Migraines, Tendons, and Nautical Bindings

The Coaster II, photo copyright Kim Nixon

The Madeline, photo copyright Kim Nixon

The Coaster II, photo copyright Kim Nixon

The Coaster II, photo copyright Kim Nixon

Migraine, day three, and the intensity comes and goes. I noticed someone searched out this blog with the key words “first rib migraine.” To my visitor, I hope you found some of what you needed in these pages. If you come across this page and you are challenged with migraines please leave a comment as I would love to talk to you and share experiences. I avoid the word “suffer” when it comes to migraines as I do not want to live a live of suffering. But these past few days I have been bound. Which leads me back to the first rib.

We all have tendons that extend down to our first rib and complications can result in Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. My symptoms include, tennis elbow, pain in my right wrist, weakness in right arm, tricep pain, shoulder pain, shoulder blade pain, migraine, TMJ pain, tooth pain, ear pressure and pain and migraines.

Activities I love to do and must limit: Bike riding, swimming, giving massages, bouldering.

I avoid activities where I have to offer continued pressure using my extensor muscles and I try not to lift or press anything over my head.

Things that have helped me include wearing a tennis elbow brace which can help alleviate some lower arm and wrist pain. My D.O. adjusts my first rib on occasion. Chiropractic is helpful but not when I’m severely constricted. Thai Massage. Calcium/Magnesium supplements. Anti-inflammatories which I try to stick to foods and herb sources. I have had excellent luck with cherry juice concentrate. You can try yoga and do stretches to manage this condition as well.

There are other treatments and surgeries. I have avoided these options but my lifestyle is so affected at this point I am going to my doctor this week to try and discuss what can be done as we move forward. I have never had an MRI. I have not tried cortisone or botox injections. There are surgeries for this condition as well.

I think these photos taken during Pirate Days in Marquette have an interesting metaphoric value. The ropes of the Madeline and the Coaster II. All in perfect order and well-maintained. I will post again soon on tendon health as I have more to share. I will also post more Pirate Day photos, arghhhhhhh.


About kimnixon

Upper Peninsula Michigan Artist and Writer

Posted on August 26, 2008, in Contours, Holistic Health, Migraine Art and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Hi!

    I’ve been challenged with migraines for over 40 years. I quit smoking almost two years ago ( 37 yr/3 pk day habit). My migraines almost immediately improved… until… I became super involved in bodybuilding. Now, my left elbow hurts as does my shoulder and bicep tendon. I had an MRI which reveled no injuries. Physical therapy made the pain much worse.

    I remembered that decades ago, a doc mentioned TOS as a possibility for some of my migraines and now I wonder if my exercise program has “woken up” this syndrome. I am tired of doctors so I thought I would see what I could find on my own.

    Does any of this ring true?


  2. Yes, this rings very true. When my TOS is under control my headaches are.

    I have to be very careful with exercise.

    I suggest visiting a D.O. and see if they can adjust your first rib down. My doctor does an adjustment that helps wonders. Or a good massage therapist could try PRT (Positional Release Technique) to calm the tendons leading from c-4 and c-5 down to first rib area.

    Granted I am not a doctor–but have them take a look. someone with good tactile skills will be bale to judge the tendon tightness. I also get relief from applying moist heat to my right pectoral area as the brachial plexus lies below. I also use heat on my neck at c-5 and c-4.

    I use a tennis elbow brace to keep inflammation from heading to the wrist which also gives me carpal tunnel symptoms.

    But remember most of this is all symptom-ology of something else. For me it dates back to a car accident and an old whiplash injury.

    Let me know how things go for you. I am currently without any medical insurance so I try to maintain with massage and an occasional adjustment. The rest is self care.

    If you live and work in the Upper peninsula I see Dr. Hatfield and Erik Winkelmann is my massage therapist he works out of Marquette General Hopsital.


  3. Oh and Fran as I mentnoned my triggers are lifting over my head. If you are having a TOS challenge alter your weight lifting routine. Try to use flexors and avoid extensor use. Bench presses might need to be altered. Tricep pull down on machines can make yo use primarily exrtensors if I am thinking right.

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