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"Electric Shock" type pain in my scalp!

Posted by Deby, Aug 17, 2011

It feels like someone is touching my scalp with an electric wire or prod. Like a "zap" and then it takes a few seconds to get over it. It happens 2 or more times per MINUTE! It lastes for a couple of days usually and when it goes away it takes a few more days for my scalp not to be sore. I don't know how many times a year it occurs but when it does, like today, it drives me crazy. I walk around making weird faces and people stare at me. They think I have a headache or migrain but I don't, the pain is only on my scalp not IN my head. Sometimes the shocks occur over and over for a minute, then go back to 2 or more times per minute. It's the weirdest thing and I can't wait for it to be over. I never know when it's going to occur or what brings it on. Anyone ever heard of something like this?

Tags: nerve pain


Posted by dean, Aug 18, 2011

have you talked to a neurologist or dr who specialize in nerve problems? i dont know anything but it sounds miserable. i am just a guy here hoping to get help with my serious eye pain.

SwitchingGranny likes this

Posted by Deby, Aug 18, 2011

No, if I had insurance I'd go but.....that's why I am looking on line.


Posted by SwitchingGranny, Aug 18, 2011

Deby - look up trigeminal neuralgia. I had this most terrible disease. It was actually a vessel laying on an branch of my trigeminal nerve Ultimately I had brain surgery (but some get by with medication) The surgery stopped my pain! Was in 06. But Dean was right.. a Neurologist is your best bet. There is a type of neuralgia that causes pain in the eye.


Posted by SwitchingGranny, Aug 18, 2011

Also I suggest you go check out to find tons of information on TN. MY pain was in my ear canal. From my blog:

And from TNA's site: (a video)

My story here:

If when you are on my blog you search (brain surgery or trigeminal neuralgia you'll find lots of links about this condition.

You are in my prayers.


Posted by Deby, Aug 18, 2011

Thanks, it has changed from the back of the left side of my head to the side but the shocks are much further apart yet elicit a bigger response from me when they hit, so I believe this round is almost over. See this is completely on top of the scull, nerves between skull and I said, I only get it a couple times a year but have no idea what the trigger is....really what I need is HankMed to come over and give me a freebee. ;>} Thanks Deby


Posted by SwitchingGranny, Aug 18, 2011


If it is a type of trigeminal neuralgia (which it sounds like) this tends to happen to people in episodes like you are mentioning. I'd have an episode of "zaps" that would go on for say a few weeks and then NOTHING for months. What generally helps is not narcotic medication but anti seizure medications. Please check out the site's I mentioned above. Plus Mayo has a good site regarding trigeminal neuralgia. Just search for it.

Glad this episode is easing for you.


Posted by Deby, Aug 19, 2011

Thanks, I haven't had more than 2 or 3 zaps all day...I don't know why it's only a day or two for me,.. but I will look at the site you recommended and I really appreciate your husband reminded me that I had an even weirder episode a few months ago but it was a patch on my arm. It wasn't red and it didn't shock me like the head ones do but it would just cause me a similar type of pain on the skin itself. The oddest part was that you couldn't see anything at all on my arm. Anyway, thanks for your concern and I will check out that site. Deby


Posted by Deby, Aug 19, 2011

After having only a couple of zaps yesterday I woke up this morning and they have come back into the original spot. I am heading off to look up TN. Thanks for your support.


Posted by Deby, Aug 19, 2011

I went to a TN site and it only talks about face pain..this is on my head, but I did find a website for all natural pills specifically for this type of pain. It seems to be mostly made from asparagus! Whodathunkit? If we had any insurance at all I would go see someone but in the mean time I'll see how long this lasts and if it goes more than another day I'll look into either the tabs or,...hell I'll go buy some asperagus! ;>} Thanks for being such a friend, . Deborah


Posted by jeffacre, Apr 13, 2013

WOW! I have this issue too! It's been driving me crazy for two days now, and I can't seem to explain it to anyone. Nobody understands when you tell them it feels like a shock going thru the nerves in one area of your scalp. It's like a quick, painful and shock to the nerves that almost take my breath away each time it hits. Thank Goodness it only happens for a second or two, but it is drivng me crazy because it's EVERY FEW SECONDS and ALL DAY LONG NOW!!!
I too have also had a strange "jumpy nerve" feeling on my arm in the past. It seems I have these painful and annoying nerve issues a couple times a year.

***Were you ever able to find out what caused your shocking nerve pain in your scalp? Please let me know!
Thanks so much for validating what I'm going thru!


Posted by Triili, May 9, 2013

Did you find anything out? I'm suffering from the same thing. I described it to my husband as a repeated wasp sting in the same place on my scalp. He sees nothing...except for me freeze in place and wince in pain.


Posted by AnnieG, Jun 19, 2014

I'm currently experiencing my second round of this pain. The first was two years ago and lasted more than a month before it finally went away. When people ask me to describe the pain I ask if they have ever seen the children's movie, "Fern Gully". I feel like the character Batty who escaped from a lab with wires implanted in his head and every so often they shock him. Two years ago a dr told me this was shingles, even tho there are no visible sores. The right half of my scalp, including my ear, feels almost numb and tight. As the days go by it is getting worse and the tingling is developing into more defined zaps. I find myself massaging my scalp to try to "loosen" the scalp from the scull if that makes any sense... I'll start looking for a neurologist tonight...

Margaret Shepard

Posted by Margaret Shepard, Jun 19, 2014

Hi, @AnnieG. I'm sorry to hear about the pain you are experiencing. Here is a link to the Neurology department at Mayo Clinic that may be helpful:


Posted by concerned381, Mon, Feb 9 at 3:24am CDT

I have this sensation. It just started recently. Its scary. I dont have a headache or anything...its just these electrical bursts on my scalp and then its just sore to the touch. They only last 5 seconds. What is this?? Somone please tell me. Its so strange and I never know when it is coming on!!


Posted by Ennergizerbunnee, Tue, Jul 14 at 3:06am CDT

Yes I have had this over the years and have it right now since about 5pm, not able to sleep yet with the zap happening.VERY painful for about 4 - 8 seconds. I have been informed that there is a very slight swelling in the ear canal and the nerves at the side of the head run very closely to the nerves of the ear so it triggers off a synapse which is very painful. I found i get it if the windows are open in the car, i can't have a breeze blowing at my ears or it happens like clock work. This morning i got splashed in the swimming pool into the ear, and then drove 1/2 hr to apt with windows open , it was a beautiful day free from smoke from the forest fires and i forgot so now i pay the price. I usually have a pair of ear puffs from the sporting goods store for skiing that i wear when the wind it up and i wear them, don't care if it looks silly in summer but my hair covers them up. Better that than the horrid pain. I currently have taken a Tylenol #2, 5 mg of Oxycontin and 15 mg of oxazipam and i put an ice pack in the towel at the side of the head to numb the spot. The spot is about 2 1/2 inches above the ear on the scalp this time. Hope it simmers down asap, i need sleep.
I am a retired nurse. You have to pay attention to what you were doing within about 5 hours before onset of the zapping to know what is setting it off. good luck, always wear hats in cold weather.


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