"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?

Hi I was wondering if anyone else has the same problem as me. I get shooting pain like an electric shock it lasts for only a second or two then stops but it happens every two or three minutes. I usually know when it’s going to start as I get a tingling on my skin beforehand sort of like the tiny hairs on my face are charging then the pain starts. I can have it for up to a fee days then it stops and I may not have it again for a few months. I have heard of Trigeminal Neuralgia and what I get sounds exactly like that but the difference with mine is it’s not only on my face I get it on my scalp too and when I get really bad episodes it can affect my neck, throat, inside my nose,eyes and gums too. It’s so painful it makes me wince and shout out it’s very embarrassing. I’ve had a doctor tell me it’s from nerve damage because I was never vaccinated as a child and I’ve had chickenpox four times three times as an adult. Could this be true? Has anyone else got something similar?

Liked by andres5560

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@trishd

Hi I was wondering if anyone else has the same problem as me. I get shooting pain like an electric shock it lasts for only a second or two then stops but it happens every two or three minutes. I usually know when it’s going to start as I get a tingling on my skin beforehand sort of like the tiny hairs on my face are charging then the pain starts. I can have it for up to a fee days then it stops and I may not have it again for a few months. I have heard of Trigeminal Neuralgia and what I get sounds exactly like that but the difference with mine is it’s not only on my face I get it on my scalp too and when I get really bad episodes it can affect my neck, throat, inside my nose,eyes and gums too. It’s so painful it makes me wince and shout out it’s very embarrassing. I’ve had a doctor tell me it’s from nerve damage because I was never vaccinated as a child and I’ve had chickenpox four times three times as an adult. Could this be true? Has anyone else got something similar?

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@trishd Hello and welcome to Mayo Connect. I’m sorry to hear of the shock-type pain you are having, this sounds very uncomfortable. Have you had any other symptoms like balance, gait or walking problems? You mentioned that your doctor said it is from nerve damage. Was this your primary care doctor making this diagnosis? What type of tests did he/she do to come to this conclusion I would suggest a second opinion with a neurologist. Keep in touch with Mayo Connect, we look forward to following your progress as you seek treatment for this uncomfortable symptom. Teresa

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@trishd

Hi I was wondering if anyone else has the same problem as me. I get shooting pain like an electric shock it lasts for only a second or two then stops but it happens every two or three minutes. I usually know when it’s going to start as I get a tingling on my skin beforehand sort of like the tiny hairs on my face are charging then the pain starts. I can have it for up to a fee days then it stops and I may not have it again for a few months. I have heard of Trigeminal Neuralgia and what I get sounds exactly like that but the difference with mine is it’s not only on my face I get it on my scalp too and when I get really bad episodes it can affect my neck, throat, inside my nose,eyes and gums too. It’s so painful it makes me wince and shout out it’s very embarrassing. I’ve had a doctor tell me it’s from nerve damage because I was never vaccinated as a child and I’ve had chickenpox four times three times as an adult. Could this be true? Has anyone else got something similar?

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Hi @trishd,
I add my welcome. You’ll notice that I moved your message to a discussion in the Chronic Pain group. If you click VIEW & REPLY in the email notification, you’ll be able scroll back through the discussion to see suggestions from other members about this type of electric shock pain. You’ll also meet members like @lorimar89 @david33 @luladavis @audrapopp @genzel @megamom and @sandytoes14.

Trish, I’m not a medical professional, but I wonder if you might be onto something with your suspicions of the chicken pox virus. @lorimar89 discovered that her pain was due to shingles. The varicella zoster virus is the same virus for shingles and for chicken pox. Have you told your doctor about your vaccination and chicken pox history?

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@trishd

Hi I was wondering if anyone else has the same problem as me. I get shooting pain like an electric shock it lasts for only a second or two then stops but it happens every two or three minutes. I usually know when it’s going to start as I get a tingling on my skin beforehand sort of like the tiny hairs on my face are charging then the pain starts. I can have it for up to a fee days then it stops and I may not have it again for a few months. I have heard of Trigeminal Neuralgia and what I get sounds exactly like that but the difference with mine is it’s not only on my face I get it on my scalp too and when I get really bad episodes it can affect my neck, throat, inside my nose,eyes and gums too. It’s so painful it makes me wince and shout out it’s very embarrassing. I’ve had a doctor tell me it’s from nerve damage because I was never vaccinated as a child and I’ve had chickenpox four times three times as an adult. Could this be true? Has anyone else got something similar?

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Hi @colleenyoung No I haven’t me mentioned it to my doctor, I really must do it. Thank you for the directions on how to navigate the discussions, I’ve only joined and it’s very confusing.. I’ll go check out the other members comments now.

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@trishd

Hi I was wondering if anyone else has the same problem as me. I get shooting pain like an electric shock it lasts for only a second or two then stops but it happens every two or three minutes. I usually know when it’s going to start as I get a tingling on my skin beforehand sort of like the tiny hairs on my face are charging then the pain starts. I can have it for up to a fee days then it stops and I may not have it again for a few months. I have heard of Trigeminal Neuralgia and what I get sounds exactly like that but the difference with mine is it’s not only on my face I get it on my scalp too and when I get really bad episodes it can affect my neck, throat, inside my nose,eyes and gums too. It’s so painful it makes me wince and shout out it’s very embarrassing. I’ve had a doctor tell me it’s from nerve damage because I was never vaccinated as a child and I’ve had chickenpox four times three times as an adult. Could this be true? Has anyone else got something similar?

