I have been experiencing shooting pains which start always just to the right of my spine at my neck, then move up the right back of my head, then across the top right side of my head. The "travel" portion of the pain lasts only 2-3 seconds, and depending on the severity - there is a dull ache on that right upper side of my head that may last up to 30 seconds - perhaps a minute, if the shooting pain happened to be more intense. This has been happening off and on for about 2 years. Frequency varies greatly - I may not have any episodes for a month or 2 - then, like these last couple of days, I will have it happen 10-15 times a day.....but sometimes it would be a few times in one day - that may happen for a few days and then nothing more. Sometimes the pain is enough to stop me from what I'm doing. I don't get any headaches with it - once the pain subsides in the minute or so - there are no other effects. I rarely get any type of headache - maybe a mild one once a year or so. I have never had a migraine type of headache. I asked about this with 2 internal med. Drs. - one said it is some sort of nerve spasm - and the other said it is an "ice pick headache". I looked up ice pick headache and as far as I could tell - my symptoms don't match it. I can't tell if it is nerves, or vascular - I would be more concerned if it is vascular. Any ideas what this is? Symptoms of what? I'm concerned that the frequency of whatever this is, is weakening that area...is that possible? I should note that there has been incidences of stroke (grandmother) and brain tumor in my family (meningeoma and a benign tumor - one parent and other grandparent). I am 48 years old - have low level rheumatoid arthritis which started in 1979 (it was extremely inflamed for 2 years - now I don't even need to be on medication - It never seemed to effect my neck too much)...otherwise I am healthy. Thank you for your thoughts on this and this service.
Sorry that your having these headaches. As with most headaches, one needs to rule out the other possibilities. Assuming that everything is normal, lab work, MRI, etc. You do not mention any other symptoms like tearing, pain just surrounding the orbit or temporal area, nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, or eyelid edema associated with the headache (making SUNCT or paroxysmal hemicrania unlikely). I think you might have idiopathic stabbing headache (actually a classification of the international headache society). These types of headaches effect females more than males, they are stabbing in quality, can be severe, affect any part of the head, last only a few seconds, and vary from none to many a day. However, it is possible that your rheumatoid arthritis might be playing in this also. Just a thought. It is difficult to tell you for sure over the internet.
Dear CCF Neuro MD...by your description, my symptoms very well could be the idiopathic stabbing headache. You mentioned MRI....would it be advisable to request that I have an MRI, given my symptoms? And then if that is normal, i guess by the process of elimination - one could then assume it is the stabbing headache. Or is requesting an MRI not really necessary?
I just had a baby 6wks ago I had to get a epidural because she weighed 9lbs. About three weeks ago I started to get sharp back pains that start at my lower back shoots up to my neck and con'ts to my head. I then cant function because of how sharp the pain is and it causes me to have bad headaches as well. I asked women who have had epidurals before and they never had this pain. A few said it may be a pinched nerve but I looked it up n it dont sound like the pain im having. Do you have any idea as to what it might be?
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