Shooting pain in head is one of the most common complaints that many people have. Almost people of all age groups, all races, and all geographical regions suffer from shooting pain in head. But, do you know what causes such a sharp pain in head?
The most common name that shooting pain in head is called by many people is a just headache. There are many different types of headaches and also many different causes of headaches. But, many people are not aware of all these conditions.
The majority of times this sharp head pain is caused just due to minor illnesses, being very stressed, anxious, due to some sort of infection like flu, etc. But, at times shooting pain in head is caused by more dangerous disorders like brain tumors, meningitis or infection of the membranes covering the brain, etc.
If your stabbing pain in head resolves with few pain killers and taking adequate rest, then you need not worry at all. But, if the sharp head pain doesn’t subside even after taking drugs, and rest and after few days, you definitely ned to consult a physician to rule out all the major conditions causing shooting pain in head.
- 0.1 Causes of Shooting pain in head:
- 0.1.1 1. Tension headache:
- 0.1.2 2. Sinusitis:
- 0.1.3 3. Migraine:
- 0.1.4 4. Cluster headache:
- 0.1.5 5. Ice pick headache:
- 0.1.6 6. Temporal arteritis:
- 0.1.7 7. Trigeminal neuralgia:
- 0.1.8 8. Headache due to drugs:
- 0.1.9 9. Occipital neuralgia:
- 0.1.10 10. Brain tumors:
- 0.1.11 11. Meningitis:
- 0.1.12 12. Encephalitis:
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Causes of Shooting pain in head:
There are many different causes of shooting pain in head ranging from mild stress to deadly brain tumors or brain cancers. Let us explore all the different causes of this sharp head pain.
1. Tension headache:
Although, there are many different types of headaches, a tension headache is one of the most common causes of shooting pain in head. Almost all the people experience this tension headache at some point in their life or the other.
People suffering from a tension headache have a severe band-like head pain or a headache around the forehead. These people feel as if their head is being squeezed from all the sides.
What causes a tension headache?
Do you know what causes a tension headache? There much different causes of a tension headache. This shooting pain in head can be brought on by emotional stress, anxiety and feeling tensed. It can also be caused by excessive eye strain which is seen in people who watch television more.
Are you fond of drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes or drinking a lot of coffee? Then these factors can also lead to sharp head pain called tension headache. Sometimes an infection of your sinuses or sinusitis and poor posture can also result in shooting pain in head or a tension headache.
How to treat a Tension headache?
Now you definitely want to know how to treat a tension headache, right? There is nothing to worry much about a tension headache. The shooting pain in head caused by this headache can be treated with simple analgesics or painkillers. Like tramadol, aceclofenac, diclofenac or ibuprofen.
You also need to take adequate rest. So, try to sleep in a dark and quiet room for few hours to relieve this stabbing pain in head. You can also apply a hot compress or hot water fomentation over the forehead to get quick relief from this sharp head pain.
This tension headache will get relieved within few hours if you take analgesics and follow the above tips. So, no need to worry at all. But, be careful not to take more than the recommended dosage of the analgesics.
Sinusitis is the inflammation or the swelling of the sinuses caused by a sinus infection. This sinusitis causes a sinus headache which is also a reason for shooting pain in head. There are 4 different types of sinuses in the body. They are the frontal, maxillary, ethmoidal and sphenoidal sinuses.
When these sinuses get infected, you develop sharp head pain. This stabbing pain in head is more severe when the sphenoidal and frontal sinuses are affected.
When you suffer from acute sinusitis, you also develop some other symptoms like nasal congestion or stuffy nose, running nose, anosmia or loss of a smell and severe cough. Sometimes this infection can also spread to your teeth can cause a toothache.
You also might suffer from fever and bad breath or halitosis due to sinusitis. In some people, a sinus infection can persist for long periods and lead to chronic sinusitis. These people suffer from shooting pain in head for prolonged periods.
How to get rid of sinusitis?
You need to visit your doctor to get a proper prescription. He will prescribe you antibiotics to kill the infection. He will also prescribe you nasal decongestant drops to feel better. You also need to do steam inhalation and apply a warm compress over your sinuses for quick relief from shooting pain in head and other symptoms.
You must have heard the term Migraine for sure. But, do you know what it is? Many people suffer from a migraine headache without even realizing it. They think that they are suffering from shooting pain in head just due to stress or misdiagnose the sharp head pain and tension headache or a sinus headache, etc.
A migraine is a stabbing pain in head, generally occurring on one side or one-half of the head, either left side or right side. But, in some people, Migraine headache can also be caused bilaterally or on two sides.
In Migraine, the sharp head pain is brought on by the strong smell, loud noises and by certain foods, Even stress can trigger Migraine headache. This shooting pain in head is mainly caused due to hormonal changes or changes in the neurotransmitters in the brain.
What are the symptoms of a migraine headache?
Do you know what does Migraine headache feel like? It feels like shooting pain in head or throbbing head pain on mostly one side of the head or sometimes both sides of the head. There are many other symptoms associated with Migraine.
You might also feel nauseous and vomit due to Migraine. There are many visual disturbances that are experienced when having Migraine in addition to the stabbing pain in head. The examples of such visual changes are flashes of light, seeing blind spots in the visual field, zig zag lines, etc.
Also, the person suffering from Migraine might suffer from numb feeling or weakness on one side of the body. These visual disturbances, weakness and numb feeling occurring in addition to shooting pain in head are called the aura.
There are two types of Migraine, one is Migraine with aura and the other is Migraine without aura. If you suffer from Migraine without aura, diagnosis is even more difficult as it resembles a simple tension headache.
How to get rid of shooting pain in head due to Migraine?
