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Sharp Throbbing pain in the back of my head
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Sharp Throbbing pain in the back of my head

I may think it's an occipital headaches but I could be wrong. I am 31 years old female who loves to exercise to the extreme. I am very into fitness and as a matter of fact I'm considering joining a fitness competition next year. However, early last week I was under a lot of stress and confusion on my life since my company is moving to another city and I am considering to move to the city instead of commuting to the new place for at least 1 /12 hours drive vs. to a 30minutes ride on the train . I’ve also has some issues with my friends and perhaps its adding stress for my part.

So one day, as I was doing dips for my warm-up when suddenly I felt like someone had punched me on the left lower back of my head...sharp pain exist followed by a throb with a scalp pain. I couldn't concentrate nor focus to my workout. I ignore the headache and thought it will go a way because I wanted to lift weights on a heavy set. A throbbing pain followed right after I lift a 40lbs. dumbbells and made my workout messed up really bad. The throb went a way after I rested for 5-10minutes, so I thought it was just temporary pain I again tempted to lift heavy but the ache came back which causes me to stop my workout. The pain disappears after 20minutes. However, in the evening I couldn't sleep due to the pain. The pain occurred in 3 consecutive days and lasted for about 10minutes again this happens when I try to lift weights.

I do not understand why I feel such pain. I made my research but I'm not sure if my assumption is right on the dot. Base on my research and the pain that targeting my head is on the occipital lobe area- it does consists of jabbing pain in the distribution of the greater of lesser occipital nerve. Today, the pain shoots up to the left upper back of my head. I don't understand and it's not very pleasant feeling knowing that exercising is my passion to do yet the pain preventing me to concentrate and lift heavy than I usually do. Please help! I am going to see my physicians but I am thinking to see my Optometrist first to see how she can determine and give me knowledge if I'm referring is Occipital part of the head.

According to my other research on this study, standing for a long period of time can cause this headache and as well as being on the computer for long period of time. Well my profession is to seat all day in front of the computer, however since I don't like to seat around I stand in front of my computer and type. I'm not sure if this has something to do with it or I'm assuming it too much. Please help and let me know what will be the close study of my matter.

Thank you and have a great day!
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Avatar_n_tn
I am experiencing the same thing, I too sit at a computer and just started working out as well. I'm really freaked out by this, has anyone else had any suggestions?
Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
My husband was recently diagnosed with an AV fistula which is an abnormal connection between ann artery and a vein in his head.     He has stroke in his family so when he got the same type headache you describe, we kept going until we found a doctor who could help us.

You probably don't have this,  but I read alot of posts on this site while we were searching for the answer.  
He had migraines ( 1 or 2  a month) for years, but 4 mos ago he got bad, pounding headaches, felt and heard his pulse over his ear.  
He hears it at night when he tries to sleep.    
This sound is called a BRUIT (pronounced bru-wee)  which is NOT normal.  

He had bloodwork and mri's - all normal.    

He went through at least 5 docs.  1st neurologist diagnosed something called occipital neuralgia, and prescribed PT for his neck.
This may well be what you have.    The PT actually helps ---  when he holds his head a certain way, the pain lessens.    

This doctor never even put a stethoscope to his head. He would have heard the bruit.

The radiologist at the mri center told me said my husband should have an MRA (MRI of arteries) so our family doctor ordered it.  
This is a non-invasive, 15 min test...painless.   Came back normal according to the report.
We went to another neurologist who read the CD and FOUND the fistula.    He is surprised the radiologist did not see it on the films.  
We are now in the process of getting this fixed.  

Good luck to you.  Get it checked out.  I don't want to scare you but my husband is very very fit and healthy looking..  
Even very young, fit people can have vascular problems which can be corrected, so do not put off getting it checked out.   Read Ann's story:
http://www.brain-aneurysm.com/lifebap.html
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554577_tn?1215465179
What kind of doctor diagnosed the AV fistula?  My daughter is 40 and is having the same symptoms your husband and MsFitness215 are having.  She is also on a computer all day every day and has alot of stress rides train to work, four children and family problems.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,

