Ice pick headaches back of head

 Ice pick headaches back of head


Nowadays headaches in general are a common problem,  no matter what age or gender they affect humans at a large scale. 

Ice pick headaches back of head are one of them which affect people . A headache mostly  refers to the pain in any region of the head. Headaches can happen on one or both sides of the head or even just in a specific portion. Symptoms vary from person to person can present as a sharp pain, or a throbbing sensation, or can be simply a dull ache.

Headache can develop gradually with time or develop suddenly. Headaches may last for a short period of time or for several days keeps varying. There are many types of headaches, and they are divided on the basis of cause. But this article will discuss about one particular type of headache that the ice pick headache. Everything related to ice pick headaches back of head is described over here from causes to symptoms keep reading.


What are ice pick headaches back of head?

What are the causes of ice pick headaches back of head?



What are ice pick headaches back of head?

An ice pick headache is that type of a headache that is marked by very small stabs of pain, most commonly in the front or sides of the head but can be present at back of the head as well. There are some other names for ice pick headaches which include:

  • The idiopathic stabbing headache
  • Jabs
  • Jolts
  • Primary stabbing headache
  • Sometimes it’s even called ophthalmodynia periodica

The pain that is associated with ice pick headaches tends to last for few seconds. However, in many people it may last for up to 1 minute or more . This headache can also move from one area to another on either in the same or in the opposite side of the head. Ice pick headaches are further classified into primary stabbing headache.

Some times physical therapy over activity or problems with pain sensitive structures in the head can also lead to headaches . They can occur without an evident  cause, or in other way they can develop from an underlying disease. Some things that have been possibly found related to primary stabbing headache are following : herpes zoster, stroke, migraine, and MS (multiple sclerosis).

The definite cause of ice pick headaches at back is still unknown. Some chemical activity in the brain, nerves, or even in blood vessels that surround the skull, or the muscles in the head and neck, can play a role in the cause of primary headaches. Sometimes some , people may even have a gene that makes them more prone to developing headaches. These ice pick Or we can say primary headaches can be triggered by certain lifestyle things, , including following:

  • Stress
  • Change in sleep cycle
  • Lack of sleep
  • Poor posture
  • Not eating food or meals at regular times
  • Certain foods,  especially processed meats which contain nitrates

Ice pick headaches usually occur in people who have migraine. Migraine headaches sometimes occur with ice pick headaches, like sensitivity to light and sound. These headaches specifically affect mid aged people, typically women, but aren’t age restricted can happen at any age. In few people, ice pick headaches can also lead to nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.


What are the causes of ice pick headaches back of head?

There can be many causes for ice pick headaches A headache can be the  main reason for pain or it can be a secondary symptom of problems due to issue in other part of the body. Some headache symptoms might occur typically  in the back of the head causes can be :

  1. Tension type headache
  2. Migraine
  3. Medication overuse headache
  4. Neuralgia occipital one
  5. Exercise induced headache
  6. Cluster headaches


Tension headache

Tension or we can say tension-type headaches (TTH) typically cause forehead pain, but they are also the most common cause of pain in the back of the head of a human body. They may even last up to 7 days, but they can be brief as well lasting for as little as 30 minutes. Associated symptoms of a tension-type headache are following:

  • feeling of tightening around the back of the head or front of the head.
  • pain which is mild to moderate however occasionally severe.
  • the headache which is not made worse by exercise.
  • no nausea or vomiting signs.


