Headache With Pins and Needles: Is This Serious?
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?
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.