The symptoms of Migraine can last anywhere from a few hours to a day. There are many different ways to get rid of this sharp head pain caused by Migraine. You need to sleep in a dark and quiet room during the Migraine attack.
You need to take analgesics or pain killers like ibuprofen, aceclofenac or diclofenac. If your symptoms are not relieved with these simple analgesics, your physician might prescribe you drugs like sumatriptan or ergotamine.
You will also need to make some changes in your lifestyle like doing regular exercise, following proper relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation, avoiding stress, etc. You also need to avoid taking the foods that trigger your Migraine attack.
4. Cluster headache:
The shooting pain in head caused by a cluster headache is almost always seen in men. Very few women suffer from this condition. In a cluster headache, there is severe pain around the eyes. The person suffering from a cluster headache also has severe lacrimation or watering of the eyes.
He also has a runny nose or nasal discharge and nasal congestion or stuffy nose. The episodes of Cluster headache generally occur at night. They last only for a few minutes but are really very intense. Several attacks of a cluster headache occur throughout the day. You might have almost more than 10 attacks of this sharp head pain in a day.
Do you know how to get rid of this shooting pain in head caused by a cluster headache. You will need to consult your physician for this. He will prescribe you some drugs like calcium channel blockers and beta blockers to control the condition. Sometimes you might also need therapy with 100% oxygen to abort the acute attacks of this stabbing pain in head.
5. Ice pick headache:
Ice pick headache is also called as a stabbing headache. It feels like some person is stabbing an ice pick into your head. It produces an intense shooting pain in head. This pain lasts for only some seconds, but it has a stabbing pain in head.
It also produces intense head pain in the temples and sometimes sudden pain in the eyes too. People who generally get a tension headache or Migraines are susceptible to get this headache as well.
It generally occurs in people over the age of 40. Ice pick headache is brought on by stress and intense lights and also if you move suddenly in an abnormal way.
NSAIDS or Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can quickly relieve this shooting pain in head. Sufficient rest also helps in subsiding the sharp head pain. No need to worry at all about it.
6. Temporal arteritis:
Temporal arteritis is also known as Ginat cell arteritis. It is the inflammation or swelling of the temporal artery supplying the temple and left side of the face. This is an autoimmune condition and this is caused by your own immune system attacking your body.
In Temporal arteritis, there is shooting pain in head on the left side. You will also suffer from jaw claudication or pain during chewing. It also causes tenderness over the scalp, ringing in the ears, etc. It is generally seen in people more than 55 years of age.
This is a very severe condition as it can lead to blindness. If you suffer from any other symptoms of temporal arteritis apart from a headache, you need to consult your physician immediately. He will prescribe you steroids of high dose to control the inflammation of the temporal artery.
7. Trigeminal neuralgia:
The exact cause of Trigeminal neuralgia is not yet known, so it is called an idiopathic condition. In Trigeminal neuralgia, shooting pain in head is seen in all the regions of the head which are supplied by the Trigeminal nerve.
The sharp head pain in this condition occurs on only one side, either the left side or the right side. The stabbing pain in head is brought on by simple touching those trigger areas during shaving, or by applying makeup or by simply brushing your teeth.
This condition also occurs in elderly people more than the age of 50. If you suffer from Trigeminal neuralgia, you will need to take anticonvulsant drugs, antispasmodic drugs to relieve the shooting pain in head. You may also need to take botox injections upon the advice of your doctor.
8. Headache due to drugs:
Almost many people throughout the world take some type of drug or the other. To treat many different ailments. Many drugs have many different side effects. Many drugs do cause shooting pain in head as a side effect.
If you are taking any drug for many months or years, you might need to consult your physician and find out if your headache is caused by a drug side effect or due to some other disorder.
9. Occipital neuralgia:
This is a condition in which there is inflammation or swelling of the occipital nerves. These nerves run from the spinal cord back into your head. This condition produces a shooting pain in head that starts at the base of the head and then leads to the scalp on top.
It also produces neck pain and pain behind the eyes. It can be caused by many different conditions like Diabetes, Gout, osteoarthritis, infections and tumors. You need to visit your physician to get some imaging tests done for the appropriate diagnosis if you suffer from this occipital neuralgia.
10. Brain tumors:
There are many different types of brain tumors ranging from benign brain tumors to malignant brain tumors which are lethal. All types of brain tumors produce shooting pain in head.
In addition to stabbing pain in head, they also produce many other symptoms like seizures, changes in the speech and hearing, vision problems, etc. They also affect your muscles of arms and legs and lead to numbness, weakness, balance problems, difficulty walking, etc.
If you suffer from any serious symptoms like above apart from shooting pain in head, you need to consult your physician immediately for appropriate diagnosis of the condition.
Have you ever heard of Meningitis? Meningitis is a condition in which there is inflammation of the meninges, which are the layers covering the brain. This condition is caused by infections like bacteria, viruses, fungi and tuberculosis infection too.
In Meningitis, shooting pain in head can be seen along with many other symptoms like neck stiffness or rigidity, high fever, rash on the body, severe vomiting, etc. You need to consult your doctor fast if you experience such symptoms.
Encephalitis is the inflammation or swelling of the brain. In this condition also there are symptoms similar to that of Meningitis. It is also caused by microbial infections. But, a person suffering from encephalitis has shooting pain in head, other symptoms of meningitis and also altered consciousness or decreased consciousness.
You, people, have seen all the different causes of shooting pain in head or stabbing pain in head. The majority of the diseases causing such a sharp head pain occur very rarely. So, you ned not worry. Simple relaxation techniques and over the counter pain killers or analgesics can relieve your headache.
But, if you suffer from any alarming symptoms apart from shooting pain in head, like vomiting, numbness or weakness of limbs, hearing or speech impairments, vision changes, etc, visit your physician immediately for appropriate diagnosis.