Know Your Pain

Know More about Ice Pick Headaches

If you have recently experienced a bout of excruciating and sudden pain in your head which slowly ebbed out, chances are that you have just experienced a terrifying (but harmless) type of headache called the Ice Pick headache (named so because the sensation caused is similar to that of an Ice Pick's strike on our head).

Ice Pick headache- Primary or Secondary?
Primary headaches are those which occur without any reason. As absurd as it may sound, they themselves are the root cause of their own existence. On the other hand, secondary headaches are those which have an underlying cause- stroke, tumour, and other similar things.

Ice Pick headaches belong to the first category of headaches. There is no serious underlying cause for their occurrence. However, at times these headaches can occur in those who are already suffering ailments such as migraine or similar pain disorder.

How to Know if the headaches is an Ice Pick headache and nothing else
Take help of the following to determine whether the headache is an ice pick headache or something more serious:
* Headache occurring in a single prick or a string of 'pricks' of an Ice Pick.
* The area affected is mostly the temple, orbit and parietal.
* The pricks occur frequently in a day and last for several seconds on each occasion.
* Absence of any other symptoms.

Treatment of Ice Pick Headaches
Ice Pick headaches ebb as suddenly as they occur. The length of their existence is about a couple of seconds after which they ebb. This either happens as a single instance or is followed immediately by a string of such bouts of headache. Further, the headaches can occur either once or twice in a day or may occur several times. In case of people who are already suffering from migraine, Ice Pick headaches could be found in close to forty per cent of the cases.

If the former is the case then there is no need for any special medical attention to this headache. It has already vanished by the medication is popped in to the mouth. However, in case of the latter (which is nothing except a rarity) medication such as indomethecin (Indocin) is administered to the patient to relieve pain. The treatment is mostly effective.

Are there any side-effects of the Medication?
Indomethecin is an NSAID. Hence, it does have the potential to exhibit side-effects related with NSAIDs. Side effects occurring from its administration would include the following:
* Eye problems (in rare cases)
* Gastric Ulcers
* Gastroesophageal reflux
* Gastroesophageal bleeding problems
* Heart burn
* Nausea

Keeping in mind the side-effects of the drug, it is advised that drug takers go to an ophthalmologist for regular check-up.