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Toddler complains of pain in back of head
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Toddler complains of pain in back of head

A couple of months ago my 34 month old was just sitting at the table coloring and she started crying out, as though she pinched a finger of such.  When I asked her what happened, she just kept crying.  So I asked "where does it hurt?"  her reply was "my scratch"  when I asked "where", she rubbed the lower back of her head.  It was a couple of weeks before it happened again, but since then the freequency increased.  Every time it happens its the same.  She is fine, playing or whatever, cries out in pain, reaches her right hand to the back of her head and says "my scratch".  After a few minutes, she is fine and goes back to playing.  We took her to a diagnostic clinic at Pittsburgh Childrens Hospital.  The neurologist examed her and found no problems.  She prescribed Periactin to try to see if she was just having headaches.  We also had an MRI last week, results were normal.  The Periactin seemed to lessen the fequency, but why would a child so young be having these types of headaches ?  She went for 2 1/2 wks without an episode, but out of the blue last week she came running to me crying and rubbing the back of her head.  I tried to kind of trick her after the MRI and I told her that her "scratch" was all better now.  She said "No, it's still there but it doesnt hurt right now".  Its frustrating because she is fine before the episodes and within 2-5 minutes after.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi there.

Symptoms coming from a child can be really perplexing, however, it is also very hard to discount the possibility that there can be indeed something wrong.  The negative MRI scans and the normal neurologic exam by the neurologist are all comforting and I believe that this may really be episodes of headaches.  Another possibility is muscle strain due to her usual activities such as playing.  Whatever the case, It is still best to have her checked by her doctor every now and then, and report to the doctor any changes in symptoms or any new symptoms.  

I hope that's the last occurrence, and that you and her neurologists can get to the bottom of this soon.  Regards and God bless.
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Lindsaymama,

My daughter is 3 years old and we noticed that exact same symptoms (back of the head pain) of your 34 month old as you mentioned in your post. It is causing us some concern We showed her to the Ped  who checked her and found no problems.
It happened 2 days in a row now in the evenings.. the pain is sudden and it goes away in 30 secs..very strange.

Have their been any improvement with your kid? Just curious.
Any information will be appreciated.

Mudundi Family.
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Avatar_n_tn
My daughter who is almost three recently started having the same thing happen to her.  I noticed that it seems to occur more when she's tired or hungry.  But most of the time she's fine.  Like your daughter it's very sudden and seems to stop as soon as it began.  Have you had any additional tests or information since your post?

Concerned Mommy
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there. My daughter, 2.5 years old, has been having this exact same pain now for at least 9 months. It comes and goes. I had thought there might be an association with sinuses since it often seems to coincide with a stuffy nose. It is really scary though. We have not had any tests done. My daughter also has swollen lymph-nodes in her neck which have been swollen since she was around 1 or so.

The pain is JUST as you described it. A sudden horrible pain which causes her to grab at the back of her head and cry for 1 or 2 minutes then it is gone.
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Avatar_n_tn
any of the mom's here found out what was happening to our kids?  my 3 year old has just started with the same thing and it is scaring me a lot. did anyone get any answers.  please if you read this, can you let me know.  please!
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Avatar_m_tn
this also happened like 15 minutes back to my 34 months toddler for the very first time, He complained about pain in the lower back of the head and he cried out loud dropping whatever he was playing with. 30 seconds later his pain went away and he has been fine since then. The symptons described by the rest of the folks are very similar.

Lindseysmama - if you have found anything more please post back more info. thanks.

concerned dad
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Avatar_m_tn
this also happened like 15 minutes back to my 34 months toddler for the very first time, He complained about pain in the lower back of the head and he cried out loud dropping whatever he was playing with. 30 seconds later his pain went away and he has been fine since then. The symptons described by the rest of the folks are very similar.

Lindseysmama - if you have found anything more please post back more info. thanks.

concerned dad
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Avatar_f_tn
My toddler has the same thing.  It doesn't seem to stop him from doing anything but he always grabs the back of his head and says "my head hurts" especially if he lays on his back.  before he could communicate that it hurt he used to say "bee's in there" and grab at the back of his head and it looked like he was swiping it away.  We are going for testing soon cuz our dr. refferred us to a neuroligist.  
Really hope we can get an answer cuz it makes us very nervous.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi. In majority of cases, headaches in children are often not serious. They can also develop migraines, chronic daily headaches or stress-related (tension) headaches like adults, although their symptoms may be different. In some cases, headaches in children can best managed by loving care, over-the-counter pain medications and other lifestyle and home measures. However, if headaches worsen, occurs at least once a month and feature persistent vomiting and vision changes, it might be best that you bring your child to her doctor for re-assessment. Hope this helps.
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1059090_tn?1254470401
hi all i was wondering weather any of you have had neck MRIs done???

