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What causes random shooting pain in head?

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Posted on Tue, 26 May 2015
Question: Random shooting pains in head

doctor
Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (27 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
More information is needed.

Detailed Answer:
I read your query and I am sorry about the pain you are experiencing.

I would very much like to help you to understand the nature of the pain and what to to but in order to be best equipped to do so I am afraid some more info might be necessary such as:

- location of the headaches
- since when are the headaches present, any headache history in the past (even of a different type)
- duration (how many seconds, minutes, hours)
- frequency (approxiamtely how many times a hour/day/week)
- accompanying symptoms like lacrimation, eye redness, stuffed nose etc
- triggering or exacerbating (eating, stress, lack of sleep etc)
- other accompanying conditions you might have.

If I were to judge from only what you say until now, of short lasting shooting pain, changing location, the most probable diagnosis would be primary stabbing headache or ice pick headache as it's called. It's a primary headache, meaning no cause can be identified, common in those who have suffered from migraine. Treatment is tricky, because since they are short any treatment would take effect when they are already gone. If frequent and persistent preventive treatment with indomethacine can be considered.

I remain at your disposal for further questions, possibly with the info I mentioned.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Olsi Taka (46 minutes later)
Location is top of the head on the right side but close to center No headache issues in the past just started 12 hours ago It lasts for like 3 seconds maybe 2 to 3x an hour I did have eye redness yesterday Did eat a lot more than usual was away this week
doctor
Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (20 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Read below.

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for bringing some more info!

Judging from that description the hypothesis of primary stabbing headache which I mentioned remains.
If the location is the same it could also be occipital neuralgia, irritation of the occipital nerves, coming out of the upper part of your neck and innervating the back and top of your head.
Another possibility is a variant of tension type headache, the other most common primary headache, often related to muscle tension, could be triggered by fatigue or stress.

Whatever the case the first step would be an over the counter antiinflammatory like Ibuprofene. Nothing in your description until now warrants any urgent investigation for the possibility of other causes like stroke, tumor, infection etc, that type of pain is typical for none of them. So only over the counter pain killers for now, in most cases symptoms subside.

I hope to have been of help.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Olsi Taka (1 hour later)
Thank you Doctor
doctor
Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (2 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
You're welcome!

Detailed Answer:
I hope you will feel better soon.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Olsi Taka

Neurologist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3669 Questions

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What causes random shooting pain in head?

Brief Answer: More information is needed. Detailed Answer: I read your query and I am sorry about the pain you are experiencing. I would very much like to help you to understand the nature of the pain and what to to but in order to be best equipped to do so I am afraid some more info might be necessary such as: - location of the headaches - since when are the headaches present, any headache history in the past (even of a different type) - duration (how many seconds, minutes, hours) - frequency (approxiamtely how many times a hour/day/week) - accompanying symptoms like lacrimation, eye redness, stuffed nose etc - triggering or exacerbating (eating, stress, lack of sleep etc) - other accompanying conditions you might have. If I were to judge from only what you say until now, of short lasting shooting pain, changing location, the most probable diagnosis would be primary stabbing headache or ice pick headache as it's called. It's a primary headache, meaning no cause can be identified, common in those who have suffered from migraine. Treatment is tricky, because since they are short any treatment would take effect when they are already gone. If frequent and persistent preventive treatment with indomethacine can be considered. I remain at your disposal for further questions, possibly with the info I mentioned.