"Electric Shock" type pain in my scalp!

Posted by Deby @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?

Liked by steffanie, cadence

I am currently having this very thing going on. It started last evening and I am still experiencing it 20 hours later. I have had it before in the past, but never this painful or lasting this long. I timed it and I’m having between 4 and 6 episodes every minute with the episode lasting one or two seconds max. I barely made it through the grocery store today because I’m in so much pain and it’s hard to not wince, distort my face, or call out when its happening. I had to call off work today because of it because I work with the public. I got very little sleep last night and unless this lightens up some, I don’t think I’m going to be getting much tonight. I have a doctors appointment tomorrow morning. I’ve taken 9 motrin in the last 12 hours. It helps for an hour or two and then it’s right back to where it was. It’s maddening. How does one put up with this for long periods of time??

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Hi @lorimar89,
Welcome to Connect.

Here’s some information about trigeminal neuralgia http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/trigeminal-neuralgia/basics/preparing-for-your-appointment/con-20043802. This might help prepare questions for your doctor’s appointment, especially if @switchinggranny‘s hunch is right.

You may also want to connect with @Restless67.
I hope you can rest well tonight. Please let us know what you find out at your appointment tomorrow.

Colleen
Connect Community Director

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@colleenyoung

Hi @lorimar89,
Welcome to Connect.

Here’s some information about trigeminal neuralgia http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/trigeminal-neuralgia/basics/preparing-for-your-appointment/con-20043802. This might help prepare questions for your doctor’s appointment, especially if @switchinggranny‘s hunch is right.

You may also want to connect with @Restless67.
I hope you can rest well tonight. Please let us know what you find out at your appointment tomorrow.

Colleen
Connect Community Director

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Turns out it’s shingles! The electric shock feeling on my scalp is because my rash, now lesions, are on my neck, behind my ear and half way up the back of my scalp. Believe me, I have wondered…could i possibly have two things going on at the same time?? I have to go back to the doctor on Tuesday so they can see the progression and make sure the path it’s on is not a danger to my eye. If I’m still having the electric shock feeling on my scalp, I’ll address TN once again. I think they dismissed it after they saw the rash on my neck going up into my scalp. Also, I have NO facial pain, and that seems to be the most prominent symptom.

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@jeffacre

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!

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Sorry for my ignorance here. (I am a Trigeminal Neurolgia survivor in the face. I had a massive Ritzotomy in the brain) But are you sure it is TN? What you all have is surely real. I was under the suggestion TN was only with the 3 branches in your face. The nerve is hitting against a blood vessel ..

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@lorimar89 What a relief it must be to have a diagnosis. Were you prescribed anything for the pain? I’m glad to hear that they are monitoring the path and taking care about your eye.

Here’s some information about shingles in case you’d like to read more. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/shingles/basics/definition/con-20019574

Let us know how your appointment goes on Tuesday.

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@colleenyoung

@lorimar89 What a relief it must be to have a diagnosis. Were you prescribed anything for the pain? I’m glad to hear that they are monitoring the path and taking care about your eye.

Here’s some information about shingles in case you’d like to read more. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/shingles/basics/definition/con-20019574

Let us know how your appointment goes on Tuesday.

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I’m tagging @scohen0 on this discussion thread. He writes about having a second bout of shingles in his left eye in this discussion thread https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/im-dealing-with-my-second-bout-with-shingles-in-my-left-eye/ Maybe he would have something to add to this discussion.

Colleen
Connect Community Director

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@colleenyoung

@lorimar89 What a relief it must be to have a diagnosis. Were you prescribed anything for the pain? I’m glad to hear that they are monitoring the path and taking care about your eye.

Here’s some information about shingles in case you’d like to read more. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/shingles/basics/definition/con-20019574

Let us know how your appointment goes on Tuesday.

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They gave me percocet. I also AM taking ibuprofen. It’s much better today. Getting a jump on it quickly was key! Again, I go back to the doctor on Tuesday so they can take a look at the progression or lack thereof.

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My wife has the same and odd symptoms, she is also seeing a doctor for this whom claims its just headaches….but they are getting more intense…..there’s an explosion that goes off like a gun shot, and red liquid type will go over her eyes. No doctors believe her, even with the test, everything comes back normal.She even have a numbness behind right ear that if she touches it, feels like she is touching her brain, also if she scratches behind her left ear, she gets a pinching between her first two fingers on her left hand that drives her nuts. Before she can even scratch that part of her head she has me or her daughter to put pressure between those two fingers to stop the pitching. She has no idea what’s going on, but she does know headaches are and this isn’t it.
Can anyone help us here, and who to see.

