"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?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Chronic Pain Support Group.

@deby

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

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I know this may be a long shot, but I am having the same exact problem! I have had this before but they would never last. I get the stabbing, electric like, zapping, on the right side of my head, in the back, a bit higher that the top of my ear. And I am noticing now that my ear feels like a mild earache, but not always. I read up on Occipital Neuralgia and that would make sense, as I have had serious head injuries in a car collision years ago. I also have neck arthritis. But, do we just live with this? Have you found relief?

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@jeanette493

I know this may be a long shot, but I am having the same exact problem! I have had this before but they would never last. I get the stabbing, electric like, zapping, on the right side of my head, in the back, a bit higher that the top of my ear. And I am noticing now that my ear feels like a mild earache, but not always. I read up on Occipital Neuralgia and that would make sense, as I have had serious head injuries in a car collision years ago. I also have neck arthritis. But, do we just live with this? Have you found relief?

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@jeanette494 and @pattivi330 – Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. There is another discussion on Connect that you may be interested in joining and learning what other members have shared on Occipital Neuralgia. @rwinney has discussed occipital neuralgia in another post and may have some thoughts to share with you.

Occipital Neuralgia: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/occipital-neuralgia/

The American Association of Neurological Surgeons also has some good information on Occipital Neuralgia here:
https://www.aans.org/en/Patients/Neurosurgical-Conditions-and-Treatments/Occipital-Neuralgia

Have you found any treatments that help?

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I have the exact same problem. I have been suffering for at least 20 years with this shocking pain in my scalp, sometimes on left side and sometimes on the right. Worst pain I have ever experienced. I get it 2 to 3 times a year.

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@ladybug49

I have the exact same problem. I have been suffering for at least 20 years with this shocking pain in my scalp, sometimes on left side and sometimes on the right. Worst pain I have ever experienced. I get it 2 to 3 times a year.

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Hello @ladybug49, Welcome to Connect, an online community where patients and caregivers share their experiences, find support and exchange information with others. 20 years is a long time to be suffering from this type of pain. I'm wondering if @jeanette493 @pattivi330 @bonnieh218 and @sarasally2 may have some suggestions to share with you.

Have you discussed the symptoms with a neurologist or other specialist?

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Hi
I’m almost two years post chickenpox and viral meningitis as an adult.
I experience the same type symptoms in my legs, arms, ribs and the area I broke out with the chickenpox! Along with extreme fatigue, brain fog, memory issues, muscle pain and weakness and gastro issues. I have been unable to work since Feb 2020
I’ve had test after test and still no definitive answers.
Has anyone else had any tests or seen any specialist that have confirmed anything?

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@deb63

Hi
I’m almost two years post chickenpox and viral meningitis as an adult.
I experience the same type symptoms in my legs, arms, ribs and the area I broke out with the chickenpox! Along with extreme fatigue, brain fog, memory issues, muscle pain and weakness and gastro issues. I have been unable to work since Feb 2020
I’ve had test after test and still no definitive answers.
Has anyone else had any tests or seen any specialist that have confirmed anything?

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Hello @deb63, Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. It sounds like you have been battling this condition for a long time and not been able to find any answers. There is another discussion that sounds a lot like what you are describing with your symptoms.

Chronic Illnesses of Millions of Women Left Untreated: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/myalgic-encephalomyelitis-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-me-cfs-treatments/

You might also be interested in the following video – What happens when you have a disease doctors can't diagnose TED talk by Jennifer Brea who became progressively ill with myalgic encephalomyelitis, commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome.
https://www.ted.com/talks/jen_brea_what_happens_when_you_have_a_disease_doctors_can_t_diagnose

Have you thought about seeking help at a major teaching hospital or health facility like Mayo Clinic?

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@johnbishop

Hello @deb63, Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. It sounds like you have been battling this condition for a long time and not been able to find any answers. There is another discussion that sounds a lot like what you are describing with your symptoms.

Chronic Illnesses of Millions of Women Left Untreated: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/myalgic-encephalomyelitis-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-me-cfs-treatments/

You might also be interested in the following video – What happens when you have a disease doctors can't diagnose TED talk by Jennifer Brea who became progressively ill with myalgic encephalomyelitis, commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome.
https://www.ted.com/talks/jen_brea_what_happens_when_you_have_a_disease_doctors_can_t_diagnose

Have you thought about seeking help at a major teaching hospital or health facility like Mayo Clinic?

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Thanks for the info! I’ll check it out!

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@johnbishop

Hello @deb63, Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. It sounds like you have been battling this condition for a long time and not been able to find any answers. There is another discussion that sounds a lot like what you are describing with your symptoms.

Chronic Illnesses of Millions of Women Left Untreated: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/myalgic-encephalomyelitis-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-me-cfs-treatments/

You might also be interested in the following video – What happens when you have a disease doctors can't diagnose TED talk by Jennifer Brea who became progressively ill with myalgic encephalomyelitis, commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome.
https://www.ted.com/talks/jen_brea_what_happens_when_you_have_a_disease_doctors_can_t_diagnose

Have you thought about seeking help at a major teaching hospital or health facility like Mayo Clinic?

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I’ve been going to Mayo for the past year!

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@ladybug49

I have the exact same problem. I have been suffering for at least 20 years with this shocking pain in my scalp, sometimes on left side and sometimes on the right. Worst pain I have ever experienced. I get it 2 to 3 times a year.

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I saw this discussion on my weekly email from Mayo weekly digest. Way back in 2010 I think, my back problems all started with these electric shock-like pains, up from my neck to the top of my head. Most painful experience, but only lasted a few seconds! That made me visit a neurologist for the first time, who sent me for an MRI because of family history, and he prescribed meds that did not help at all.
I had an MRI for my hips later, showed my back had many issues, eventually I had a fusion on L4-5 in January this year.
My head pains eventually stopped for the most part, but I also had ear pains and jaw pain on the left side. I never connected them because they happened at separate times.
I'm wondering if nerves being pinched by bone spurs and stenosis isn't causing it all.

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If you go to YouTube and search for “Scalp Pain? Occipital Neuralgial”, Dr K will explain how you can fix it yourself. It worked for me. I’ve had this off and on again for years and I finally found someone who can tell me what it is and how to fix it.

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