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    What causes sharp moving pain in head under the skin?

Posted on Thu, 2 Jun 2016 in Elderly Problems
Question: For the past 3 days, I've had sharp, moving pains on my head. It feels like it's just under the skin -- not deep. It comes and goes with no warning or trigger.
Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Read below

Detailed Answer:
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern.

From what I gather these sharp pains are moving in their location, not at the same spot, have occurred at both sides and last for a short interval of some seconds.
That description is compatible with primary stabbing headache or as it is more commonly called ice pick headache. It is a rare type of headache, may appear in patients suffering from other headache types or in isolation. In some patientes may be triggered by stress and anxiety.

In terms of treatment it depends on frequency of symptoms, if rare since it lasts only for a very short time no treatment may be given. When persistent and frequent preventive treatment with Indomethacin may be tried.

However if symptoms persist a visit with your physician is advisable in order to check for other possible signs you might have missed. Generally speaking though, such superficial pain that you describe, with changing location, is not indicative of a brain lesion, so you should not be overworried.

I remain at your disposal for other questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Olsi Taka 14 hours later
Thank you, Dr. Taka.

"Ice-pick headache" is a good description! It is NOT constant, it comes and goes, but is always in the same location on the same side, shooting forward. There does seem to be some connection to my left sinuses, but it's not a sinus headache.

I understand from neurologists that I need to beware of strokes because of the leukoariosis. Headaches are extremely rare for me (other than sinus congestion).

I wonder -- does brain tissue feel pain?
Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka 56 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Read below.

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for the additional information.

If the pain is constantly on the same side and location then a couple more diagnostic possibilities must be added. One is trigeminal neuralgia, pain along the trajectory of the trigeminal nerves or his branches, nerve responsible for sensation over the face and temples. Typically it manifests with sharp, lancinating pains, like electrical shock, lasting for seconds. Can be triggered by speaking, chewing, skin touching. Most commonly in the cheek but may be in the forehead and temple as well depending on the involved branch.
Another possibility is paroxysmal hemicrania, a similar pain but usually associated with eye redness and lacrimation.

I do not think you need to worry about stroke. Brain tissue itself doesn't feel pain, only when its layers and blood vessels are involved. Stroke when with headache has a more persistent headache and not superficial as you describe it. Also accompanied by other symptoms as well. As I said before such pain is not suggestive of brain lesion (neither stroke, nor tumors, infections etc)

I hope to have been of help.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Olsi Taka 18 minutes later
Thank you so very much.
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
Answered by
Dr. Olsi Taka


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