This could be a tension headache although tension headache is a dull pain and not a throbbing one.
Migraine characteristically causes throbbing headache. In some cases monosodium glutamate which is found in abundance in Chinese food also causes a throbbing headache. Bad posture like sitting for prolonged period like you mentioned in front of the computer also causes headache. What medications are you taking for the headache?
I would suggest you to schedule an appointment with a physician and undergo a complete physical examination.
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Avatar_m_tn
i also have pain to the back right side of my head about 1 inch above and behind my ear.  flashes on and off every 30 seconds or so..could this be serious?
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Avatar_n_tn
I just recently started having a sharp, throbbing pain by my occipital on the lower left side on the back of my head. I have noticed that in that same area it is a more swollen than on the right side. When I lift weights or something I feel more pressure on the spot and it throbs until my heart rate slows.... I shake my head & i feel the sharp pain really quick but then I keep shaking my head & i don't feel it anymore. It also hurts a little bit with certain neck & head movements. What can this be?
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Avatar_n_tn
I have throbbing pains in the back of my head and neck area.  I was mistook for migraines but these affect the sides of the head not necessarily the back.  The symptoms come from sitting in front of a computer with poor posture.  I work or I am at home in front of a computer or TV all day.  I found the headaches and my vision was affected from time to time because of this.  The combination will only accelerate with stress due to fluctuations in blood pressure.  It is impossible to really quell without limiting bad habits.  Pain pills will work with minimal effect on such a horrible pain.  I have never gone to doctor but have reasonably deduced the cause since I had never had symptoms until taking a job with lots of hours and most in front of a computer screen.
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Avatar_n_tn
I just started having this sharp pain a couple of days ago. it feels like i'm being jabbed in the back of the head with a pen. The pain is consistent and is not really going away. It only seems to stop when i eat a meal. I'm not over weight or anything, but thats the only time it seems to stop. I just want to no if it's normal or should I have it looked at. I'm a 19 yr old female.
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Avatar_n_tn
this happens to me when i mop or scrub the floor. besides that  i never have the problem. when i rest it goes away in minutes.
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Avatar_n_tn
im a 19/M recently i also felt this kind of pain at the left back of the head. and sometimes difficulty or pain in turning my head. I have been working out for almost 3-4 years now, recently less im not overweight nor too skinny. the stabbing pain could last for the whole day and stop for an hour or so before returning.

pls help
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Avatar_n_tn
           The exact thing happened to me.  I was doing push ups and I pushed myself too hard and I pulled one of the two muscles in the back of my neck.  I couldn't work out for a week and 1/2 or else the pain would come back whenever it felt tension.  REST for about 2 weeks.  (I know that's a lot because I too am involved in fitness).  But I'm almost positive it'll go away.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 19 years old and having the same sharp, severe pains in the back of my head as well. Sometimes they are as some of you described, feeling as if someone is jabbing a pen in my head and sometimes it's just severe pressure that throbs and aches. It's mainly at the back of my head, but sometimes behind my ears or on the crown.

I'm not sure, but I think I started getting these pains when I got my laptop. I've always laid down on the bed on my stomach (like now....tsk tsk tsk) when working on my laptop and I think the position of my neck and shoulders is messing up the back of my head. I've been dealing with these pains for about 2 years now....and 2 years ago I got my lap top. I also do digital art on the desktop computer and sit for hours in slouched positions and neck hanging ways when drawing....