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Hi @hopeful33250 Now that you mention it I have noticed that my balance is bad. I have always been a clumsy person and my balance was always off but I’ve noticed in the last year or two it seems to be worse.

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@trishd

Hi I was wondering if anyone else has the same problem as me. I get shooting pain like an electric shock it lasts for only a second or two then stops but it happens every two or three minutes. I usually know when it’s going to start as I get a tingling on my skin beforehand sort of like the tiny hairs on my face are charging then the pain starts. I can have it for up to a fee days then it stops and I may not have it again for a few months. I have heard of Trigeminal Neuralgia and what I get sounds exactly like that but the difference with mine is it’s not only on my face I get it on my scalp too and when I get really bad episodes it can affect my neck, throat, inside my nose,eyes and gums too. It’s so painful it makes me wince and shout out it’s very embarrassing. I’ve had a doctor tell me it’s from nerve damage because I was never vaccinated as a child and I’ve had chickenpox four times three times as an adult. Could this be true? Has anyone else got something similar?

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@trishd This probably should be mentioned to your doctor as well. Keep a list of questions for your next visit. Teresa

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I went for therapy on my tmj which is bad. During the treatment they pulled my neck turned it to the side….when that happened I ended up with a pain that went from my neck up to the top of my head. I haven’t been able to lay on the back of my head or either side of my face which they think I have pinched nerves in my neck. The pain is horrible. I now am getting coldness in my face a burning along with this tinittins of my left ear. My nerves are now bad because of the pain….when the pain lets up some I go into a panic attack….. I have gone from one doc to another….as they keep sending me for more and more testing. Which has shown my neck is bad but no surgery now sending to pain management….it is hard to pay attention and feels as though I am in another world because of the pain. Any thoughts on what mess are best ….I don’t do well on them

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Hello @trishd. It’s been a few weeks since we have heard from you. How are you doing with your pain? I hope that you have been able to speak with your doctor and find some help. Please keep in touch with us as you are able. Teresa

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please help me 3 weeks ago i had these electric type pains in my head my docter said that it could be connected to shingles she put me on some tablets which helped but since today again im having these pains any advice

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@elainesharon

please help me 3 weeks ago i had these electric type pains in my head my docter said that it could be connected to shingles she put me on some tablets which helped but since today again im having these pains any advice

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Welcome, @elainesharon.
You’ll notice that I moved your message to a discussion called “Electric Shock” type pain in my scalp!” in the Chronic Pain group. If you click VIEW & REPLY in the email notification, you’ll be able scroll back through the discussion to see suggestions from other members about this type of electric shock pain. You’ll also meet members like @lorimar89 @david33 @luladavis @audrapopp @genzel @megamom and @sandytoes14.

I especially encourage you to read the posts starting here with @lorimar89‘s http://mayocl.in/2okSyjR

Elaine, what medication did your doctor give you for shingles? Did the electric shock sensation go away?

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Yes it did I’ve forgot the name of the tablets but I’m also diabetic as well last night I was in agony the pain was unbearable my doctor said it was due to having shingles but I had no rash the pain is at the back of my neck on the left hand side I’m really fed up now

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I am just getting over some crud and it seems anytime I get a fever over 100 I can expect this head pain to occur, either that day or soon. So it has to have something to do with inflamation or viral. Little devils shooting lightening bolts at my head. I have had these so many years I don’t expect anyone is going to be able to help up, if they even believe or listen to us, but strangely it feels better knowing I am not the only one who has these. For those just starting with these pains, I am 62 and they haven’t killed me yet and I have had them off and on for as long as I can remember, hang in there,

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@ennergizerbunnee

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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I am going to pay more attention to see if it occurs during periods where I might have gotten wind in my ears, has your ever accompanied a fever?

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@megamom

I am just getting over some crud and it seems anytime I get a fever over 100 I can expect this head pain to occur, either that day or soon. So it has to have something to do with inflamation or viral. Little devils shooting lightening bolts at my head. I have had these so many years I don’t expect anyone is going to be able to help up, if they even believe or listen to us, but strangely it feels better knowing I am not the only one who has these. For those just starting with these pains, I am 62 and they haven’t killed me yet and I have had them off and on for as long as I can remember, hang in there,

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Hi I’ve been back to my doctors and they have put it down to stress I give up

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I’ve been dealing with chronic nerve pain for yrs. I was diagnosed with TN 8 yrs ago. Over the last few days, my scalp, at the top of my head, feels like I have an electric shock hitting me every few minutes. I can feel exactly where the trigger spot is. I am unable to even touch my hair by the spot or the pain is excruciating. I’ve also had a trigger spot by my right temple at the hairline for over a year and cannot even lay my head on a pillow on that side or the pain is awful. Has anyone else had a nerve block and does it help? The electric shock pain also often triggers a migraine. Thanks.

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