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Avatar_f_tn
Hi.. My 3 year old son has also been having a pain in the back of his head. 3 times this week and has started screaming and it lasts for about 30 seconds then he is fine. I was curious to see if anyone else has had these issues with their child. Shocked to see how common it is for his age.. Has anyone found any issues with testing?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi there, I have similar simptoms. My 22 months old girl complained about pain on the back of her head again today. Every time she say :' Mumy , auch' and points in one spot on her head. About 30 seconds later she is playing again. I didn't pay much attention at start, and didn't go to the specialist yet. She is a very active baby, I thought it's just tiredness. But  it's happening often now,3-4 times a week. It's been a break for a 1 1/2 week, and it's back again.
She also prefers sleep on her tummy.
Please if anyone have similar simptoms, any results or any information on this matter, write me      
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1656393_tn?1302149773
Hi,
My son recently started complaining of 'headaches' every day for the last few weeks.  He is 4yrs old but what concerns me more is that I had a chiari malformation and had similar pains in my head/neck area.  Not to assume right away this is the case with all of these posts but it is often missed on MRI's.  It took four MRI's before diagnosing my malformation and I've had to have three brain surgeries since (over the course of nine years).  What comforts me to think this may not be the case is that often children have more severe symptoms such as hydrocephalus or multiple sclerosis; not always, but often.  Just something else to ask about if you are still seeking answers, I know this is an old post.  And if you do seek an opinion for this, make sure you go to a neurosurgeon as many neurologists I've dealt with have said there was nothing wrong and wanted to treat me with medication when I had severe problems going on.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi All!  My 8 year old starting having the same symptoms last April and is still suffering. At least one time a month she screams out in pain and describes a pop like sensation in the back of her head. She says it stings and is cold. She turns pale white and then is fine in about 1 minute. She also had some sensations of fluid "running over her brain " as she described it. She recently had an MRI/MRA scan that ruled out any issues. But this occurs at least 1 to 2 times a month. It occurred 7 times one afternoon. I am very frustrated bc it seems so very unusual and all docs and nurses just say it is a headache. I know people with migraines and I have headaches and none revolve around a pop in the head and fluid rushing around. Please let me know if anyone finds out any info. I am on a quest! Thanks in advance.
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Avatar_f_tn
We have been dealing with this EXACT same thing. Has your daughter grown out of it by now? I know this is an old post. We have also seen many different doctors, had MRI and bone scans. All come back completely normal. It is so unnerving to see your child in so much pain for no apparent reason. I have been wondering if it could be a pinched nerve or a slipped disc at the base of her neck? Anyone else ever figure out what was going on with their children??
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi there. My son, 4 years old, has been having this exact same pain now for at least 6 months. It comes and goes. It often seems to coincide with a stuffy nose. It is really scary though. We have not had any tests done. My son also has swollen lymph-nodes in his neck which have been swollen.

The pain is JUST as you described it. A sudden horrible pain which causes him to grab at the back of her head and cry for 1 or 2 minutes then it is gone.
Please let me know if anyone finds out any info.! Thanks in advance.  
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Avatar_m_tn
My 22 month old boy just barely having the same symptoms.  I didn't notice it yet, but my wife told me he grabbed the lower back of his head/neck with both hands and said it hurt yesterday.... Anyone find anything out yet?
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Avatar_m_tn
my 21 month old girl does the same thing. The last 2 days she will grab her head (on the right side behind her ear) and cry a little. Then it's gone as quickly as it came. I notice it hurts when she's on her back, she will cry when I put her down in her crib or on the changing table and grab her head. She also has a stuffy nose the last few days. These are the symptoms that stick out the most that seem other people have noticed too...going to doc tomorrow.
I suffer from headaches and have since I was a kid. I also occassionally get very sharp pains in my temple that stop me in my tracks but only last for a few seconds. Wonder if it's hereditary?
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Avatar_m_tn
UPDATE- the doctor did an eye test with her flashlight and noticed that my toddler could not look up without moving her whole body and leaning. Normally you just tilt your head back to see something thats in the sky but this movement was painful for my baby. Doctor thinks it's actually a neck strain that kids this age can't quite pinpoint so they grab their heads. My toddler was rough housing a couple days prior so it seemed valid. After some morning and evening neck massages it seemed to fade after a week.  Hope this helps!
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm a 40 year old male... Just did a search for some headaches I've been having and ran across this thread.

I actually had this exact thing when I was a kid... I'd say maybe between 3 and 5.  I might have had one once a week or so.  Now that I'm older but can still remember what they felt like, I can explain it more.  For me, they were always on the left side right behind the below my left ear.  The pain came on suddenly and was an intense, sharp burning sensation.  I can remember the pain making me immediately hold my head still (not turn left or right or up or down with my head) and in 5 - 15 seconds, it would be completely gone.  But during the pain, it HURT (at least as a 5 year old).  

