Lyme Question: Does anyone else experience headaches and/or head pressure?


Headaches & Head Pressure

So the question of this week is about headaches and head pressure.

Headaches are a common complaint with Lyme disease and listed on almost every symptom list you can find relevant to Lyme disease. There are many different types of headaches that are experienced however.

Many Lyme patients talk about having “migraines” a lot.  Migraine headaches are can be preceded by warning signs. They can be triggered by  hormonal changes, certain foods and drinks, stress, and exercise.The pain  caused by migraines can be a throbbing in one particular area. Nausea, throwing up and sensitivity to light and sound are also common symptoms. Many patients will lay in the dark for a day or two while experiencing these.

Tension headaches can be triggered by stress and anxiety. They are often caused when our muscles, subconsciously tense up, especially in our back and neck leaving our muscles tense and achy. It will feel like pressure all around your head and even down to your neck and shoulders.

Cluster headaches:
Cluster headaches  are recurring headaches that occur in groups or cycles. They can come on suddenly and cause  severe, debilitating pain on one side of the head. Sometimes you may also experience watery eyes or a runny nose. These headaches can last days or weeks, and then leave just as suddenly as they came on. They might disappear for months then start up again.

Rebound Headaches:
These are actually caused by taking too many pain meds or over the counter meds.

Lyme Related Headaches

Head Pressure:
So those are the normal headaches that anyone can get, but Lyme patients seem to experience something else, HEAD PRESSURE. It’s a feeling like your brain is too big for your skull or like there is a vice squeezing  your head. It’s hard to look up, down or sideways. It can last to varying degrees for years.

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN):
TN is a condition that is characterized by intermittent, sharp shooting pain in the face. Trigeminal neuralgia affects the trigeminal nerve, which is one of the largest nerves in the head. The trigeminal nerve sends impulses of touch, pain, pressure, and temperature to the brain from the face, jaw, gums, forehead, and around the eyes. With a TN headache you might experience shocks, sharp shooting pains, or really sever sharp pain around your eyes, jaw or cheek. Learn more about it here.

Tell us about your headaches in the comments below.


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4 thoughts on “Lyme Question: Does anyone else experience headaches and/or head pressure?”

  1. Lisa,
    Thanks for doing this – what an awesome way to share information!

    Before MSIDS (multi systemic infectious disease syndrome – or Lyme with friends) I never had headaches. I mean never.

    Fast forward.

    After becoming infected I would wake up with severe headaches that pretty much were with me 24/7. After my first dose of antibiotics (abx) I had such a banging headache (like a horse kicked me in the head) I didn’t leave the bed for three days. All I did was shuffle from a hot epsom salt bath back to bed – repeat, repeat, repeat.

    Nothing kicked the pain. Four Ibuprophen didn’t do a thing. Herbs didn’t touch it.

    Although the pain seemed to be everywhere, it predominantly was at the base of my neck.

    To be honest the only thing that made a difference was when my LLMD agreed to let me do minocycline daily. I did mino daily for months and months. Finally – no more headaches.

    When I went off abx (I hadn’t herxed in months) I still had the pain at the base of the neck. I had 2 MRI’s to rule out Chiari, which can be congenital or caused from infections in the brain. Basically, it’s when the brain due to being swollen pushes out the base of the skull and goes partially down the neck. I know of at least two MSIDS patients who have this. Thankfully, the MRI only showed mild degeneration – nothing that should have caused that pain. Then I tried WobenzymN – a systemic enzyme. The first dose (expired by 2 years) took 70% of my pain away. I took it for months. Then, I had a set back and the pain returned for 3 days. So I went off the Wobenzyme and now the pain is gone.

    I do not know why the pain came and went. I don’t know if this is some sort of residual inflammation or what.

    I still take some herbs as maintenance but I pray those headaches are all behind me.
    Madison Lyme Support Group

  2. Yes, I’ve had daily migraines and have felt like I have a vice squeezing my head for 21 years. I just got diagnosed with Lyme November 2015. I have a neuro-stimulator implant for my migraines which helps mask the pain majority of the time. I hope once I am through this Lyme hell my head will feel better.

  3. I have Lyme, just diagnosied. I have had a constant tension headach for four years. It never goes away and my pain scale varies between 5-can’t think. Stress makes it worse and by the end of most days I can only manage to sit on the couch until bed. the main pressure is at my temples but it’s banded all around the top of my head. It goes down my forehead and sometimes lower down my face. My entire life revolves around copping with this and no pain meds help. I don’t remember what it is like to not have a headache.

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