Discussions By Condition: Brain conditions

"ice Pick" Headaches

Posted In: Brain conditions 156 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • November 2, 2006
  • 09:18 PM

Hi -
Has anyone out there heard of these "ice pick" headaches? Idiopathic stabbing headaches is what my Neurologist called them. Went to the Neuro yesterday for strange sudden stabbing pains to the head that accmpanies the other symptoms I posted under shooting head pains-fainting. Only thing he could come up with without any tests is that they sound like "Ice pick" headaches, which I'm assuming I can't take anything for, because the pain comes & goes so suddenly/quickly that there's no time for any headache meds. He told me that normally they are not accompanied the other symptoms I'm having though (dizzy, weakness, fainting). Have an EEG scheduled tomorrow (I was told that monitors brain activity). MRA & MRV with and without scheduled for Monday.

Any information/input anyone has on any of the above would be appreciated.

Thank you!

Reply Flag this Discussion
  • I went to the ER yesterday, where the doctor told me I was having an "ice pick variant migrane."He treated it with a shot of Toradol, and Decadron (which is a steroid.) The medicine worked almost instantly with me. It's only been a day since I received treatment, but the headache is gone. I also got a shot of Reglan for the nausea that I was getting as well.I've also been diagnosed with Cluster Headaches, and take Zomig 5mg tablets for THAT pain; which incidentally wasn't working for the "ice pick" headache.Good luck with your neurologist.-Dan
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 26, 2006
    • 08:12 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I am 55 years old. It was not until two days ago that I found a name to the pain I have suffered since I was 18. I was shooting pool in college when it hit me and I fell into a wall and was grabbing my head. My father had recently passed away with a stroke when this initial attack took place. I had fears of this happening to me at a very young age. I was checked by the specialist and was given medication which was nothing more than a bunch of tranquilizers. I did not take them but for about a week and went ahead with my education. Over the years the attack would come and go but not lasting more that 5-6 seconds in duration. In the 70's I had a four artery artirigram test and I promised myself I would never endure that procedure again. In the past few years the attacks have increased more frequently and during the past several days I panicked and have been trying to get to a nueoroligist. In speaking with a doctor I described the jabbing pain behind my right ear (same place the entire time) and likened the sensation to an "ice pick" stabbing me about 4-6 times in the time period.He said there was an "ice pick" headache and I did some research and viola - at last I have a name to a sensation that I have experienced for many years. I am still going to be checked but I am extremely happy to share the relief I have at the present.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 6, 2006
    • 06:14 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • It's good that you found out what it is because I too have just learned what 'ice pick headaches" are. I too have had them for as long as I can remember. Since childhood but they are gone so quick I thought that it was something everyone had from time to time.But lately I have been having full headaches more often, at least once a week, so I started reading about headache symptoms and saw 'ice pick' headaches which is what I have had for years. Mine can happen anywhere but mainly along my temple region or on the back sides of my head. And like you, I get nervous when I have one waiting on stroke-like symptoms that never come. I had an aunt die of a stroke and I have high blood pressure but I'm only 35. Well, anyway, good luck.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Look into Trigeminal Neuralgia. From what I've read, it's not very common but it may be a possible cause.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have a ten year old son who complains of sharp pains in the back of his head that only lasts seconds, at least once or twice a day. His doctor sent him for a ct scan which came back normal. This has been going on for months now. does anyone know if a ct scan shows everything ? If anyone has any information that might help, please respond. I took him to a neurologist over it and he thought it was just a type of headache that people sometimes get and theres nothing you can really do for it. I just want to know for sure it couldn't be anything serious. Thanks
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • August 17, 2007
    • 03:16 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • i think i have these ice pick headaches. i'm only 26 but i've been having them for years now every once in a while, however i get regular headaches frequently. lately the ice pick headaches have gotten so strong and intense i can't focus on anything for the seconds that they last. it feels like i'm getting stabbed in the temple or around my right eye sometimes as many as five or six times, and sometimes it happens a couple times a day then not again for a week or whatever. them being so quick is the only reason i can manage them. if i had a family doctor i'd probably talk to him about it. i was getting worried that maybe i'm developing a tumor.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 14, 2007
    • 04:37 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hmm. I'm in my forties, and recently started getting these headaches. I started with a google for flash headaches, as they are so quick; and found this name for them seems more common. Most of the info I've found, there isn't much really, seems to say they're pretty benign, which is reassuring. I do find mine seem to come when I'm particularly stressed or tired though.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 14, 2007