My worst fear is tumors....
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Avatar_n_tn
I too get this wicked headache.  Right in the back of my head near the base.  It ONLY happens in the morning when I walk to the car.  I am diabetic and overweight and have trouble walking. I also have a twitchy lower back and it gets VERY sore and tired.  I've noticed that while walking to the car I tend to hold my breath or at least breathe rather shallowly.  As soon as I sit down and try to catch my breath, the headache comes up my shoulders and POUNDS horribly in the base of my head.  I put my head back and grit my teeth and wait for either it to end or the deadly stroke I'm sure must be coming. :P
After 20-30 seconds the pain subsides and I am quite normal (to me haha) with NO residual effects whatsoever.  It is the ONLY time I experience this.  I think like most of us here, it is tension.  Mine caused by my stiffening my neck and shoulders, combined with my lack of oxygen/breathing.  What do others think?  Does this describe anyone else's symptoms?
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Avatar_n_tn
i am 17 and was at they gym using a  leg press machine and as soon as i got to 50 reps I got a throbbing pain in the back of my head , it went away after about an 1hr but a week has gone by and whenever i try to lift the pain returns and is almost unbearable, plz help!  
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Avatar_m_tn
I am 30 yrs old and I have been having this problem for 2 years.  Sharp throbbing pain in the lower left side on the back of my head.  I don't sit in front of a computer all day.  The pain only comes when I lay or sit a certain way and last for up 10 mins.  on and off fo about 2 weeks.  Going to the doctor today to find out what could cause this pain.  I will let everyone know what the verdict is so that it could help someone here.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,
How are you? Were you able to go to your doctor? If the pain occurs with a specific posture, this could be musculoskeletal in origin. Imaging techniques such as x-ray may be helpful in ruling this out. Take care and do keep us posted with your check-up. Warm regards.
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Avatar_m_tn
i had the same shooting pain in one spot on the back of my head 1 in above the neck and 1 inch away from the ear went to er after 4 days explained the constant pain and how it came in intervals founf out that it could be shingles with out the rash. most people get the pain first for a while then a rash. it is the secong stage of chicken pox and can be brought on by stress hope this helps
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
HI,
It can be shingles because of the presence of neuralgia. This is often considered especially if there is a recent exposure to somebody with chicken pox or the immune system is not finctioning well such as during stress. The virus that is responsible for shingles is the same with chicken pox. And this virus stays in the nerves for a period of time until it becomes active. Take care and warm regards.
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Avatar_m_tn
I began having what appeared to be a tension type headache in the back of my head about a week and a half ago.  I was overtired so that's what I attributed it to.  When  it subsided I tried to workout and the back of my head throbbed very badly, so I only made it half way through my workout.  I suffered what I would call migraine headaches for the next several days before going to the doctor. After a few physical tests he said it was Occipital Neuralgia and sent me on my way with advice to take 2 Aleve twice per day....that was it.  Since then (4 days since the doctor appt) I haven't really had a typical tension-type headache but a sharp jabbing pain in the back of my head right about the level of the protruburance of the skull. The pain usually only occurs if I am up and walking, bending over/looking down, brushing my teeth, cough, turning my head etc.  If I am sitting on the couch or lying on my back it seems to be fine.  The pain is so bad though that I must stop what I am doing and sit/lie down. I never get headaches and if I do they usually went away the same day, so needless to say I am very concerned. Tonight I feel a stiffness in the front/sides of my neck/throat. I plan to see my normal doctor and if he tells me the same thing (Occipital Neuralgia) I will insist on seeing a neurologist to confirm and hopefully rule out any other causes (ie tumor, clot etc).  
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,
How are you? Exertion Headaches may happen during or following physical exertion or passive exertion such as sneezing, coughing, moving one's bowels, etc. Majority of this is related to migraine or cluster headaches. But extensive testing is necessary to determine the headache cause and to rule out organic causes. I agree with you going to a neurologist to help confirm the underlying cause.  Take care and do keep us posted.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Rowena,
It's been a few days and while the pain is still there when I move my head, cough, etc, it has lessened in severity significantly (ie I was able to mow my lawn & go for a bike ride today). I did start wearing a soft cervical collar when watching TV & using my lap top (I notice more pain while using the laptop due to my head posture) & it seems to help. Anyway, because the pain has lessened, I am waiting until my previously scheduled physical for this Wednesday to talk to my Dr. I just turned 40 so it will be a full physical w/ blood work etc. I'll post anything I learn.  
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,
It is good to know that you are feeling better. It is alright to proceed with the scheduled physical instead of the neurology consult. This will help in providing a clear picture of what we have. If the cervical collar helps, posture or neck-related musculoskeletal issues may need to be evaluated further by your doctor. Imaging studies like neck x-ray or MRI may be indicated depending on the results. Do keep us posted. Warm regards.
