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Head pain, neck pain. What could it be? No fever.

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1992
Answered : 47 Questions
Little pain on left side of head. It's been happening for a while now. It's sometimes there or more to the top. When that happens my neck starts hurting. It's not a headache it's more of a small pain that's in that spot. It doesn't last long. I feel it almost everyday. It's been 3 weeks already. I am stressed. I do use the computer and my phone a lot. The pain goes away with excederin. I am just wondering what it could be??? A tumor? I'm not nauseas or anything. No fever. No headaches only migraines sometimes. (rarely) I don't sleep well because I have two toddlers that keep me up. When I don't sleep well I feel it more. I feel it in the morning. To start.
Posted Thu, 12 Apr 2012 in Headache and Migraines
Answered by Dr. James M. Schwartz 1 hour later
Hello ,

I am happy to help with your question.

The chances of it being a tumor are very small, as tumors do not usually manifest with the symptoms you describe.

Your symptoms are most consistent with what we call tension-type headache. Your symptoms are a little different than normal, in that you do not experience a typical headache. But, if this is what is going on, your symptoms could be the result of similar process, which is tightness of the scalp muscles. This would fit with your neck pain, as the scalp muscles communicate with the neck muscles.

Not being able to examine you, this is of course an educated guess and not a diagnosis. Only a face to face examination with a qualified clinician can result in an accurate diagnosis.

I hope this helps. Please feel free to follow up, if needed.

Dr. Schwartz
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Head pain, neck pain. What could it be? No fever. 1 hour later
Sometimes I feel it all around. The dr told me the same thing tension headache. I haven't had an MRI or anything. The bright light irritates me alot. It's hard to focus on things. What are symptoms of tumor? Should I get an MRI? How long does this last?
Answered by Dr. James M. Schwartz 17 minutes later
Hello again,

Your additional description is even more consistent with tension-type headache and less consistent with a tumor. That should reassure you. You do not need an MRI. Tumors present with either excruciating constant headache, or unmistakable neurologic symptoms, like dropping things.

The treatment for tension type headache is a combination of relaxation techniques and headache relieving medications. Your doctor will be able to prescribe specific approaches in both areas.

Best regards,

Dr. Schwartz
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Head pain, neck pain. What could it be? No fever. 20 minutes later
Ok. All the dr gave me was muscle relaxers. She said if it gets worse to come back. Possibly for MRI. She said to take Motrin or excederin. Does tension headache make it hard for you to focus?
Answered by Dr. James M. Schwartz 13 minutes later
Hello again,

Yes, it is quite possible that a tension headache can make it hard to focus. Also, the stress (tension) that often contributes to the headache can make it hard to focus, independent of the headache itself.

I wish you good health. If you are pleased with my answers, please click accept.

Best regards,
Dr. Schwartz
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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