Shooting pain/lightning headaches

Occasionally, I suffer from little spasms of pain in my brain. They’re always unilateral, usually on the right side. Today it’s been happening again, and I’m not worried about it–I’m just aggravated and in pain for a few seconds at a time.

It feels less like a zap of powerful lightning in my brain than it does a rapidly-lit, long fuse. You know how Road Runner cartoons feature dynamite with really long fuses? And the fuse gets lit on one end and slowly, slowly works its way to the actual explosive? It feels like that, but VERY fast. A little zippy pain that shoots from the bottom-middle of the back of my head to my temple. Over and over. Every few moments, then stops, then resumes minutes or hours later.

Pinched nerve? Sinus problems? Cluster headache? All of these things sound as if they could be a possibility, but I don’t buy ’em. As I said, I’m just annoyed. Luckily my healthy pattern of diagnosing myself by reading internet articles led me to a few on brain aneurysms. I’m not having one-whew!

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Comments

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  • Tess McAlear
    7 years ago

    I have also experienced this type of migraine.

    On several occasions acute onset extreme shooting pain on the right side of my head (rarely on the left, but sometimes) moving from back to front and out my eye. It is almost as if I can feel the individual nerve that is seizing. The first couple of times the pain was so intense that I was in the fetal position screaming and crying for it to stop. My eyeball felt like it wanted to explode and I remember wanting it to because if that happened I might get relief. The extreme pain lasts maybe less than a minute (feels like forever) and then dissipates to normal bad migraine level. It leaves me wrecked for the next 24 hours.

    I have often wondered about mini strokes or brain aneurysms. Cluster headaches don’t sound too far off either.

  • themigrainegirl
    9 years ago

    I really don't know what it is, Bailey Jean. My instinct tells me it could be a pinched nerve or referred pain, but lately I've not had to worry much about it because I've not had those lightning headaches. I don't have insurance, either, but I go to the doctor reguarly. I'd recommend you call local places to see if they have payment plans (or even low income assistance plans). Your quality of life is very important, and if you have the means to take care of yourself, you should put yourself first. Yes, I'm being bossy–sorry, it's just that I've gotten such relief and comfort from my health care providers and find it's worth every penny. Hope you're feeling okay today.

  • Bailey Jean
    9 years ago

    I've been having these lightning headache things for the past few years now. I have no health coverage, so I've never seen a doctor about anything of my issues, but from a generally well looked into self-diagnosis…I believe I have chronic migraine disorder, anxiety, manic depression, and possibly some kind of chronic pain thing. (my body is almost always in some kind of pain)

    It's just great to find out that I'm not the only one! The only thing I could find on them is brain aneurysms, and that scared the hell outta me!

    So what else do you think it could be Migraine Girl?

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    It took a few years of getting them on and off before I figured out my trigger for them; food allergies. If I eat high end chocolate, like Godiva, it's guaranteed. Sometime popcorn will cause them. Tylenol, Motrin and Advil does not numb the pain one little bit. Also, the pain does not necessarily zap in my head; sometimes it hit other parts of my body. It's more tolerable when it's not my head. I take vitamin B6, which helps lessen the pain and it goes away sooner.

  • themigrainegirl
    9 years ago

    Anonymous, I have heard of such pains during or right after orgasm. I believe they're more common in men than women, but if it's a big enough issue for you I would definitely check it out. How frustrating to have pain during what should be a moment of pleasure!

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    About the lightning pains, I also get them. Or what I would desribe my pain as. I have had food related migraines in the past. I do suffer from sinus problems. I also suffer from panic and anxiety. A real basket case worry wart I am!!! Here is my concern: I suffer from the same pain or very simular pain sometimes during sex. The lightning pain goes from the front to the back side on the right side of my head. If the pain occurs during sex or not, it only last a few minutes on and off. I forget to mention this to the doctor when I go because it does not happen all the time. Can you or anyone else relate? Thank you. P.S. my blood pressure is normal.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    My brother gets them and it is related to his M.S. Should check that.

  • themigrainegirl
    10 years ago

    ekysel: I do have TMJ dysfunction; maybe it’s related.

    rachel: I do have Migraine disease; maybe it’s related.

    🙂

    janene: I’ve got an MRI two and a half years ago, and nothing appeared abnormal then. I haven’t gotten one since. My pains were never as frequent as yours, though. I’m sure you could discuss it with a GP or neurologist without having to get a cat scan–I’d definitely check out your daily lightning pains with a doctor ASAP.

  • Janene
    10 years ago

    I get those too! I’ve been getting them daily for about 3 years now. They’re sharp, shooting pains across my head and for those few seconds I almost feel completely paralized in my mind and in my body. Have any of you ever gotten a CT scan done for it? My family and friends have been pushing me to, but it’s hard to say if it’s really necessary or not.

  • ekysel
    10 years ago

    I have these too- like a lightning storm in my brain.
    I have seen doctors about it, and its related to TMJ for me- do you have jaw issues? Sometimes people dont even know that they do… but they do! Anyway that was my solution… if you can call it that.

  • Nicole Westbrook Smith
    11 years ago

    I get these too. Quite often recently. I’ve never had a migraine though… so I’m not sure what they are. All I know is that for a few seconds I can’t think or to ANYTHING. It’s rather painful.
    I too would like to know what this is…

  • rachel
    11 years ago

    i get those too. my Md said it’s not uncommon among people with more or less chronic migraines. they are insanely painful, but only last a few seconds…

  • Kroshka
    11 years ago

    I used to get those all the time as a child. Upon occasion they still happen, and it’s quite painful at the time but goes away fairly quickly.

    If you ever find out what that is let us know 🙂

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