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Nadim Al-Mubarak
Nadim Al-Mubarak, Doctor
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 379
Experience:  MD at University Hospital Case Medical Center
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Three weeks, I've had sharp shooting pains in my head. It

Customer Question

For about three weeks, I've had sharp shooting pains in my head. It started on the right top/frontal area of my head and would come on for a few seconds and then leave. I've now had it on the left side. It doesn't stick around but it's painful for a few seconds and then gone. I figured it was something with my neck so they did X Rays and said I have mild arthritis in my neck. However, ibuprofen doesn't even do anything for this pain. It still comes on. I pop my neck often throughout the day and in the last few weeks, a weird pop has been happening in the back of my head if I bend my head all the way back and I can't make that go away either. I had a few beers last night which actually seemed to help the pain stay away. It stays away for most of the first part of the day and then comes on later in the day if I've gotten up and moved around and done stuff. I can understand if it's coming from my neck but I wouldn't think it would be lasting this long if that was the case. It went away temporarily and then I went to do Zumba and the next day, it's been like this ever since for over a week. I did some neck stretches and it's still happening. The thing is, my neck isn't even sore, just the sharp pain in my head. I have no other symptoms associated with it. Good BP, no nausea, dizziness, no weird mental changes, it just won't stop coming on throughout the day. I read about ice pick headaches but it didn't seem to last this long.... What could this be??? Does this mean I need an MRI or CT Scan? Could this be something dangerous? Doc seemed to be fine with the results of the mild arthritis but since ibuprofen doesn't seem to help it and my neck isn't even sore, it's just somewhat stiff, I would think something else is going on. Please give me insight. Thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Nadim Al-Mubarak replied 1 year ago.


  • This is unlikely to be due to cervical spine arthritis. It is obviously higher than the spine.
  • It does not appear to be serious either, it's very brief
  • MRI is likely to be needed, but you need to be evaluated by a Neurologist. Detailed history and direct examination are very important to guide further testing, be it MRI or other tests
  • It is not possible to recommend treatment without a definitive answer to where the source is. The source needs to first be identified

If this answers your question, please complete the rating above. It's how we get credit for the service. You may still ask questions on this topic after the rating. Best wishes

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If it is cervical spine arthritis, would it be causing pain to my head off and on for this long? And what are some ways to get rid of it so it doesn't bother me?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, what is the loud popping sound happening in the back of my head when I bend my head all the way back? And why won't that stop? No pain with it, it's just loud and frightening. Is that dangerous?
Expert:  Nadim Al-Mubarak replied 1 year ago.

Just exactly my point. It's higher than the spine and the arthritis is mild

Expert:  Nadim Al-Mubarak replied 1 year ago.

That could be the spine arthritis

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What are some ways to relieve it?
Expert:  Nadim Al-Mubarak replied 1 year ago.

To relieve the pains in your head, the source, or the potential source needs to be identified first

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I paid almost $50 for an answer like this? Ok, if it IS spinal arthritis, what would a patient do to relieve it?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, so from what the symptoms are that I told you about, what are the possible reasons this is? The popping in the back of the head, the pain to the head...... what do these symptoms sound like? After my X Ray and all showed mild neck arthritis?
Expert:  Nadim Al-Mubarak replied 1 year ago.
  • First of all, we do not make diagnosis and we do not treat. Simpley because we have no way of examing you or ordering tests to assist with the diagnosis. We can only offer guidance to such an issue, general guidance
  • For Arthritis pains, non-steroidal anti-inflamatory medications, forms of pain killer like Advil, and depending on it's severity they may or may not result in complete relieve of the symptoms
Expert:  Nadim Al-Mubarak replied 1 year ago.

The xray is not the right test for the pain in your head. This pain could be due to local inflammation, neuropathy, vasculitis, local growth, old trauma, etc. long list that needs to be narrowed down by direct examination by a Neurlogist