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Causes for tingling and popping sensations in the head? Anxiety?

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Neurologist, Surgical
Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 146 Questions
I have been suffering with tingling sensations around the top of my head for around 6 months. I have been to my own doctor who says they are nothing to worry about. The tingling generally starts off as a light tingling sensation like static across the top of my head and sometimes down the middle front (top of forehead) it gets worse as the day progresses worse in the evening when the sensations are more like popping & churning. It even feels like the churning moves when I move my head.

My doctor has said it is related to anxiety but it occurs even when I am relaxed or engaged in other activities. The sensations are very troubling and I spend my evenings worried about the tingling and popping over the top of my head.
Posted Sun, 6 May 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Praveen K Nath 11 hours later


Thanks for the query.

I have gone through your summary in detail. Tingling sensation in the head / scalp may be due to many conditions such as:
1. Scalp muscle spasm probably due to underlying anxiety
2. Cervical muscle spasm due to cervical spondylosis
3. Middle/ inner ear problems
4. Any intracranial lesion (which is very unlikely)

My suggestions to you would be:

1. You can try some medications like Amitriptyline and chlordiazepoxide which might relieve your off your symptoms. Your treating physician / neurologist can prescribe them to you.
2. Get MRI Brain & MRI Cervical Spine (if it hasn’t been done yet) if the symptoms are not controlled well with the medications.
3. In addition, relaxation techniques such as physical exercise, yoga, transcendental meditation along with ayurvedic /aromatic head massage regularly might benefit you.
4. Complete ENT check up is entailed if MRI scans are normal.

Hope this helps you. Should you have any additional concerns, feel free to post your concerns, I will be able to assist you.

Wishing you a speedy recovery

Dr. Praveen K Nath XXXXXXX consultant neurosurgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Causes for tingling and popping sensations in the head? Anxiety? 1 hour later

Given that my doctor is unlikely to pursue the MRI scan due to costs and his belief that the cause is anxiety likely, do you think that would be the most like cause, and if so, are the muscle spasms XXXXXXX or just uncomfortable.

I have had blood tests and these are fine, so suggesting diabetes is not an option, my blood pressure is average. My other concern was MS but I do not have any other symptoms to suggest this.

Answered by Dr. Praveen K Nath 10 hours later

Thank you for the follow-up.

MRI BRAIN & MRI CERVICAL SPINE may be done especially to rule out any organic cause of to symptoms, though it's possibility is highly unlikely.

Muscle spasms are not XXXXXXX but these are definitely uncomfortable.

MS is highly unlikely to be its cause .

Hope this clarifies your doubts. Please do accept my answer if you have no further concerns.

Wishing you good health.

Dr. Praveen K Nath. XXXXXXX Consultant Neurosurgeon.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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