With more experience, its kind of like when you pull a muscle... that burning feel... with kids running around and rough housing or just moving in short and quick motions like kids do... maybe its just the muscles that move the head up and down getting quickly pulled on?  

I was never treated for it... and eventually they just stopped happening.  My dad used to call them 'growing pains' which was probably more for me and my mom who used to worry.  But in the end, never had any issues after that.  

Hope this helps!  I don't come here on this site often... but if you want to contact me for any questions of what it felt like or anything, I'm at ilend1-***@****.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi all. My 3 year old boy started having this exact thing this week. He also describes it as his "scratch". It comes suddenly with no warning, he cries, grabs his head on the left side at the back  behind and below the ear. A few seconds later it just vanishes and he is completely fine. I am so relieved to find this thread and note that no one has had anything awful come of it!
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Avatar_m_tn
Any updates?
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello, I wanted to share our story with all of you to give you some peace of mind. I know what it is like to worry about your toddler who is having these alarming head pains. After a Fall in the Spring of 2013, my 2.5 year old son hit his head on our tile. He was fine almost immediately after. No signs of concussion. A few weeks later these sharp one sided head pains started developing on the back left side of his head. They would last 5-10 seconds. He would stop whatever he was doing grab his head , cry out in pain and tears and then it was over and he was fine. The episodes started decreasing over time. I was still concerned so his pediatrician sent us to a pediatric nuerologist who was unsure what they were as well. We then went to Mayo Clinic. The doctor at Mayo looked at the MRI and examined our son and without hesitation said they were Post Traumatic Headaches and should go away with time. He felt we were on the tail end of them. I just wanted to share what we found. I hope everything works out for all of you.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi,

My daughter is 5 year old and she started complainting about headaches early August.  In her case the pain was in three spots back of her head, neck and stomach.  This started right after her MMR vaccine. We went to every door and with no answers.  The MRI of her neck did show somewhat swollen lymph nodes but Dr's did not consider is anything unusual.  Finally we tried homepathy for taking the bad effects of MMR vaccine which did take care of the problem.  She still has a very soft pain at the back of her head. But this is not something which bother hers to live her normal childhood fun.  We r still looking for answers to take care of that.  Hope this helps.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi, my soon to be 5 year old started complaining about a similar pain a little over 2 weeks ago, the week he was down with cough and cold. Wen it occurs, it happens anywhere around his head or even above his eyes and lasts may be up to 2 seconds only, unlike some cases discussed here where it happens for 30 secs. It's a acute pain that lasts for just a couple of seconds. He doesnt cry but does scream for a second and gets back to playing. For the last 15 days, he has been complaining of this ache for about 5-6 times a day. There is no change in his behavior. He is very playful and alert like usual and has shown no physical or mental changes. My wife is super worried now that his cough and cold is over with. The doctor who had seen him 10 days ago had given him some antibiotics for the cold and had said that the frequency should come down if it's related to the cold he had. It's 10 days now and the frequency has ot changed so my wife has taken him to the ER just to be assured.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello all,

I am a mother of three and I have gotten this since I was little. We call them fires. I am now 35 and randomly get them still. My youngst gets them all the time too. It's like a nerve beening pinch when we turn our head. It has not affected me at all and I am a healthy adult. How we deal with them is, when they happen stay still is does make them go away a bit faster, but mostly just let it happen. (You really can't do anything when it happens). My daughter cries but at least I know what's happening. Unfortunately I really have no answer how to fix it, or why it happens. Just happens occasionally and no real pattern.  

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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, my daughter has had 4 episodes now of the same pain.  Thank you for your description.  She is 5 and has only started having these in the last month or so.  She explains that the sharp stabbing pain behind the ear happens after she turned her head really fast.  I know I've had "zingers" before when I've turned my head the wrong way and I feel like I want to cry.  
Otherwise, she is healthy.  Thanks and we will keep watching it but you've eased my mind.
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Avatar_f_tn
My. 33 month old also does this . This time it's happened twice this week and she does have swollen nodes in back of neck and snotty nose but I'm not sure if the other times when it happened she had this or not? Curious to know if all of these children having these symptoms r up to date w vaccines wondering about side effects?!??
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Avatar_f_tn
I too think this is a vaccine side effect what homeopathic treatment did u do? I'm desperate my email is *****************@ yahoo.com I'm going to go get cervical MRI tomorrow to make sure ok plus another of her brain to r/ o chiari malformation thanks everyone for posting please post if anyone had gotten answers
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