Avatar universal

Head pain on right side

Hello, I'm a 25 year old male and have been having some strange headaches. About  a week or so ago, while at work, I was just going about my business as usual, when all of a sudden I got an extremely sharp stabbing pain on the LEFT side of my head. The pain was very severe, stopped me right in my tracks, but only lasted for maybe half a second. I got three or four more of these throughout the day. Ever since then, I've been having similar pains on the RIGHT side of my head, but only when I bend over and stand back up. It's been over a week and is starting to concern me. I have hypertension and a family history of Aneurysms (father died at age 34 from an aneurysm). I've never had an injury to the head or neck and no history of migraines. Any ideas? Thank you ;)
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768044 tn?1294223436
This sounds exactly like an "icepick" headache. They are not usually dangerous or serious, and unfortunately you can't actually take anything for them since they come out of the blue and then go away on their own within seconds.

BUT! Since you have a family history of medical concerns, and since this is a new type of headaches, you should go see your family doctor to get this checked out. Also, if you experience any pain that is a type of pain you have never felt before and is what you would describe "the worst pain ever", then you should go to the hospital right away, especially with a family history of aneurysms.

Although, what you are describing sounds exactly like the type of icepick headaches that I get. What I do to avoid them is I avoid bending over, and when I need to bend down or pick something up... I do it the way they tell you that you're supposed to lift properly for your back anyway... with your knees, not by bending your back. And, I don't turn my head sharply to the side, only slowly. If I am getting lots of icepick headaches (the seem to come and go... some months I will get them more than others), then it means that I might not drive as much for a week, to avoid having to shoulder check... and I will also avoid other situations where I will be putting myself in dangerous situations where I could get a headache due to what I am doing and have it interfere with what I am doing.

My doctor says that some people just get icepick headaches. But, he says that there are two likely reasons that I am getting them... it might be because of a medication that I am taking, as one of the side-effects are icepick headaches, and it might because of something I have called Chiari Malformation (which is a herniation of the cerebellum... it's actually rather common as far as malformations go).

So, do talk to your doctor about this. And, if your doctor agrees that these are icepick headaches, inquire if something might be causing them (such as medication or something physical) and maybe you can be able to get rid of them or reduce them by identifying what is causing them. And, if nothing is causing them, then you can try to avoid them by avoiding actions that trigger them, such as bending over.

Hope that helps!
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Avatar universal
There is a few possibilities based on your symptoms which need to be looked into like neuralgias, ice pick headaches, ice cream headaches, sinusitis and allergies.
It is also important to know if your BP is adequately controlled and if you have any other symptoms.
This requires further evaluation by your GP as soon as possible. Please get it done at your earliest.

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Avatar universal
Awesome, thank you both very much. I've already learned to adjust and bend at the knees when I need to. And the pain seems to be slowly going away day by day. I'll be seeing my doctor next month and will let him know. Also, one thing I forgot to mention is that I do have a tooth that is basically broken in half...no dental insurance so haven't been to the dentist for it yet, wonder if that could have anything to do with it?
Thanks again guys!
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768044 tn?1294223436
Tooth pain can cause headaches. The nerves in your teeth are very sensitive and can refer pain all over your head! You should get your doctor to look at your tooth when you go to see him next month as well to make sure that a nerve isn't being exposed. You probably want to eventually go to the dentist even if you don't have dental insurance... there are usually some dentists in every city that offer affordable rates for students, seniors and others who can't pay... you might want to phone around. Also, do you live in American? In Canada, for people who don't have dental insurance... you can get dental stuff done at the hospital if it is really serious. Maybe ask your doctor about this (even if you do live in American, it might be the same)? Personally I'd prefer paying out of pocket than getting it done at the hospital... but, if that's what is causing your headaches and there is no other way to get it done because of money reasons, you might want to consider having your doctor refer you to the hospital to get your tooth dealt with! But... only if your doctor thinks that is the reason... because dental work done at the hospital really is a whole lot less fun than dental work done at the dentist... I just don't want you to do it on my suggestion and then hate me for it... only do it on your doctors suggestion!

Also, did you can buy private dental insurance if you don't have a plan through your work or school? Buy it from the same major insurance companies that are offer group plans through employment and educational institutions. It is a total rip off... but in your situation, it might not hurt to buy it for a year if you are going to need to get stuff done anyway. I don't know if you have to fill out a thing saying that you don't have any previous problems like you do with some health insurance plans... but, anyway, it might be something to look into, just in case you don't have to sign something like that. If it turns out to be a huge rip off, then you'll probably want to go out of pocket in the end.
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449909 tn?1233409897
1. Headache, first left side, then right side now. Only on bending or stand back up. A cervicogenic headache may have to be ruled out. (Headache caused by problems in the spine- vertebral column- in neck)

2. Since you have a family h/o aneurysms that may have to be ruled out; your hypertension also may contribute here.

And of course, Chiari and Ice-pick headaches...

You have to meet a neuro.

Best rgds,

Dr.Thomas Antony
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