• questionmaker questionmaker
    June 02, 2009
    Sharp, stabbing pain in my head when I cough? Ice pick migraines?
    questionmaker questionmaker
    June 02, 2009

    I have been experiencing a stabbing pain on the left side of my head when I cough, along with pressure and pain in the frontal part of my head. Excedrin usually knocks my headaches out within five minutes, and my headaches are not bad but persistent.  For the past week, though, I will take an Excedrin, and it will basically take the headache away, but my head still feels a little achy and pressured. I still get the sharp pain in the left side of my head when I cough, right around my temple area. My eyelids feel a little heavy. When I get up too fast, I get a painful throbbing in the left side of my head.


    I went to the urgent care facility on Saturday, and the doctor told me she believed I had "ice pick migraine." They drew blood, and she said she wanted to check something in my blood.  I read about ice pick migraine, and I don't think it's that. It only stabs when I cough or sneeze, not when I bend over, and it doesn't come out of nowhere and last for a matter of minutes.


    I've been feeling like this all day every day for the past week, along with being tired. Does anyone know what this might be?



  • Nancy Harris Bonk
    Health Guide
    June 07, 2009
    Nancy Harris Bonk
    Health Guide
    June 07, 2009

    Hi questionmaker,  


    "Ice picks" aren't migraines. They're an entirely separate headache disorder, and they only last a few seconds. You can read more about them in Ice Pick Headaches - The Basics. We can't diagnose, but given your description, it seems very unlikely that what you're experiencing are ice pick headaches. There is another headache disorder that better matches what you're describing, primary cough headache.


    Since your headaches are continuing, it's time to see your own doctor. Urgent care facilities and emergency rooms are intended to get you through the urgent or emergency situation and aren't the best places for diagnosis of headaches.


    Please be careful with the use of Excedrin or any other medication you're taking for these headaches. Taking such medications more than two or three days a week can make matters worse by causing other headaches called medication overuse headache. For more on this, see Medication Overuse Headache - When the Remedy Backfires.




  • wecanjustpretend July 25, 2009
    July 25, 2009

    If you are having any kind of vision problems or eye pain-you may want to look into Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension or Pseudo-Tumor Cerebri.  I thought I was crazy, but I was recently diagnosed with it.  Good luck to you!

You should know Answers to your question are meant to provide general health information but should not replace medical advice you receive from a doctor. No answers should be viewed as a diagnosis or recommended treatment for a condition. Content posted by community members does not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media, which also reserves the right to remove material deemed inappropriate.

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