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Old 11-03-2017, 12:39 PM
teela brown is offline
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Ice pick headache


Apparently, "ice pick headache" is a thing.

For a month I've been getting sudden intense pains in my head that last one second and then vanish. I consulted Dr. Google and came up with the malady of ice pick headache. It certainly describes just what I've been feeling, although mine is at the base of my skull and the web description says they're typically behind one eye.

Dr. Google also says there isn't much one can do about these; you just have to put up with them.

Anyone else have this?
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Old 11-03-2017, 01:35 PM
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I used to get them occasionally. My head would generally feel okay as long as I stayed motionless. But any slight movement could cause a stab of pain.

For me, it apparently was a symptom of high blood pressure. I've found that since I've started medication for that, my headaches have disappeared. I also no longer have the ringing in my ears that used to occur frequently.
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Old 11-03-2017, 01:42 PM
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I used to get classic migraines when I was a teen and in my early 20s. They went away, replaced by "atypical" migraines. The way you know a headache is a migraine is that it won't go away, except with migraine medicine. Occasionally, I get the one where there is an ice pick in the base of my skull stabbing toward my right eye. I get it with a sudden movement of my head, or a sudden change in position. If I hold still, I don't feel it, but I can produce it at will. Sumatriptan makes it go away.
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Old 11-03-2017, 01:43 PM
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Google "Cluster Headache".

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-...s/syc-20352080

Although most cluster headaches last 15 min or longer. They come in clusters over a period of time (for example, daily for a month). They are very intense, and have been described as "suicide headaches".
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Old 11-03-2017, 01:51 PM
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"Ice pick headache" sounds a lot like my migraines, except they arent 1 second long, but fucking constant week-long affairs.

Last edited by Ambivalid; 11-03-2017 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 11-03-2017, 01:51 PM
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Yes. They are sudden, but fast. They really scared me when I first started having them (and when I have them, I will get them a few times a day, for a few days, and then nothing for months). Of course I thought I had brain cancer.

The thing is, they are not nearly as bad as the migraines I used to have, but don't have any more thank goodness. This is because they were so ephemeral. The pain was intense but gone before I could even get to the medicine cabinet.

But they scared me so bad I actually went to a doctor, which I normally don't do except in extreme circumstances. She peered into my eyes and tapped my knees and shit like that and said there was nothing I could do about them but not to worry. (What, me worry?)
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Old 11-03-2017, 02:36 PM
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The first time I got one, it scared the crap out of me. I was sure I had a tumor or something.
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Old 11-03-2017, 03:35 PM
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HEY! Husband is having the same thing but adding dizzyness, passing out sometimes and nausea sometime too
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I'm up in the Wild Blue Yonder, of course :
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Old 11-03-2017, 03:37 PM
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I would vote for seeing a neurologist. They could be cluster headaches, ice pick headaches, migraines, or something else, including a symptom for something that you should get diagnosed. There are treatments that help for at least some of these things. Different things work for different people.

Short version: See a neurologist. With luck, they can diagnose you and find you a treatment.
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Old 11-05-2017, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunny Daze View Post
I would vote for seeing a neurologist. They could be cluster headaches, ice pick headaches, migraines, or something else, including a symptom for something that you should get diagnosed. There are treatments that help for at least some of these things. Different things work for different people.

Short version: See a neurologist. With luck, they can diagnose you and find you a treatment.
Yup. First thing he'll do is have you get an MRI to make sure you don't have an aneurysm or some other serious problem. It's worth the peace of mind.
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Old 11-05-2017, 11:22 AM
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I get "icepick through the eye socket" headaches a few times a month, but they last up to two days

A few years ago I had your same symptoms for a few months, it turned out to be a chronically-infected sinus cavity that was due to botched dental surgery that caused the sinus issues.

At any rate, I empathize.
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Old 11-05-2017, 03:17 AM
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Do you clench or grind your teeth at night? The headaches could be a symptom of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder - google TMD. I've had it for 20 years.
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Old 11-05-2017, 11:06 PM
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What you describe sounds a lot like occipital neuralgia, which I get too.
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Old 11-06-2017, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Johanna View Post
What you describe sounds a lot like occipital neuralgia, which I get too.
If you don't mind sharing, do you kind of know when one is coming on and if it's going to bad? (Not in the traditional "aura" that some migraneurs get, just a sense).

