"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?

Hello @trishd. It’s been a few months since you last posted on Mayo Connect. I hope that you are getting some answers regarding the pain you mentioned. We look forward to hearing from you. Best wishes, Teresa

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@bexter18

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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Welcome to Connect, @bexter18.
While we wait for others to join the conversation, can you tell us a bit more about their recent episode? This electric shock type pain only recently started? Have you had a chance to speak to your doctor about it yet?

You also mention TN. We have several member talking about trigeminal neuralgia on Connect as well. You may wish to join this discussion:

– Trigeminal neuralgia* http://mayocl.in/2bVAIAl

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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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My name is Laura and my husband was talking about me (lol), I am now seeing neurologist who is telling me it’s my PTSD that’s causing my symptoms, on June 20th I see a neurosurgeon about my neck. There is soft tissues that showed up, and won’t know more til then.

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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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@david33 Thanks for providing an update to your treatment. You mention, “soft tissues that showed up” do you mean soft tissue damage? I hope that you appointment on June 20 goes well and you get some answers to his difficult pain problem. Teresa

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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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@hopefull33250
Actually the ‘soft tissue’ was found on my wife, somewhere on her neck and head. We don’t know what it is until they run more test on her, the only trauma she had to her neck was a whip flash when she tried to learn how to drive and failed, ever sense then she has been having neck pain and pressure. No doctors would listen to her, we wounded up changing doctors and when she showed the doctor her neck he told her to see a neurosurgeon. He found the problem, now it’s just a waiting game.

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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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@david33 The “waiting game” is probably the most difficult when you are looking for a treatment plan or diagnosis, isn’t it?
David: I know that I was responding to your wife – however, I’m not sure that I have Laura’s name for Mayo Connect, it appears that she uses yours. Is that correct? (She can, of course, register for herself if she chooses to get posts directrf to her.)
In any case, I wish you and Laura well and hope that all of her symptoms keep stable until her June 20th appointment. Ask her (or you) to keep in touch as you can. We are here to offer support and encouragement. Best wishes, Teresa

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This is the first time I have seen anything in regards to this type of pain, it helps knowing that others have this problem as you all know we always think the worst. My pain is on the top left side of the scalp where the nerve ending are, it also sometimes affects the area of the left temple, that is not to severe but I also get pain in my left ear. This has happened to me a couple of times over the last few years, I have put it off as a possible allergy problem as it seems to do this once or twice a year. This time when the pain its it makes my left eye water. At at present am trying hot packs and that seems to help a bit. This time I decided to take Aleve which has noproxin for the pain and it does help for a short time, but I discovered tonight that I have been taking it to often. I realized as I took the last one that it was the 5th one for the day and you should not take more then 3 in 24 hours. After reading some of the post I decided that I will call the Dr. tomorrow. The other thing is that I find that my left eye wants to close when the pain hits, the eye does not water unless the pain is in the process. I will let you know what I find out from the Dr. when I go, but from past history there is not a lot of faith in that thought, my best hope is that he is young and new, wish me luck.

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@grandma7268 Welcome to Mayo Connect and thank you for your post. I’m glad to see that you have decided to make an appointment with a doctor – that sounds like a very wise plan given your symptoms. If you are comfortable sharing more information, please let us know how long you have been dealing with this pain. Are there any other symptoms? Please keep in touch with us at Mayo Connect, we are looking forward to hearing from you. Best wishes, Teresa

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I know this thread is old but what you describe here is exactly what I’m going through. I’m 37, generally healthy with some history of migraines. I’ve had bouts of this in the past but today’s is by far the worst I’ve ever had. I woke up almost thinking it was the onset of an ear infection but then the zaps began. They come in clusters of 3 or 4 every 45 seconds or so. The “zaps” for lack of a better word, feel very electric and hit like a shock just like touching an electric fence for a second. They originate right under the scalp (kind of the top of my head off to the right side) where the scalp is hyper sensitive. I was almost in tears brushing this side of my hair this morning. The feeling on the scalp is similar to that of taking a tight ponytail down after having it in for a long time though much more intense.

