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Headache With Pins and Needles: Is This Serious?

By: Kathryn Senior PhD - Updated: 6 Dec 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Headache Headaches Migraine Migraines

Q.

I have a regular headache which happens about once a month, very severe pain radiating around my head. The symptoms have recently changed and I'm now getting a pain on the right side of my head at the back, it's as if I'm having a pin jabbed into my head. Then when it goes, I'm also experiencing pins and needles in my face. Should I go and see my doctor?

(A.N, 8 April 2009)

A.

Yes, we would definitely recommend seeing your doctor as only he or she can do a proper examination and ask you all the necessary questions to be able to diagnose your problem.

The fact that your headaches are regular probably means that there is nothing sinister going on. What you describe does sound quite like a migraine headache but it is not absolutely typical. Some people who have migraines experience an aura – usually flashing lights – just before the pain begins. Less commonly, this aura can be in the form of pins and needles that are felt in the arms and hands or in the face, usually on the same side as the headache.

However, you describe pins and needles coming after the headache, not before, so it would be wise to have a full medical check up.

You also mention that your headache is regular and ‘once a month’. As most headaches, particularly migraines occur in women, I am assuming here that you are female. Does the headache tend to occur around the time of menstruation? Many women find that menstruation is a very potent migraine trigger and that they need to take special care to try to minimise the threat of a headache around this time.

It would be worth keeping a food diary too to see if there are any dietary triggers that might be affecting you. Common ones are red wine, chocolate and cheese – but different people have different triggers and yours could be quite different.

When you have a headache, you don't mention if you have any nausea or vomiting? This is another common sign of a migraine and this can really cause your headaches to stop you functioning completely. If the headaches are stopping you from working or beginning to disrupt your life, talking to the doctor could also help you to find some effective medication that you could use. Ordinary, over-the-counter medicines can be quite ineffective against very severe migraines and your doctor may be able to prescribe something to cut short your attacks. He or she may also put you in touch with a practioner of complementary medicine, as hypnosis and acupuncture can often help reduce migraine headaches.

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bucket- Your Question:
I'm 58, female I've had a swollen stomach five months.pins and needles head to toe ,I have had ultrasound of overies and kidney. I am so exhausted. I feel as though I need to sleep. When shopping or even when walking. I do have two disks cervical diagnosed I had a m.r.i my g.p. Is fed up off seeing me. When I tried to explain how exhausted I am she just said you have I.b.s. That is it. Yesterday I slept for ten hours and my husband has to argue with me to get me up. The only other thing is my urine output is poor and im feeling flushed in my face at times. I'm not able to visit my doctor as she I know is angry with me for taking to much time. I have a meningioma. Benign. Lumber disk234 bad and stenosis. Can you help some of blood tests show slight elevated liver tests.thankyou

Our Response:
I'm afraid we cannot give an online diagnosis. However, if you are ill you really must visit your GP if you feel you need treatment and your symptoms are not being properly diagnosed.
HeadacheExpert - 7-Dec-16 @ 12:16 PM
I'm 58, female I've had a swollen stomach five months.pins and needles head to toe ,I have had ultrasound of overies and kidney. I am so exhausted. I feel as though I need to sleep. When shopping or even when walking. I do have two disks cervical diagnosed I had a m.r.i my g.p. Is fed up off seeing me. When I tried to explain how exhausted I am she just said you have I.b.s. That is it . Yesterday I slept for ten hours and my husband has to argue with me to get me up . The only other thing is my urine output is poor and im feeling flushed in my face at times. I'm not able to visit my doctor as she I know is angry with me for taking to much time. I have a meningioma. Benign. Lumber disk234bad and stenosis.. Can you help some of blood tests show slight elevated liver tests.thankyou
bucket - 6-Dec-16 @ 8:25 PM
Experiencing extreme painful headaches besides numbing and tingling in back of head and neck. Has had back and neck surgeries. Travelingpain to left arm.
Rick - 24-Nov-16 @ 9:40 AM
Hello i got pin and needles of over my body my head my lips my tongue my hands my legs andi my eyes is blury feel dizzy. I dont know wat it is can you help me please
mandy - 14-Sep-13 @ 10:37 AM
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