Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties

131 Doctors Online
Doctor Image
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

I will be looking into your question and guiding you through the process. Please write your question below.

What cause throbbing pain on head?

Answered by
Dr. Dariush Saghafi


Practicing since :1988

Answered : 1721 Questions

Posted on Mon, 1 Sep 2014 in Back Pain
Question: sure: occasionally (1-2 times yr) I get a throbbing psin on the back left side of my head. It diminishes after a take an aspirin or sit or put pressure on the pain. I thought I was getting a trike. I do not have high blood pressure.
Answered by Dr. Dariush Saghafi 46 minutes later
Brief Answer:
A trike? Pray tell...what's a TRIKE?

Detailed Answer:
Good afternoon sir. My name is Dr. Saghafi. I'm a neurologist from XXXXXXX OH and Director of the Headache Clinic at the XXXXXXX VA Medical Center who was born in the Great State of New XXXXXXX hello from Out West. I think this one's in my wheelhouse so let's get to it.

I'll make a deal.....I'll tell you what I know about the pain in the back of your head if you'll tell me what a TRIKE is..fair?

Your symptom of a throbbing left sided pain in the back of the head very simply put is more likely than not a migraine type of headache without aura. It could also be something referred to as a Bickerstaff headache. Bickerstaff is more or less an antiquated term but is generally associated with some other symptoms other than just throbbing in the back of the head and most people with Bickerstaff types of headaches complain of them much more frequently than 1-2x/year.

So, honestly, I think you've got a garden variety of migraine headaches. I'll bet you've had these things for a while given your age, am I correct? If that's not true and these are only in the past couple of years and you were PERFECTLY AND COMPLETELY FREE from headaches prior to a few years ago AND you never had bad headaches earlier in life (as a teenager, adolescent, or young adult) which then, disappeared a number of years later.....THEN, I would get a doc to write me an order to get a CT or MRI of the brain because something may be architecturally wrong inside the head.

But something tells me that's probably not the case. I can tell you that even if you did have high blood pressure this would not have anything to do with that sort of problem despite the fact that lots of people (and doctors) think that it does. High blood pressure will only give you a throbbing miserable headache if it goes up RAPIDLY AND UNEXPECTEDLY. If it's a chronic condition then, headaches have nothing to do with them.

The fact that you've found the treatment for them as being simple aspirin, applying pressure, or just relaxing in a sitting position means that I don't need to recite the litany of new fangled drugs which you really don't want to take due to their side effects AND COST.

So that's it in a nutshell....simple, straight forward, hopefully it all makes sense to you.

Diagnosis: Intermittent (yearly) migraine type of headache without aura which responds well to simple analgesic measures.

If these are BRAND NEW to you and are getting worse over the past couple of years or less then, I would get an imaging study of the brain but if this is a chronic thing that you've had going for quite some time without much change then, there's really no need to suck in extra radiation.....I'm sure there's plenty of it around anyways with all the gadgets and nonsense we have with phones, computers, ipods, etc....hey, truth be told...I love the at least 3 phones and an ipad on my everywhere I go! And I do mean EVERYWHERE I go!! HA!

If this information has been useful to you would you do me the favor of sending back some written feedback with a STAR RATING? The higher ups like to see that we're answering the questions you ask.

Secondly, if there are no other comments or questions would you mind CLOSING THE QUERY on your end. Again, it's a way the network folks know that I addressed your concerns satisfactorily so they can file this case for future reference or even teaching purposes.

I wish you the best.

This case required 22 minutes of physician specific time to review, research, and document for final draft compilation and envoy.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Dariush Saghafi 59 minutes later
Trike: either a tricycle or trichloroethylen

In my original question I meant stroke not trike
Answered by Dr. Dariush Saghafi 26 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Understood...thanks for the follow up on trike

Detailed Answer:
Now, that makes sense! You thought you were having a stroke....gotcha.....

Tricycle I knew but it didn't make sense to say you were having a "trike" in the, TCeth...maybe..although I don't think you're drinking antifreeze too much these days are you? But that could probably give you one whale of a headache as well, couldn't it?? HAHA!

Here's some food for thought though...on the issue of stroke and headaches. About 15% of patients who suffer stroke get awful headaches before or at the time of the stroke. However, most of those people also get terrible nausea/vomiting as well and the headaches are usually not amenable to simple aspirin, sitting up, or squeezing the head.

