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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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I have had a stabbing pain in the left side

Answered by
Dr. Noble Zachariah

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1974

Answered : 2276 Questions

Posted on Fri, 8 Feb 2019 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: I have had a stabbing pain in the left side of my head near the back for about three days. It only lasts a fraction of a second but come at intervals of between 3 seconds and 2 or 3 minute intervals. My head is slightly sore to the touch in that area.
Answered by Dr. Noble Zachariah 33 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Pinching of nerve a possibility.

Detailed Answer:

Welcome and thanks for your query.
Your pain is like a neuritic pain which occurs with the pinching of nerves. The description of the site is suggestive of pinching of the upper cervical nerves. Have you had any imaging studies like Xray or MRI. Also if you don't get much sun exposure, a blood vitamin D level may be helpful. A low vitamin D can impair bone health and cause increased wear and year.
If your doctor would prescribe Neurontin 300 mg to be taken at bedtime, it may help regarding the pain.
Do get back to me with your input.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
Follow up: Dr. Noble Zachariah 1 hour later
Thank you for your input. I walk five miles in the fresh air every morning so don't think Vitamin D deficiency a problem. I have emailed the nurse practitioner at my ENT to see if further testing might be indicated. When I saw her yesterday she suggested Prednisone which I am very hesitant to take since the one time I did (for ear infection) it caused extreme hyperactivity/sensitivity/sleeplessness. This is with the very minimal dose (not Medrol dose pack)
My gut feeling is that it might be in some way connected to a sinus issue. This morning I used some Afrin nasal spray and although it may be a coincidence the frequency of the pain has lessened to 15-20 minutes between occurrences. What are your thoughts on this? Also what would be the first diagnostic test you would suggest? Thank you
Follow up: Dr. Noble Zachariah 2 hours later
Please see above - thank you!
Answered by Dr. Noble Zachariah 2 days later
Brief Answer:
Discussion continues.

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for the information.
Sorry for the delay in replying as I was traveling.
If you were feeling better after the nasal spray and the effect continues, the pain may be related to the nasal congestion and possible sinus infection. An X-ray of the sinuses and a white blood cell count would be helpful to know if there is an infection.
The pain at the back of the head is an unusual site for a sinus pain. The pain from pinching on the nerve as it emerges from the spine is a common cause of such a pain . The X-ray of the cervical spine often shows features suggestive of cervical spondylosis and muscle spasm. MRI of the cervical spine would be more informative.
If steroids produce adverse reaction, they are better avoided. They being immunosuppressive , can flare up infections also.
Were you able to try the Gabapentin ( Neurontin) I had suggested?.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D

The User accepted the expert's answer

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