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Mar26

What is an Ice Pick Headache?

Categories // Headaches

What is an Ice Pick Headache?

Many types of headaches tend to occur in very specific portions of the head. For example, migraine attacks and cluster headaches are almost always unilateral – occurring on only the right or left side. However, one kind of headache has a particularly focused approach: the primary stabbing headache.

This condition is commonly called an ice pick headache, because sufferers describe the pain as what they would imagine it feels like to be stabbed with an ice pick. It is often characterized by numerous bursts of very focused pain in isolated areas of the head. However, the initial burst of pain can also radiate out from its starting point in some cases, according to perspectives compiled by HealthCentral.com.

Symptoms of a primary stabbing headache

According to the International Headache Society (IHS), typical complaints associated with an ice pick headache include the following:

• the discomfort in the head should involve one or multiple stabbing sensations;
• the pain should be largely apparent in the temple, parietal, or orbit sections of the trigeminal nerve (which is why the aching may be misdiagnosed if the patient has a larger disorder called trigeminal neuralgia); and
• the sensation should be fast and erratic, making it complicated to predict and treat.

Studies: prevalence in those with other conditions

Sometimes different types of headaches are interrelated. IHS reveals that primary stabbing headaches are more frequently experienced by those with migraines (40%) and cluster headaches (30%) than by the general population. If a person has either of the additional conditions, the stabbing usually is experienced in the same area where the other head pain attacks typically strike.One study also noted that the experience of an ice pick headache tends to be incredibly quick, with 4 out of 5 subjects reporting pain for no more than three seconds. However, there have been cases in which the intermittent stabbing has continued for as long as a week.

Status as a primary headache

The primary stabbing headache gets the first part of its name from the fact that it is unrelated to any root condition. A secondary headache, in contrast, is connected to other health problems, such as heart disease or cancer.It's critical for anyone suffering from head pain to get a solid and accurate diagnosis, determining whether the issue is migraines, ice pick headaches, or any other form of head pain. Once diagnosis has been achieved, the MiRx™ Protocol can be used to facilitate a long-term, pain-free lifestyle, through pill-free medical therapy in conjunction with biomechanical therapy.

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