    • 04:21 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hello Everyone,I have to laugh as I read these bulletins because I too have felt a lot like each and every one of you and here is my story.I am almost 35 years old, and a female; so right off the bat most Doctors I have seen say that I am too young.... And because I'm a woman...blah blah, and they just send me away. Since I was 18 years old I have had intense chest pains, stabbing electrical shocks, heavy pressure, numbness and tingling, radiating pain that literally feels like something living inside my body moving from one place to another like a wiggling super fast snake, up and down my left side of my neck and arm, and sometimes constant pressure like a fist in my back under my shoulder blade. Well, it took several years of continuous complaints to my regular Primary Physician and well I had to threaten his job (meaning that I had hired him to be my Dr so I am told him I wanted many tests taken and I know something inside of me in not right, I know my body and how it feels better than he does, I would hate to end up that rare statistic that dies from some disease that could have been prevented if he only listened to me) and well, right after that statement he written me a referral to get a Ultrasound, EKG, and a Heart Monitor, and guess what, we finally found a name for what I have been complaining about for years. Mitral Valve Prolapse which deals the heart valve to stop blood flow from going back into my heart, and my valve doesn’t work properly to simplify. Now, I always thought that the "headaches" which I always called sharp shooting electrical pains in my brain…was just some random pain that I got on occasion. At first I thought it was common and that most people get it. After years of this of this pain and tolerance, I associated the MVP with the shooting pain in my head. About a month ago I was having sever chest pains all the symptoms of my MVP and then some new symptoms, like heaviness in my legs, blurry vision, a vertigo sensation (everything else seems to be spinning/moving, and my body is still), and many other random symptoms. I went to the Dr and I had taken several tests, from X-Rays, EEG, CT scan, blood tests, and after all of that the Dr tells me I have all the symptoms of the possibility of having MS (Multiple Sclerosis), but I wouldn't know for sure without more testing, and guess what it may only show up in an MRI, CT, etc, in the moment of an episode. So for weeks I was ill just knowing of the possibility of what I could have, not ruling out any other neurological disease, or virus.So I have seen another Dr since then, and then another Dr since the 2nd one this time being a specialist (Neurologist) and he ruled out all the other possibilities such as MS, Epilepsy, and tells me that I have Ice Pick Headaches, which is in the family of Migraines. And that the other symptoms I was having with my muscle weakness could have been a virus that only effected the major muscles, such as the traps, quads, and back. Ice Pick Headaches are severe excruciating pain that can only have preventative care. And he believes that I am experiencing that type of Migraine. Now I feel a little better knowing the name of what I used to call the stabbing electrical shooting pain in my brain, and feel a little more rest assured, however, when there hasn't been any other tests to "prove" so, besides a few questions, and a physical neurological exam, I am not completely comfortable that this is the answer. Sometimes, we must take extra precautions, that Doctors are practicing medicine and that sometimes we as patients have to be persistent if the answers they give us do not seem to ring true within us. Again, it took a few years before they diagnosed me with MVP. I hope my story has helped I know that reading all of your has helped to know that there are many other people that are experiencing similar symptoms, and have similar questions, and through forums and bulletins we are able to support one another.Many blessings,J
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 18, 2007
    • 07:39 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I have these as well, and never knew it had a name. I had mri and cat scans done and was looked at like a freak when those came back fine. I have dropped many things to grab my head in pain, broke a glass once. And, its the most intense pain I've ever felt even next to childbirth and cancer. So, I am happy as well to know that it isn't just me. Wishing you all the best and fewer painful experiences. Take care.Allison
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 25, 2007
    • 02:24 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I awoke around 1 a.m. this morning with a quick stabbing pain in my head. I had a headache earlier in the evening and had taken a couple of asprin. When that stabbing pain hit, it was gone as quickly as it happened. However, they kept happening and kept me up most of the night. I have had them all day long - every 5 to 10 minutes. In 3 more hours, this will have lasted 24 hours. How long will this go on?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 3, 2007
    • 01:57 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I have had these for over 16 years and everybody thinks I must be exaggerating. When it happens it makes me just freeze for a moment because of the pain. I have had probably 40 of them today alone, but is there anything you can take for it. My doctor seems not to know about Ice Pick Headaches. Thanks.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 3, 2007
    • 11:44 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Complications of Crohn’s Disease

    Recognize the risks associated with Crohn’s disease.

    8 Surprising Facts About Cholesterol

    Did you know that one in six US adults has high cholesterol?