But I can understand in your case if you generally don't get these things that when you do and it's severe you could think something like stroke. If these are chronic and stereotypical (i.e. same characteristics all the time) then, just keep that mind the next time it comes on.....but as I said before, if they are changing or getting decidedly worse for some reason as time goes on then, if I were your neurologist I certainly would take a look see just to satisfy my own curiosity though I'm sure everything will be normal given how easily you treat them and they respond.

Would greatly appreciate your feedback if you do remember with the rating...keeps the questions coming to end of the table you understand....LOL!

Cheers and Be Well!

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Dariush Saghafi 19 minutes later
My gas station did not have my favorite flavor antifreeze so scotch was the alternative. Thanks for you input. it was valuable and comforting.
Answered by Dr. Dariush Saghafi 28 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Nice meeting you

Detailed Answer:
Please don't hesitate on chasing me down for any additional questions you may have on these inconvenient headaches. and keep remembering that that lime green colored XXXXXXX they put in antifreeze is worse than Mountain Dew.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions ,   ,  

Recent questions on  Migraine

doctor1 MD

Hi! So recently I ve been having some strange symptoms. Sometimes parts of my body will start tingling & go numb. & at other times I ll experience sharp jabbing pains in my ribs which cause me to not be able to breathe or walk for a few seconds. I get extreme migraines & my most scary symptom is when at night always around 3 AM - 7AM I ll wake up, lounge around for an hour or so, just lay in my bed when suddenly this overwhelming ringing fills my ears so I can t hear & I lose all inability to move. Could you tell me what s happening to me?

doctor1 MD

my grandson is 4 and has cortical dysplasia. He has been off his med s phenabarbitol for 2 years now. He was playing around fine this morning and all of a sudden he started squinting his eyes and got on my shoulder and within 5 mins he threw up and is now sleeping. This has happened twice before and lasted 2 days of staying in a dark room and having to go to the ER from dehydration from not being able to keep anything down. It s like a 2 to 3 month period between episodes. I was just wondering if it s headaches doing this? Can cortical dysp. cause migraine headaches? Each time we go to hospital they don t tell us what causes this. Please help !

doctor1 MD

A 54-year-old Type-A male business executive had been experiencing migrainelike headaches. One afternoon he also experienced light-headedness, slurred speech and mildly impaired motor function on his right side. One of his colleagues rushed him to the emergency room of a nearby hospital where blood pressure, blood gases, electrolytes, and an ECG were run. His blood pressure was 195/100 mm Hg, which he said was typical of what he had experienced during the past two years. Blood gases and electrolytes were normal. The ECG showed no arrhythmias but did demonstrate a left axis deviation. The gentleman was admitted to the hospital and a cerebral angiogram was performed which showed left cerebral hemorrhaging. 1. What is the diagnosis of this individual s disorder?2. What are the major contributing factors to this disorder?3. What could have been done to prevent this problem?4. What are the early warning symptoms prior to the complication?5. Why did the ECG show a left axis deviation?6. Why was there impaired motor function on the right side from cerebral hemorrhaging on the left side?

doctor1 MD

I had an MRI which showed stable microvascular ischemia white matter changes without demylinization. I am a 34 year old, 284 lb woman with a hx of migraines with aura. The MRI was done because the aura prior to a migraine changed from the electrical current type to seeing tracers. For the past few months I have had chronic headaches, not just the hormonal migraines I typically see. I take Fioricet for my headaches because nothing else has seemed to work. I do not have high blood pressure or cholesterol issues despite being morbidly obese. I do not have pre-diabetes or other blood sugar issues. My mother has a hx of TIA s, diagnosed when she was 40. I am still waiting for a neuro appt because the neurologist wants to review all of my medical files before setting the appointment. 1. How does the radiologist know the changes are stable when I have never had these show up on an MRI before? 2. Could this be migraine related as opposed to TIA s? 3. What can I do to prevent the changes from becoming chronic?

doctor1 MD

Doctor, I have experienced some strangeness for two days now. I have had 2 TIA's in the past with slurred speech and numbness on the left side of my body. I awoke this AM with a numb arm on my right side. I have a headache now. I have symptoms of...

doctor1 MD

Recent visit 12-21 for headaches that I have for weeks they come and go for months at a time .they start in front and go around my head ,some nausea and ear pain or hot sensation around ears and floaters that make it hard to read or write .and...

doctor1 MD

We are wondering if my husband may have had a small stroke. Taken to the er with confusion loss of balance extremely high BP and migraine type headache. His BP meds have been adjusted but now his behavior has shifted. Very aggressive argumentative...