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View Full Version : Tilting/turning your head resulting in a jolt of pain up the back of your head???


Bobalude
06-06-2007, 01:30 AM
Anyone ever have instances of this:

A random instance when you turn or tilt your head in some direction, and you get a sharp pain shoot up the back of your head on kind of on one side?

The pain runs from the back of your head, about ear level, on one side (can't remember if its opposite or same side as the head turning) towards the top of the head.

As best as I can recall, it only occurs when I have been inactive for a period of time, usually laying or reading in bed. Never when I am moving constantly or occasionally.

This occurs very rarely seldomly, as I can only recall it happening 5-6 times in my life, but when it occurs i remember it vividly because of the sharp unexpected pain. Anyone know what I'm talking about? Is there an explanation for this, and/or a term to describe it? Cause or cure?

Quiddity Glomfuster
06-06-2007, 01:44 AM
Yes, it's happened to me. Not in a long time, though - in fact, I'd forgotten all about them until I read your post. I figure it's harmless.

Alice The Goon
06-06-2007, 01:44 AM
I get that once in a great while, on a random head turn. I don't know what causes it, sorry, but I do know that it hurts BAD. Just for a second, though.

kaylasdad99
06-06-2007, 01:55 AM
Anyone ever have instances of this:

A random instance when you turn or tilt your head in some direction, and you get a sharp pain shoot up the back of your head on kind of on one side?

The pain runs from the back of your head, about ear level, on one side (can't remember if its opposite or same side as the head turning) towards the top of the head.

As best as I can recall, it only occurs when I have been inactive for a period of time, usually laying or reading in bed. Never when I am moving constantly or occasionally.

This occurs very rarely seldomly, as I can only recall it happening 5-6 times in my life, but when it occurs i remember it vividly because of the sharp unexpected pain. Anyone know what I'm talking about? Is there an explanation for this, and/or a term to describe it? Cause or cure?Don't reallly know the cause, but the only cure I've ever had any success with is to let it go away on its own. And the only preventive measure I've ever been able to puzzle out is to not move my head in that precise way.

Red Barchetta
06-06-2007, 02:43 AM
Oh man, so glad I'm not alone on this. I get these anywhere from 3-6 times a year, though I don't think I've had one for at least six months.

It usually happens when I turn my neck wuickly (such as looking behind me while driving) and it creates a very fast, very sharp pain, sort of like getting stabbed. It lasts for but a second, but there's some dull lingering pain for some time after (30 seconds, maybe).

Argent Towers
06-06-2007, 03:51 AM
Yes, it happens to me now and then. It always hurts like hell, but the pain fades after a few minutes and it usually doesn't happen again for a very long time.

Pushkin
06-06-2007, 04:42 AM
What is that? Its a unique feeling of pain that I get at no other time :confused:

Red Barchetta
06-06-2007, 04:45 AM
What is that? Its a unique feeling of pain that I get at no other time :confused:

I'm also curious. It feels like to me a muscle getting pulled. I've noticed as soon as that sharp pain hits, my head instintively whips itself in the opposite direction, away from the pain. Weird!

Mangetout
06-06-2007, 04:50 AM
It sounds almost (but maybe not quite) like you're talking about a phenomenon I've always head called a 'crick' in the neck - this is usually a sudden muscular spasm - in my experience, if you catch it in time and let your head move in fully in the direction the spasm is pulling it, it's not too bad, but if you resist, it causes a nasty ache that can last for many hours or even a couple of days - feels like something is out of joint and can temporarily restrict the range of movement.

Celyn
06-06-2007, 11:09 AM
Well, add me to the list of those of us who have had this, and sometimes thought "oh, I really *hope* this is nothing to worry about". I suppose, really, it's no worse than, say, when one's elbows goes "crack" or something, but it's always just a bit more annoying, A) because although quickly gone, is a pretty painful shock, and B) although it's a lot less bother than, say, stubbing one's toe in a door or whatever, I suppose it's just that one finds sudden pains in the head a bit more worrisome.

But, we're all still alive, so I suppose we're all right. :confused:

Neon Mower
06-06-2007, 12:08 PM
I've gotten these a few dozen times in my life. But rather than the pain disappearing quickly, I'm in agony for about 4 days. Even had to cancel activities due to it and end up spending the time lying down with either an ice pack or a heating pad (can't rememebr shich works best).

They suck. :(

athelas
06-06-2007, 12:50 PM
I've had them a few times, and while the pain subsides quickly, I still cannot turn in that direction for about a week. Unfun.

robcaro
06-06-2007, 12:59 PM
When I was much younger, I used to get that when I was working underneath the car. It also gave a burning sensation. But it all lasted only a few seconds or perhaps a minute.

miamouse
06-06-2007, 04:46 PM
I got these a bunch in childhood, not so much recently. I always thought it was my brain smacking into the the inside of my skull when I turned too quickly. There was also a burning feeling, but gone in 3-5 seconds.

Bobalude
06-06-2007, 08:47 PM
I'm also curious. It feels like to me a muscle getting pulled. I've noticed as soon as that sharp pain hits, my head instintively whips itself in the opposite direction, away from the pain. Weird!

This is so true! I posted because this occurred the other night when I was half asleep returning from a trip to the bathroom, but my head instinctively whipped to the opposite direction despite my brain/body being asleep.

Mine doesn't leave long term pain as a few others have described, but does leave it with a tingling or sensitive feeling for a few minutes afterwards. The intense sharp pain is what kills me... scares the hell out of me because I'm afraid one of these days I will be unable to instinctively turn my head the other way and fear what will happen. :(

Chief Pedant
06-06-2007, 09:01 PM
Anyone ever have instances of this:

A random instance when you turn or tilt your head in some direction, and you get a sharp pain shoot up the back of your head on kind of on one side?

The pain runs from the back of your head, about ear level, on one side (can't remember if its opposite or same side as the head turning) towards the top of the head.

As best as I can recall, it only occurs when I have been inactive for a period of time, usually laying or reading in bed. Never when I am moving constantly or occasionally.

This occurs very rarely seldomly, as I can only recall it happening 5-6 times in my life, but when it occurs i remember it vividly because of the sharp unexpected pain. Anyone know what I'm talking about? Is there an explanation for this, and/or a term to describe it? Cause or cure?

These sharp pains are caused by irritation of branches of the greater and lesser occipital nerves which innvervate that area.

These nerves come out of the spinal column and go up to the region at the back of the head, sort of behind the ear.

Sudden, short, sharp pains like this are almost always of fairly benign causes. For whatever reason the nerve fires off when it is twisted, stretched or perhaps rubbed as it comes out of the spinal column.

A few people get a more chronic pain in the same distribution, called Occipital Neuralgia (a very creative name, indeed...) and this is occasionally treated by a nerve block or a correction of an underlying identifiable physical compression of the nerve.

Little zingers that come and go, especially with head movement, are not usually a big deal.

Advice worth what you paid for it, less the 15 bucks/year, of course.

Chief Pedant
06-06-2007, 09:11 PM
I've gotten these a few dozen times in my life. But rather than the pain disappearing quickly, I'm in agony for about 4 days. Even had to cancel activities due to it and end up spending the time lying down with either an ice pack or a heating pad (can't rememebr shich works best).

They suck. :(

While I'm in the office giving useless opinions...

These sorts of pains, different from nerve root zingers, are more likely ligamentous or muscular when they last this long and when they leave you unable to turn your head for several days. You can also get secondary muscle spasms from a primary nerve root irritation.

YMMV on the utility of this opinion, blah blah blah. See above post of mine.

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