Intense 10- to 30-second pains on left side of head?

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    I have been having intense pain on the left side of my head.  The pain is so intense that if it lasted longer then it did I could not stand it.  I have no other symptoms.  No pain in the the eye area, no weakness in body, nothing.  The pain lasts anywhere from 10-30 seconds at a time.  I have lived with it for about 20 years now.  I did go to a neurologist about 9 years ago and had MRI done which showed nothing.  This pain will last a week or two disappear for months and then show up again.  It is not a constant pain, the pain comes lasts 10-30 seconds disappears for a little while maybe half hour and comes back.  In the last two weeks this pain it has increased more than I have ever experienced.  When I went to the doctor 9 years ago he did not have an answer and said they could be cluster headaches, but I do not have the symptoms of cluster headaches.  Anyways. I am not sure what to do seeing how the MRI showed nothing, but I am having this pain more and more.  Do you have any suggestions?  Any different type of procedure I could ask for that would help show something.  I cant believe that this is nothing.  When I was around 16-17 I was hit in the head with a metal rod not on purpose (about the same spot as pain now) I did not have problems for about 15-18 years after that incident then the pain started.

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    I hope that this is all you need.  Thanks for your response, Nan.

     

    Full Answer:

    Dear Nan;

     

    Cluster headaches last longer than what you're describing, 15 to 180 minutes. What you're describing may be ice pick headaches. You can read more about this in Ice Pick Headaches - The Basics.

     

    It's time to see your doctor about these headaches again rather than living with this pain. If your doctor isn’t able to help, it may well be time to consult a Migraine and headache specialist. It’s important to note that neurologists aren’t necessarily Migraine and headache specialists. Take a look at the article Migraine and Headache Specialists - What's So Special? If you need help finding a Migraine specialist, check our listing of Patient Recommended Migraine and Headache Specialists.

     

    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert

     

     

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    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and  Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and  Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.

     

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    Last updated August 14, 2010.

Published On: August 14, 2010