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Avatar_m_tn
hi... lam 18/M and l started having this same pain in the left back of my head a week ago and it cames only when l exercise  and l started to think its cus of l was doing pull ups in my school ones but the bar was very far from ground and when l was done l just let go but when l landed in the ground l felt like my brain shaked inside my skull it was painfull and its exactly that day the first time l felt that pain and from that day on everytime l exercise l feel ur same pain any result on y and how to get rid of it?
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,
How are you? Headaches associated with exercise may indeed be due to exertion headaches also. As mentioned earlier, majority of this is related to migraine or cluster headaches. However, extensive testing is necessary to determine the headache cause and to rule out organic causes.At this point, you can avoid physical exertion or take preventive medicines prescribed by your doctor. Have this evaluated further for proper management. Take care and hope to hear from you soon.
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Avatar_m_tn
sometimes i get these alwful pain in the back of my head near my neck it might hurt for a day or few hours and go away and then not hurt for a couple of week the pain gets so bad sometimes and i get to feeling so bad could you please give me some advice
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,
How are you? Are there other symptoms present? Was there a previous injury to the head or neck? This could be due to musculoskeletal, neurological or vascular issues such as degenerative disc disease, muscle strain,  a herniated disc, a pinched nerve, or even from  common infections and from underlying conditions such as primary headaches . Posture ans work conditions are also factors to consider. Rest, pain medications and cold/warm compress may help. If it persists, have this checked by your doctor for proper evaluation. Take care and regards.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been experiencing very simular symptoms! It begins between my occipital bone and the nape of my neck.The throbbing will occur if I cough to hard, lift anything to heavy, laugh, sneeze or have to urinate. This pain makes me want to drop to my knees. It feels as if 10x the normal amount of blood is entering my head and then shoots up both sides of my head!!! If I bend my head down that does give some relief.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,
Your symptoms indeed can be caused by exertion headache and I recommend that you have this checked by your doctor for proper evaluation. Imaging studies will also help rule out anatomical issues in your head or neck that could also be responsible. At this point, try to avoid lifting and the other triggers that you mentioned. Take care and do keep us posted.
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Avatar_n_tn
Please, nobody make fun of me, because I am very concerned about this. Anyhow, here goes, I get this very intense sharp shooting pain in the back of my head when I am making love to my wife, it is most intense when I climax and is so bad I have to stop. The rest of the time, when not engaged in this activity I have a constant dull throbbing pain in the back of my head. I am in my mid 40's and don't have any major health problems other than cholesterol a little high and a little overweight.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,
How are you? Exertion headaches may be triggered with both passive and active exertions. Active exertions include running, jumping, and even sexual intercourse. Although majority of these occur together with migraine or cluster headache, some can be due to organic issues such as blood vessel malformation. You may benefit from further evaluation by your doctor or a referral to a neurologist. It is important to determine the underlying cause for proper management. Take care and regards.
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Avatar_n_tn
this is most definitely because of too many hours in front of the computer. also bad posture. try to breath when you exercise, as much as possible. when i am experiencing this headache, i find if i bring my head below my heart lvl, the pain gets far worse. so more blood pressure in the head...obvioulsy makes the pain worse.
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Avatar_n_tn
thank you all for your comments it made me feel like i'm not going crazy. i have had  migraines since age 15 i am 51. i also have had surgery for chi-cari malformation, i recently started having this dull ache in the back lower left side of my head. of course you always think the worse, per my husband advice i am making an appointment on monday.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,
How are you? Are there other symptoms present? The outlook after a surgery for chiari malformation usually depends on the severity of symptoms and how long they existed prior to surgery. I agree with your husband that you need to have this checked by your doctor for proper evalaution. The ache in your head may be attributed to various issues that needs to be checked by your doctor. The chiari forum here in medhelp may also be helpful: http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Chiari-Malformation/show/257
Take care and do keep us posted.
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Avatar_m_tn
I too was doing dips but when i was heading to failure i did not land on the heighted platform but came on the floor with my hands still holding the bars. so my shoulders were like a "V". Immediately after i let go i felt a sharp pain behind my neck which induced a serious head irritation. I felt all my veins pulsing also behind my neck was hurting. After some time it eased up and i also like yourself started to lift some dumbbells. I was doing dumbbell presses and as i brought my hands down i felt the pain intensify again. I finished my routine through the pain.......
