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Sharp throbbing headache in the back left part of the head
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Sharp throbbing headache in the back left part of the head

About 2 weeks ago while doing pushups I started experiencing sharp, throbbing headaches in the back left part of my head.  The throbbing goes away after a while, but I still have sharp pains in that area most of the time.  If I am standing and walking/running the pain is not there at all, but as soon as I start pushups it comes back throbbing.  It has been awakening me while sleeping lately.  Does this sound familiar to anybody?  Does it sound like a nerve or more of vascular problem?  Any help would be appreciated.  I am not in a position to make it to the doctor right now.  
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi

You have noted the pain to be sharp and throbbing. Also, the pain has been associated with exercises. This sounds more vascular to me although a musculoskeletal and nerve related problem are still differentials. Nerve related pain or neuralgia are described to be burning in character and they may be present over the nerve's pattern of distribution. As for musculoskeletal pain, the pain may be associated with a certain position or activity.

In your case, I would think of exertional headaches as a primary differential. This type of headache is associated with exercises especially straining exercises. I would advise that a baseline CT scan be done just to rule out any structural or organic problems. Your blood pressure should also be assessed.

Is there any history of stroke or heart problems in the family?


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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the information.  There is no history of strokes, but a few heart issues with grandparents.  I had a full check up a couple months ago, blood pressure and everything esle was excellent.  I have never had issues with blood pressure.  The pain is definitely more noticeable in certain positions.  Thanks.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi

Yes. Exertional headaches and headaches secondary to spine problems are the closest differentials here. Just be careful when pursuing your daily exercises. Do some stretching first before engaging in strenuous exercises. Do these moderately and try to rest and relax in between .Nevertheless, have a baseline assessment done so that other conditions may be ruled out.

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Avatar_m_tn
I went to the Dr. today.  She diagnosed me with a sprained neck and prescribed me flexeril or something like that.  I do have to say it feels better since I have taken the medicine.  Does that sound like the correct diagnosis?  Thanks
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi

Yes. Spine problems and musculoskeletal problems have been one of the differentials here. You have also mentioned of the headaches being associated with position. So , I would say that after a thorough medical history and complete physical examination a sprained neck may be a diagnosis.

Just continue to observe your condition. If the pain persists despite medications or if other associated symptoms begin to appear, then you need to have a follow up consult. Watch out for increasing pain, visual symptoms, loss of balance or any form of weakness in the extremities.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have experienced the same problems. A little over a week now I was doing routine exercise at the gym when a sharp, throbbing headache started pounding in the back of my head. After another set I gave up and left. 2 days later I went to the chiropractor, which after a few procedures concluded that it was a "upper" neck injury and advised no physical activity. This was enlightening to the possible thought it was something serious. The next day, no physical activity, the headaches started all over while walking to class. Concerned and annoyed, I went back to the chiro. for another evaluation. She concluded the same. The next day I visited with our family doctor who concurred with the chiropractor's prognosis. She gave me a steroid shot and 10 days of muscle relaxers. I've been out of the gym for nearly a week and a half now and am still experiencing throbbing headaches with any physical activity. Still have some remaining tension in my neck and have no finished the medication. I'm currently sitting in the library studying for finals trying to contend with obnoxious headache and posting this out of curiosity. The intensity of my headache has no increase from light, it remains nearly constant with no variations, except for physical. If I apply pressure to the back of my head some of the pain is relieved but it still present. I am 22 years old, excellent physical shape, no blood pressure problems (as of last week) 180lbs, and do not have a history of vascular medical problems to my knowledge. Any input would be helpful.
Thanks.
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