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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes throbbing headache and pain behind the ears and spine bone?

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Dr. Shafi Ullah Khan

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2012

Answered : 3614 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 23 Oct 2015 in Brain and Spine
Question: my daughter is 42 yrs old. she has been sick since sunday. Symptoms are throbbing headache, pain behind the ears on her mastoid bone, and severe pain down her spine as she describes it. Nausea, not eating much. She did go to an ER early Wednesday, they did a ct scan of her head and a spinal tap. Everything was clear. She acts like a meningitis but they said no. She has 2 children and her husband had to cancel his trips away. I am concerned about her, when I talk to her she sounds terrible, has barely gotten out of bed. She is on Vicodin for pain and it barely helps. She lives in SC and I live in ME. Do you think I should go down. She is extremely week and walks like an old lady so her husbands says. They tell her it is a virus and it will run its course and it could be viral meningitis. I want your thoughts on this .
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Answered by Dr. Shafi Ullah Khan 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Needs work up, unlikely meningitis.

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for asking

I read your question and i understand your concern. Headache throbbing and pulsatile in nature, with nausea and with normal CSF picture is not meningitis. Other commonest causes for such headaches like sinusitis, mastoiditis, tension type headaches, musculoskeletal pains and last but not the least arteritis like giant cell arteritis should be ruled out.

Your doctor needs to talk to an otorhinolaryngologist first as her symptoms match a picture of mastoiditis and sinusitis. Let them do few sinuses radiographs and run some other labs to rule out differentials and we all will have our answers. One thing is for sure, its not meningitis. Also drink at least 8 to 12 ounces of water with painkillers to avoid gastric irritation.

I hope it helps. Take good care of yourself and your daughter and don't forget to close the discussion please.

Regards
Khan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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