  • Taking a pain relief otc like aspirin or acetaminophen is normally enough if tension headaches are not frequent.
  • If they occur more frequently  lifestyle modifications are  or some alternative treatments  can help reduce their frequency and length as well.
  • Some relaxation techniques can be helpful.
  • A cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Few massages
  • Some times physical therapy



Migraine headaches are the type of headaches which  are common type and recurring that mostly  start during childhood and increase in frequency and severity with the growing age. In adulthood, with time they can occur several times a week, specifically  in females who are between the age of 35 and 45 years. Common symptoms of migraine include following:

  • Throbbing intense pain which is on oe side of the head
  • Sometimes nausea and vomiting
  • Visual disturbances
  • Heightened sensitivity to these: light, noise, and smell
  • Muscles tenderness
  •  Sensitive skin
  • Lasting from a few hours to several days
  • Mostly physical activity makes them worse


Triggers of migraine : Many factors specific to each person might trigger migraine episodes at any time .These factors could be emotional, physical, environmental, medication-related, or even dietary sometimes in few cases may include following:

  • Stress
  • Menstrual changes
  • Other hormone changes
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Flashing bright lights, noises that are loud, or strong odours
  • Hunger
  • Lack of sleep
  • Certain food like  cheese, chocolate, and caffeine
  • Taking a oral contraceptive pill


Medication overuse or we can say rebound headache

Medication overuse headaches can develop if a person takes too much pain relief medication. MOH headaches are also called as rebound headaches. These headaches can cause pain in the back of the head as well. Occasional usage of pain medications does not cause such problems. But, when a person takes pain relief medication for more than two or more days per week over an extended period of time , a medication overuse or rebound headache can occur. The main symptoms include following:

  • Persistent or we can say almost daily headaches
  • Worse pain when walking or doing things
  • A headache after stopping pain medication
  • Lack of sleep
  • Irritability
  • Lack of energy and physical weakness
  • Restlessness all the  time
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Depression and anxiety


Till date the best treatment for  medication overuse headache is mostly  to lower  or stop taking pain relief medication entirely. Headaches can become worse at first but they will quickly resolve. After a while  person can  resume taking their normal or we can say preferred pain relief medication. Sometimes an individual might need physical or behavioural therapy to break the cycle of using pain medications. For certain meds like ,  opioids  a doctor will  recommend a gradual reduction in dosage not abruptly, as instantly stopping some medications like opium could be dangerous

Exercise-induced headaches

Exercise-induced headaches occur as the result of very heavy and stressful physical activity. These type of headaches can typically occur in the back of the head. They start suddenly during the workout or immediately after it  and become rapidly severe. There are many  range of exercises that might trigger this pain, starting  from weightlifting or running to having sexual intercourse and straining on the toilet can cause it. Symptoms include a pulsating type of pain either on both sides of the head, or on the back that can last from 5 minutes to 2 days. These headaches are mostly isolated events and can also lead to migraine-like symptoms

Occipital neuralgia

Occipital neuralgia is a less common and distinctive type of headache which tends to begin at the base of the neck  and spreads up to the back of the head, then can run behind the ears. It can be related to damage or irritation of the occipital nerves, which are present at the back of the neck to the base of the scalp. Some underlying diseases, like neck tension, or other unknown factors might be the cause for damage or irritation. The pain in occipital neuralgia can be very severe and unbearable one . Other symptoms include following:

  • Persistent throbbing and burning ache
  • Intermittent shocking pain
  • Shooting pain
  • Pain is often on the back side of the head and may be triggered by moving the neck
  • There is tenderness in the scalp
  • Sensitivity to light can initiate it.


Cluster headaches

Cluster headaches are type of headaches that occur in cyclical patterns or we can say cluster periods, and are one of the most painful types of headache , these types of headaches commonly awakens the person in the middle of the night because of intense pain in or around one eye in humans .


There are some medications that can be used for ice pick headaches like melatonin, gabapentin and Indomethcin. Headaches are very common but ice pick headaches back of head can be severe and painful and might need more then a pain medication .They might even effect a person’s quality of life and their ability to carry out everyday actions.  There are any headaches that go away without treatment, but some have more serious causes which need intervention. Anyone who is worried about the pain in the back of the head can and should seek medical advice from a proper consultant

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Address: 393 University Avenue,Suite 200,Toronto ON MG5 2M2,CANADA


Phone: +1(647)303 0740

All Rights Reserved © By MarsoClinic

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