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@david33

My wife has the same and odd symptoms, she is also seeing a doctor for this whom claims its just headaches….but they are getting more intense…..there’s an explosion that goes off like a gun shot, and red liquid type will go over her eyes. No doctors believe her, even with the test, everything comes back normal.She even have a numbness behind right ear that if she touches it, feels like she is touching her brain, also if she scratches behind her left ear, she gets a pinching between her first two fingers on her left hand that drives her nuts. Before she can even scratch that part of her head she has me or her daughter to put pressure between those two fingers to stop the pitching. She has no idea what’s going on, but she does know headaches are and this isn’t it.
Can anyone help us here, and who to see.

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Are you seeing a neurologist?

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Hi @deby I think u have described my symptoms I to have a stick electric shock all over my body an itch-lik..makes me want to scratch..Wow! I have been taking Hydroxyzine Hcl tabs 25mg..Mine started after chemo and Radation I would say..I can’t say it help tho..I wonder what is it?

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This sounds like You are having Ice Pick Headaches…so named because it feels like someone is poking your head with an ice pick. I feel your pain!! I was plaqued with these for many years. Treated initially with neurontin by my Neurologist but it didn’t seem to help, even with increasing the dose the stabbing pains continued. I was than referred to a Mayo Clinic Neurologist, Dr Julie Hammack..took me off the Neurontin and tried indomethacin which worked but dropped my blood pressure too low and finally settled on Verapamil which also worked well. I was told they may just go away as quickly as they came on…and was instructed that after no episodes in a 6 month timeframe I could try weaning off the medication and I did successfully!! It really is a weird phenomenon….good luck and I hope this helps!

Liked by Alyse Brunella

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I have this! exactly as you describe it, as well. Have you found the cause or a solution yet? I suspect it has something to do with my ear or the nerves in my neck but I’m no doctor. I’m about three days into my current episode and I’m so annoyed already, I can’t wait for it to stop.

Liked by steffanie

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Hi @genzel, welcome to Connect. I am glad you found a conversation and other members experiencing symptoms similar to your own.

While we wait for other members to weigh in, would you mind sharing a bit more about yourself and your experiences? Have you discussed these symptoms with your medical provider? What are you currently doing to manage the symptoms other than waiting it out?

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Hi, I am 62 years old and have had headaches like this since as long as I can remember. I alway called them my cattle prod head pain. Out of no where I would get a jolt of pain in my head. When I have an attack it will last any where from a dozen and then gone to days of recurrent zaps on the side of my head maybe dozens of times a minute. My head will be so sensitive I can’t comb my hair over the spot for fear of triggering another jolt and because of residual pain. With bad attacks I get nauseated after a couple of hours but it is probably just the stress and pain. This can be on either side of my head but I have never had bilateral headaches like this. It actually sounds like a zap in my ears also.
I have said if these were a constant head pain you would not be able to stand the pain. It is that intense, but that quick. No doctor has ever been able to tell me what these are and I sometimes feel they don’t believe but it is real and horrible and I thank God comes and goes.
This week I am experiencing several of the attacks. I recently had a steroid shot in my hip so don’t know if that triggered it. I have never found anything that helps either. I am somewhat relieved, but sorry for you all that others know exactly what I am talking about and have the same thing.

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@megamom

Hi, I am 62 years old and have had headaches like this since as long as I can remember. I alway called them my cattle prod head pain. Out of no where I would get a jolt of pain in my head. When I have an attack it will last any where from a dozen and then gone to days of recurrent zaps on the side of my head maybe dozens of times a minute. My head will be so sensitive I can’t comb my hair over the spot for fear of triggering another jolt and because of residual pain. With bad attacks I get nauseated after a couple of hours but it is probably just the stress and pain. This can be on either side of my head but I have never had bilateral headaches like this. It actually sounds like a zap in my ears also.
I have said if these were a constant head pain you would not be able to stand the pain. It is that intense, but that quick. No doctor has ever been able to tell me what these are and I sometimes feel they don’t believe but it is real and horrible and I thank God comes and goes.
This week I am experiencing several of the attacks. I recently had a steroid shot in my hip so don’t know if that triggered it. I have never found anything that helps either. I am somewhat relieved, but sorry for you all that others know exactly what I am talking about and have the same thing.

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Hi @megamom Welcome to Connect! It helps to know that others are going through similar things as us. For me personally, it confirmed that my pain was not, pardon the pun, ‘in my head’. I have had what I call a hypersensitivity at times when I would wash my face, but it really is painful. You mention that you have seen doctors have not been able to give you a diagnosis for this awful pain. Have you seen a neurologist? Also, have you reported your headaches this week to the doctor who administered your steroid injection?

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