What is your pain like? 90% of mine are in the right socket. Thanks!
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Old 11-10-2017, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennshark View Post
If you don't mind sharing, do you kind of know when one is coming on and if it's going to bad? (Not in the traditional "aura" that some migraneurs get, just a sense).

What is your pain like? 90% of mine are in the right socket. Thanks!
There's no warning. It just starts hurting at any time. There's also no predicting how bad it will turn out to be. Sometimes you get lucky and there's just a tender spot. If you get unlucky it will come on harder, faster, and relentless. My attacks are often (not always) triggered by a prolonged draft of cold air to my occipital area. Sometimes I can stave them off by wrapping up my head and neck nice and warm. Once an attack has seriously set in, keeping warm and wrapped up may help to prevent additional aggravation, but the only way I know of to mitigate an active attack is to work on pressure points in the area. I explore until I find a spot that might respond well to pressure. Sometimes it helps.

My attacks are all confined to an area from the top of my neck to halfway up the back of my head. Behind my ears seems to get it more often. If you're getting it in your orbitals, in front, that may involve the trigeminal nerve. I've heard that trigeminal neuralgia is the worst of the worst. I hope that isn't what afflicts you, but I'd get it looked at.
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Old 11-11-2017, 01:44 PM
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I've been a migraine sufferer all of my life, starting at the age of eight years old. I definitely get the ice pick migraine. It's as if an ice pick has been stabbed into the inside corner of my left eye. Very intense pain lasting for a couple of days. For those that have never felt it, I liken it to the ice cream headache that doesn't go away in a few seconds... Most of us know how much that hurts!

I also get what I describe as the "axe" migraine. It's a narrow pain that feels like it's localized to the area starting in the middle of my right eyebrow extending down through my eyeball and ending right below my eye socket where it meets my cheekbone. This one lasts a couple of days, also. With both, I seriously feel fear. Fear that I'm gonna die, the pain is so agonizing. That something is so so out of whack in my brain.. It's very scary!

After each of these migraines, my entire head feels sore inside my skull. When I move or turn my head, it feels like my brain has come loose in there and is bumping the sides of my skull ...

Over the past 48 years or so, I've seen so many neurologists and specialists, had every test, tried every drug. Nothing I tried made a difference ... Until one big change I made in my life lessened the number of migraines I got each month. I lived in a Southern state where the weather was erratic and crazy every season. When I moved to California, the number of migraines I got dropped dramatically. I still get them but not as many in the summer months. When fall arrives and the storms come here in Cali, the migraines become more frequent and severe. Fatigue, aura, dizziness, nausea, upset stomach, and the excruciating head pain!
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Old 11-06-2017, 09:52 AM
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I can get these when flying (upon final approach to landing) when I don't have ear tubes in place (surgically implanted ear tubes). Sometimes the tubes stay in place 6 mos... sometimes a year.

The only description for the pain I could ever give was 'ice pick' ... and since inner-ear problems are mostly diagnosed via questions and answers (the minutia of what might be going on at the nerve level doesn't show up on imaging), when I described the pain (which would force my eye to tear up) I was immediately recommended to have tubes put in.

Sometimes, the pain would affect an eye or would feel like a stab to my jaw.

ALSO: I would occasionally have the pain driving through mountains, over some bridges or with changes in weather. I had a lot of headaches and spike pains.

FTR, the ear tubes changed not only my flying experience, but my life. I can't recall the last headache or related pain since my ear tubes were put in four years ago.

.

Last edited by Philster; 11-06-2017 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 11-06-2017, 10:13 AM
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I wouldn't mind knowing more as well. What JennShark is describing matches what has been diagnosed as migraine for me, and I have them almost constantly. I will also be consulting Dr. Google.
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Old 11-06-2017, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunny Daze View Post
I wouldn't mind knowing more as well. What JennShark is describing matches what has been diagnosed as migraine for me, and I have them almost constantly. I will also be consulting Dr. Google.
Dr. Google

I had hoped having sinus surgery to repair the quack oral surgeon's damage (ripped out a molar and punched into my sinuses) would help my "icepick through the right eyesocket headaches," but it didn't.

My worst icepicky headaches often correspond with big barometric changes, intense heat/humidity, and PMS. They will respond to Imitrex/Sumapitrin if I catch them early, but OTC meds do nothing and in fact often make it worse.
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