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Ice Pick/Stabbing Headache
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Ice Pick/Stabbing Headache

Someone please help... I've had violent, stabbing pains on the back side of my head all day (on and off for the past week). Have had these in the past (clean MRI) and was prescribed Indomethacin. I took it today at first sign but it did nothing. Can anyone suggest any other treatement? Has anyone tried a preventative other than Indomethacin for this type of pain? Thanks for your input.
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Avatar n tn
Get copies of your MRI and report.
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Avatar f tn
Hi,

What you describe seem to be 'ice pick headaches'.

These are - 'Transient and localised stabs of pain in the head that occur spontaneously in the absence of organic disease of underlying structures or of the cranial nerves."

Criteria for diagnosisng these are -

- Head pain occurring as a single stab or a series of stabs

- Exclusively or predominantly felt in the orbit, temple and parietal area.

- Stabs last for up to a few seconds and recur with irregular frequency ranging from one to many per day

- No other symptoms.

You should try some pain releif medications and see if it helps with your symptoms.

In those rare cases where it does need treatment, preventive treatment with indomethacin (Indocin) usually works.

You could read more about this at -
http://headaches.about.com/od/otherheadpain/a/ice_picks.htm

Let us know if you need any further information.

Regards.
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Avatar f tn
I used to have these kind of headaches, back in 2002/2003.  I have not had them for years.

My best advice is this - Find a Neurologist who SPECIALIZES in treating headaches.  Ask your General Practioner to help you find one.  In my case, my GP had been treating my headaches for about a year, when finally she decided it was "beyond her ability" to help me and sent me to this specialist.

I can not sing the mans praises enough.

From appointment number 1 he was thorough, caring and truly interested in helping me to find a cure.  He took a TOTAL and thorough history.  He told me that the best way to diagnose and treat headaches of any kind is to find the cause and you can't do that without knowing everything.

Mine were a combination of migraines and tension headaches.  I would go a week or more with more minor but steady headaches that didnt seem to abate (tension headache) and then suddenly it would spike with the ice pick feelings - they were all over my head.... not just the areas that one would expect with cluster headaches.

He tried several preventative medicines, but didn't randomly pick them, he reviewed my history and went with medicaitons that I had seen success with in the past - something in the same family of medicines....... Eventually it came down to this: My headaches were caused by a combination of asthma (lack of oxygen in the brain) and Stress.

He told me if they didn't get better I'd have to leave my job.

Ultimately, life circumstances forced me to leave my job (long story) and sure enough...... that year off work made my headaches gradually dissipate.

I cannot tell you how important it is that your care be in the RIGHT hands..... when dealing with the kind of pain you are experiencing, you will have no time for doctors who "dont get it" or cant help you.

By the way, I was given shots of stadol or some other medication about once a month, in my doctors office, so that I could rest off the horrible migraines, while they searched for my "cure."  My doctor arranged to fit me in for a shot, directly from the nurse whenever I called....... I didn't have to sit in waiting rooms and I didn't have to have an appt.  You should have a similar plan.

God Bless!
Amy
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