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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 17552
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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Recently (about 6 weeks ago) my husband and I were laughing

Customer Question

Recently (about 6 weeks ago) my husband and I were laughing uncontrollably - the type of laughter where you cant breathe and your muscles in your chest and stomach hurt afterward (it was a great laugh!). However, for the first time, my head felt like it was going to explode. It was very strange and scared me very much. My throat, neck, shoulders were tight and painful and the base of my skull on both sides felt very tight and a little painful as well. After I caught my breath, my muscles relaxed and the pain was relieved.This hasn't happened since (I don't normally laugh that hard!) But I do notice that when I'm singing in church, my throat muscles get very tight, painful, as well as my neck, shoulders, and the base of my skull gets tight.I'm worried this is an exertion headache caused by a brain tumor. I had a clear MRI with and without contrast a little over two years ago and was diagnosed with migraines. I want to add that this NEVER happens when I sneeze, cough, run/jog or strain for a bowel movement. Only when I laugh uncontrollably, sometimes when I yell, or sing. I do clench my teeth constantly, so I'm hoping it's just tmj/bruxism related, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't super worried. I am very much so :(Is this an exertion headache? Can brain cancer grow in the two years since my clear mri?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 months ago.

Hello from JustAnswer.

It would be very unlikely that this is due to a brain tumor. With a normal MRI 2 years ago, it would be very unlikely that a brain tumor could have developed and grown to a point that it would cause headaches or any of the other throat and neck symptoms that you describe.

In medicine, we usually do not like to say "never", but the likelihood of development of a brain tumor causing these symptoms in the two years since a normal MRI is extremely low.

The headache that occurred with laughter was most likely due muscular in origin, in that same way that the muscles in the chest and stomach also hurt. It also is very possible that the clenching of teeth could be contributing to your symptoms.

If I can provide any additional information, please let me know.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank you so much. So less than 1%chance that this is due to a brain tumor?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 months ago.

Much less than 1% chance that these symptoms are due to a brain tumor.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank you so much.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 months ago.

You are most welcome.

Please remember to provide a positive rating so that I am credited for assisting you.

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 months ago.

Please let me know if I can provide any further assistance.