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Suffering from left side scalp dull pain. CT, MRI all normal. Is scalp pain related to tight muscles ?

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Since Nov 2011 I have been suffering from left sided scalp pain, burning, throbbing, dull etc. This apparently is being caused by tight muscles in neck and shoulder. I've received physio and am currently having sports massasge. I have had a CT and MRI of head and all appears normal (thank goodness). I got very anxious when I first had the crawling pain in my scalp, which in turn exacerbated the tension in my shoulders. My question is, is the scalp pain really just caused by tight muscles? I have spots on the scalp round the ear and upwards that are very tender when touched by the physio and also spots on shoulder and collar bone that are super tender. I have been prescribed 10/20mg of amitrypline for ease the pain - I also wondered how long this takes to take effect. I find usual painkilers to not take the edge off. It is not a debilatating pain, just a pain that's there every day. I wonder how long will it take to go? It does make me anxious as I worry it's something worse. My GP is loosing interest in me as he thinks it is just caused my muscles, which I hope it is, but it's hard to live with it every day
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Mahesh Koregol 1 hour later

Thanks for your query.

You are describing that there are spots on the scalp around the ear and upward which is also spreading to shoulders and collar bone. These symptoms you described are not caused by tight muscles alone and physiotherapy may not be of great help.

These lesions most probably seem to be some form of skin infection. The area like scalp generally does not get muscle pain as it has a very thin and stretched layer of muscle. These painful and tender lesions are superficial skin lesions of scalp spreading to shoulder and clavicle. Hence I suggest you please consider a dermatologist (skin specialist) who can examine the type of spots on skin you have and prescribe appropriate ointment and medicines.

I think your treatment was being done considered in terms of muscle pain and being given pain killers and other medicines that may not be required. It should have actually been treated for skin diseases. Hence please visit a skin specialist and get the lesions examined.

I hope I answered your query. I will be available for any more queries you have.

Dr.Mahesh Koregol
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Suffering from left side scalp dull pain. CT, MRI all normal. Is scalp pain related to tight muscles ? 13 minutes later
Sorry I meant spots of tenderness meaning areas of tenderness - I have no lesions no, it is a tight feeling in my scalp in a semi circle round the left ear, sometimes on top of the head. I can feel sore areas on the scalp when pressing on my neck and along my shoulders.
Answered by Dr. Mahesh Koregol 17 minutes later

Thanks for writing back.

I am sorry. Let me try today to address your query

The tenderness that you have may be due to trigger points - hyperirritable spots on skeletal muscles. Amitriptyline and other antidepressant drugs are useful here.

Continue them as suggested. In addition, you may also try acupressure or other osteopathic medicine manipulation techniques might also help you. It might also be useful to get MRI of the spine. Cervical spine pathology can also be contributing to your symptoms.

A neurologist after careful examination and tests will help us differentiating between the two. Hence I suggest you to consult a neurologist if you haven't seen one yet.

I hope I answered your query. Let me know if you have any more concerns.
If all your queries are addressed, please close this discussion.

Wish you good health and speedy recovery.

Dr.Mahesh Koregol
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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