didn't go to the hospital, my friends were taking me, but we saw a bar. Anyhow it was about 10 days later when I couldn't close my mouth that I went. Also the popping sound in my head was like listening to a bowl of Rice Krisspies. Needless to say it was a big deal. I followed up for 4 to 5 years. My Doctor at the time said to me, it's a good thing I was drunk. So a stayed drunk for 7 more years. I entered A.A. in 1988. That is when I began to have problems. In 34 years I went to Doctor after Doctor, took pill after pill, Hospitals, Institutions etc.... we who have TBI know the route. Enough on the introduction. I would like to answer your question, because it is also my question. WHY in 34 years was I NEVER given a QEEG. This one simple test has put me as a TBI member and survivor. I am already detoxing off one of the we most addicting, Klonapin. I am so early in recovery and the damage so severe. I Breathe 20 minutes 4 Times a day, using the essential oil Frankencense, changed my diet to include Brain food and excersises. MY MISSION IS TO MAKE THIS ONE SIMPLE TEST known. And it be the test that Doctors use for anyone having past HEAD INJURIES. I also believe that this test should be given to the Prisoners that are filling are correctional System. I'll end with this, CAPITALISING on the health of Humanity has got to stop. DAMMIT man.

Hi - I have had the same experience, of having chronic body pain after weaning myself off the antidepressants.

You are so on point I feel like you know me personally. Especially about the lesser head injury more pain issue. My Husband has a Dirty Crack all the way acrossed his head from a non-helmet injury where he slammed his motorcycle into a metal light pole head first lauching him 60ft backwards. The only thing that bothers him is drastic air pressure. Me I get trip at work on some boards crossed a Safetyline, And I have all kinds of issues. From migraines,.. Inner ear concussion, breathing issues while sleeping, and so on and so on.

It will have been 17yrs since my severe TBI in August of 2014.  Now that I have finally been weaned off anti-depressants, I am beginning to experience more peripheral neuropathy.  Also, my head feels like it is in a vice.  Is it possible that all the years of being on anti-depressant medication masked the things I am experiencing now?  Thanks...Kerry Mischka