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Ask Dr. Sophie :: Medicine & Neurolog...
Dr. Sophie :: Medicine & Neurology
Dr. Sophie :: Medicine & Neurology, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 2951
Experience:  Neurologist :: Clinical Neurophysiologist :: University of California.
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my head hurts in the back, just on the right side, if I lay

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my head hurts in the back, just on the right side, if I lay my head flat on the pillow or on the right side of my face, it feels as though someone is hitting me with a 2by4 in the back of my head, also there is dizzness with this, laying flat, at times I have experinced bells palsy on right side of face, without dropping of face, just paralysis, occasionally mind fog, or problems with right eye
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Sophie :: Medicine & Neurology replied 7 years ago.
Any medical problems?
Any medications or supplements?
Any eye tearing or runny nose?
What do you mean "at times you experienced Bell's palsy"? Have you been actually diagnosed with it by your doctor?
How long does the pain last every time it "hits"? Is it stabbing or electric-like?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

no known medical problems, I do however take lexipro 10mg for last 5-6 years for mood

swings. At times in the mornings, my right eye will be full of what I call eye junk, It will tear at times, some times there is a pain behind right eye. no runny nose.

I have not ever been diagnosed with bells palsy, maybe I should not have use that term, however at times the right side of my face will be numb and tingling. the pain in the back of my head always on right side, close to the bottom, if I lay on the right side of my head or right side of my head, it feels as though someone is hitting me with sledge hammer

the pain is last for 10 or fifteen minutes, during the pain I can not even lift my head from the pillow, and if I lay my head flat on something is when the dizzness starts.

Expert:  Dr. Sophie :: Medicine & Neurology replied 7 years ago.
It sounds like you are suffering from "Occipital neuralgia". Occipital neuralgia is a condition in which pain is a result of irritation of greater or lesser occipital nerves. It causes recurrent, electric shock like or stabbing pain in posterior aspect of the head which may radiate up or forward. It helps in diagnosis if there is pain on examination when the scalp is pressed where the nerve typically exits, but this sign is not always present. The fact that you have pain when you lie down also supports this.
Typically, it is idiopathic i.e. no cause can be identified. It is treated by medication such as gabapentin or carbamazepine as well as a nerve block, which is an injection of an anesthetic around the nerve. These should be tried first. Rarely, ablation (destruction of the nerve) is used in refractory cases. The problem with ablation is that it sometimes can cause more pain than prior to the procedure.
You should be evaluated by a neurologist and have a brain MRI as the initial steps.
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