A few days later i was not feeling the pain. When i started to work my arms again the pain came back but when i used heavy weights. This was worrying. I gave myself a little break and then a few days again tried to exercise with the same results. I decided to go to a chiropractor. He explained to me about the bones behind the neck area and said that if it were muscle that was damaged i would have had limited flexibility. I had no problems in that aspect. He then told me that the problem was a CERVICAL STRAIN. The ligaments were damaged and i now had to do therapy. As of today i am on my second treatment which includes electricial stimulation of the muscles and ultrasound massage. I have 6 more sessions remaining. Hope the info was helpful
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello, my husband is having a throbbing ache in the back of his head (lower left side), he can't  sleep tonight cause is so bad, he complains of his body getting hot, then he gets cold, ( room temperature is cold pleasant in The room)  he has being under a lot of stress at working, worked many hours in front the computer, had high blood blood pressure in the past, slightly high cholesterol, and a bit overweight. Cam this be dangerous?
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Avatar_n_tn
i have the same problem but im 17. when i try to work out.. in the first 2 mins.. i just feel my head bagging like if someone punshed me on the back of my head. can anyone help me out?
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Avatar_m_tn
Just make sure to drink a lot of water daily.  Whenever I don't drink much water, I get that feeling pain in the back of my head too.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey, im also 17 and i was doing leg press and the i got a sudden pain in the back on my head, i went home after having the pain continued, 2 days later i went back to the gym and did bench my and the pain began to come back. I noticed it was posted in 2009 and now is 2012, did u find a solution or help because im a little worried and love going to the gym and this is ruined my workout twice. So If you or anyone could give me some advice i would REALLY be thankful.
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Avatar_m_tn
i am 55 m, a professional engineer, father of 4.  I;ve had these headaches on the left side of ny brain, keeping me up at night and actually I have no life!  It's 4am and I'm writing this, the pain is killing me and I have seen 3 different doctors to absolutely no avail.  MRI, normal, all vitals normal.  I don't know what to do.  If someone can help, please do.  Thanks.
,
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Avatar_m_tn
I read through all these posts and I don't think anyone mentioned sleep position. If your head is contorted in a weird way night after night this will contribute to neck and head pain. Try a cervical or even a dog bone pillow.
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Avatar_m_tn
I too have this problem- I'm a 17 year old female currently studying my last year, so it could be stress induced- I feel the pain on the low right of the back of my head. I also do alot of exercise.
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Avatar_m_tn
thank you because i had the same thing and i am only 13. is it a problem even if i am 13?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello.  I am a 49 yr old female who has a computer job, 50 hours a week for 10 years.  Since starting this job I have 2 migraines on the right side of my head lasting 2 days.  Cannot move, eat or sleep.  Nothing helps the pain.  I have told doctors but they really do not address them.  But now I am in so much pain.  I have the throbbing in my temples and back of head, neck, arms, legs, back,constantly for 6 days.  This pain is from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet.  When I put any strain on my body, or put my head lower than my heart the throbbing intensifies to where I think my temples will explode.  My lower back and back under ribs are aching like flu symtoms (symptoms) in my muscles.  It feels like my muscles are tearing.  Some of my symptoms are like scyatica while also having flu body aches and a throbbing headache.  This headache is nothing like my migraines.  Entire brain and base of neck.  I am being 'treated' for fibromyalgia, fatigue, migraines. My blood pressure is fine each time it is tested.  The pain wakes me up 2-3 times a night, and when I wake the pain is a 9, later in the day it is 9.  During the day, I cannot exert myself without head pain and as the day progresses it worsens.  Cold, driving my car,(bumps) are painful to my entire body.  Cant move my head L-R forward w/o pain.  I have not gone to the dr because I was in for my regular check up 3/5/14.  I thought it would go away.  I get a little relief by taking 2 advil and 2 percocet.  But I normally take 1-2 percocet a day at bed time and mid day for fibromialgia (fibromyalgia) pain.  Do you see anything in my symptoms that screams to a specific diagnosis?  Thx/djpohio
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Doc. I'm 40/F,
I sometimes sleep late and really have less sleep. I normally sleep at 10pm. I wake up at 12midnight and 3am to make milk for my 2yr old toddler boy who is always hungry even in the middle of the night. d other night, i packed a Large Balik bayan box till 2am.
Just today, 1pm, I feel so much pain at the back of my head for 5 hours now  and also on the top of my head and my forehead, sometimes my nape too. I think I will die... I checked google, maybe it is occipital headache. Is it serious?
I hope I can get your reply asap.
Thanks a lot and God bless.
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