I took ibuprofen and Tylenol today to no avail. I even tried a glass of white wine but worried it made it worse. Does anyone have any experience with the right medicine to find relief? I believe the last time I had this it last 2 1/2 days and I’m hoping that’s not the case this time. I did find a measure of relief laying still on my back. The zaps still came but more regularly. When I’m up walking, talking, working, etc., just turning your head or bending over brings additional zaps. I also find sitting alone allows me to channel the pain into a muscle reaction like a leg kick or foot stomp (silly I know) but it helps somehow.

Any or all advice would be appreciated. Especially on what works to get the pain to stop! And the, of course, I’m curious what in the world is causing this. I’ve read about TN but as many people mentioned, that pain is described as facial pain and this is on one side of my scalp. I also read about Occipital neuralgia. Any thoughts there?

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@heatherheadache

I know this thread is old but what you describe here is exactly what I’m going through. I’m 37, generally healthy with some history of migraines. I’ve had bouts of this in the past but today’s is by far the worst I’ve ever had. I woke up almost thinking it was the onset of an ear infection but then the zaps began. They come in clusters of 3 or 4 every 45 seconds or so. The “zaps” for lack of a better word, feel very electric and hit like a shock just like touching an electric fence for a second. They originate right under the scalp (kind of the top of my head off to the right side) where the scalp is hyper sensitive. I was almost in tears brushing this side of my hair this morning. The feeling on the scalp is similar to that of taking a tight ponytail down after having it in for a long time though much more intense.

I took ibuprofen and Tylenol today to no avail. I even tried a glass of white wine but worried it made it worse. Does anyone have any experience with the right medicine to find relief? I believe the last time I had this it last 2 1/2 days and I’m hoping that’s not the case this time. I did find a measure of relief laying still on my back. The zaps still came but more regularly. When I’m up walking, talking, working, etc., just turning your head or bending over brings additional zaps. I also find sitting alone allows me to channel the pain into a muscle reaction like a leg kick or foot stomp (silly I know) but it helps somehow.

Any or all advice would be appreciated. Especially on what works to get the pain to stop! And the, of course, I’m curious what in the world is causing this. I’ve read about TN but as many people mentioned, that pain is described as facial pain and this is on one side of my scalp. I also read about Occipital neuralgia. Any thoughts there?

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This sounds very much like Trigeminal Neuralgia. I recommend seeing a doctor ASAP who specializes in oral/facial pain. My understanding is that TN is not just in the face. It also could be Occipital neuralgia.

Liked by andres5560

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It’s psychotronic torture. You are a TI or a targeted individual. You are unwillingly subjected to mind control experiments. You may google microwave torture or remote neural monitoring.

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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 have had pains like this for years and it always seems to accompany a ear infection. Occasionally, I’ll go to the doctor and be told the ears look fine, but the pains continue. Every single time I have gone back…ear infection. So I’ve always attributed my propensity to have this pain to a propensity for ear infections. What do I do to reduce the likely hood of ear infections?

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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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Welcome to Connect, Andrew. Are you saying that the pain starts before the ear infection is detected? I’m tagging @jamienolson for ideas about preventing middle ear infections in adults.
In the meantime, here are some suggestions from Healthline http://www.healthline.com/health/ear-infection-adults#prevention9
Do you follow these suggestions regularly?

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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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Sometimes the pain comes before, sometimes I’ll have the pain go to my nurse practitioner and I’ve already got a full blown ear infection. The discrepancy could just amount to my pain tolerance on that day or when I can schedule an appointment.

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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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However, oddly enough that this is the first time I ever posted about this issue (anywhere) and I was having the shooting pains yesterday, but I took some ibuprofen yesterday afternoon, then went for a bike ride with wind whistling through my ears, then joined my kids at the pool…and no problems today. I don’t know that that has ever happened before. If I had a partial blockage in an eustachian tube could it have dislodged due to the jarring and heavy breathing of the bike ride and therefore relieved some pressure?

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