  • I believe I also have these headaches. I am 23, and have had migraines since I was 3 years old. I was used to having headaches everyday, and the pain doesn't really bother me, but last year I felt pain like never before. Ice pick headache is such a perfect name. I was describing it as someone stabbing me in the head with a needle, but an ice pick works just as well. I had no idea what it was. I too, have had cat scans and all sorts of tests which always come back negative, which is good, in a way, but it leaves you wondering why you're in so much pain. I'm glad to finally have an idea as to what it might be. BTW, I have been having these headaches all day today and they're driving me nuts.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 11, 2007
    • 06:05 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I think I have what you people have, but I don't know for sure.I get these headaches a lot and I'm only 13. On my party last year I got a very bad headache, and everyone had to go home! When I get these headaches I can't do anything (even closing my eyes hurts) I can't walk around. If I'm going down the stairs and I get a headache I can't walk anymore and I fall down the rest of the steps. So this week (hopefully) my mom will take me to the doctor!! I'll come back and write what happens! Jessica
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 16, 2007
    • 10:13 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I just (literally JUST) had my second ice pick headache and I am still feeling a dull pain in that same area right now. I thought I was going to pass out at my desk! I got the first one a few days ago. I do suffer from migranes (about 1-2 a month lasting 1-4 days) and have tried migrane medication but it does not seem to work. Excedrine migrane actually works better than any others. Im curious to know how often people started getting them after they got the first one. Should I be expecting these multiple times a week?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 12, 2007
    • 02:23 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I've had what I assume are these "ice pick" headaches for about a month now. It doesn't last long, but for a few seconds I feel like I could pass out. It hurts just in one place at a time, anywhere in my head. I fell once, at home. Then I woke up, like I had been asleep. I thought I had a tumor or something. I can feel the inside of my head for a short time when they happen. I turned 16 a few months ago, and I've gone to the doctor numerous times but they can't find anything wrong withe me. All the blood tests come back alright, anf they think I'm fine. I've got sympathy for you, because no one else ever believes me. Mom says it's nothing and that I'm just stressed.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 29, 2007
    • 04:52 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I get these ice pick sensations, but fortunately mine only happen once ever 2 or 3 months and always in my left temple. This has been going on for about 20 years now ( I am 40 now). Due to the infrequence of the pains, it is not something that poses much of a problem to me except the worrying factor that there is something wrong in my brain like a blood vessel about to burst or something else brewing that I should be worried about. Does anyone else have these as infrequently as I do?Mike from NJ
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 18, 2007
    • 04:57 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I am a 25 year old female and, like many of you, I suffer from ice pick headaches. Unfortunately I am one of those sufferers that has severe pain every 5-10 minutes most days which is disabling and because of that my Neurlogist has put me on medication to try and treat these headaches.The medication I am on is Topamax which is an anti-seziure medication. While taking the Topamax the pain is not completely gone, I still have a few sharp stabs every now and then but for the most part it's ok.My Neurologist is very familiar with treating ice pick headaches and believes that although it can be linked to migraines, it can also be worse at times of stress which is certainly correct in my case.Anyway, I don't know if this is any help to you but it Topamax might be worth discussing with your GP if you suffer from severe ice pick headaches.Also if your from the ACT and want the name of a good Neurologist I can give you one so repost attention: ACT - JJ
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 24, 2008
    • 10:25 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • My son, who is now turning 6, has had "ice-pick headaches" since he turned 2. At the time he couldn't really speak well enough to explain what was going on. My husband and I would occassionally notice him holding the right side of his head, above his ear, and begin screaming and crying. We did a brain and blood vessel MRI which came back negative at the age of 2 and a follow up one at 4. They usually last less than 15 seconds. The frequency depends. As he's gotten older they have become less frequent, however, over the last month he has gotten 5 of them which has prompted me to do more research on the subject. There is a lot more information out there now than 4 years ago. His neurologist diagnosed it as ice pick and said that his body could be setting him up for future migraines. My son was born using the forcepts so I have attributed the headaches to that b/c he was grabbed on the sides of his head with them. Don't know if that has anything to do with it, but I've always had that feeling. Thanks to everyone who have posted, it gives me some reassurance that I'm doing all I can do.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 31, 2008
    • 02:21 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Mike from NJMine are fairly infrequent, as well, and can go years between attacks. Usually when I get them, though, I'll have several attacks over a few month before they go dormant again. Stress or emotional distress are my triggers. But the pain is real and briefly debilitating.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 1, 2008
    • 04:26 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hi alli'm 18 and i'm having these headaches too does anyone know what causes the pain?thanks in advance
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 29, 2008
    • 06:18 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
Thanks! A moderator will review your post and it will be live within the next 24 hours.
Advertisement

8 Health Dangers of Depression

Unmanaged depression can take a toll on your physical health.

Best Cough & Cold Meds for Kids

Help your child feel better, faster.

What HIV Positive Women Should Know About Sex

You can have sex after an HIV diagnosis.

Food Choices for Diabetes

What, when and how much you eat affects your blood sugar.

6 Exercises for Multiple Sclerosis

Ease your way into these stretching and strengthening moves,

Advertisement