Common Causes Of Sharp Head Pains

July 4 2018

A headache can come in many different forms. Something that involves sharp pains can be one of the most terrifying of the bunch.

Unfortunately, at times determining the reason behind sharp head pains is not the easiest thing to do because of the fact that its causes can be varied, ranging from benign to very serious.

When consulting a doctor, it’s of utmost importance for you to be as specific as possible when describing those sharp head pains that you are experiencing for a more hassle-free diagnosis.

How often do they show up? How long each attack lasts? In which part of the head do you often feel them? What activities tend to trigger them? The more elaborate and precise the description, the better the diagnosis will be.

Let’s now take a look at some of the most common reasons for those sharp head pains:

Ice Pick Headaches

There are various types of headaches, and ice pick headaches are some of the most painful and disruptive of them all. Just like what the name suggests, they involve stabbing pain that can really leave anyone startled.

Usually, the stabbing sensation felt can last for up to 30 seconds. And more often than not, ice pick headaches tend to be recurring issues, usually showing up sporadically.

Sinus Headaches

Pain brought about by sinus headaches is concentrated in the forehead, around the eyes, nose, cheeks and upper part of the mouth or lips — these areas are where your sinuses can be found.

Put simply, sinuses are cavities or holes in the skull that are lined with mucus-producing tissue. When these sinuses end up inflamed and blocked due to congestion or infection, they can cause pain in the form of a sinus headache.

Cluster Headaches

There’s a type of headache that peaks after just a few minutes and can last for up to 90 long minutes, and it’s called a cluster headache. It’s referred to as such because it tends to strike repeatedly or in clusters.

What’s so strange about a cluster headache is that it can bug you for several days straight, and then go away on its own. After a couple of weeks or months, it can come back to pester you all over again.

Migraine Headaches

Usually, pain caused by migraine headaches begins around the eye or in the temples. It’s not unlikely for it to eventually affect the back of the head, usually in the form of sharp and pulsing sensations.

But other than pain, migraine headaches tend to come with a bunch of other symptoms, making every attack really terrible. Some of them include nausea, visual disturbances, light sensitivity, watery eyes and runny nose.


One of the scariest causes of sharp pains in the head is stroke. Needless to say, it’s something that requires immediate medical attention as it can cost a person his or her life!

Other than intense and sudden sharp head pains, other warning signs often accompany a stroke. They include sudden confusion, visual disturbances, muscle weakness, and speech and movement difficulties.

Brain Tumor

Small brain tumors do not really cause any symptom, making their detection during the early stages extremely challenging. But then large brain tumors can cause all sorts of symptoms, and sharp head pains are included.

There are many other symptoms that brain tumors can come with, depending on which part of the brain is affected. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized tomography (CT) are commonly used for diagnosing brain tumors.

Constantly bugged by sharp head pains? It’s a good idea to consult your physician about them.


You may schedule an appointment with our medical professionals on 03 5229 5192 (Myers Street Family Medical Practice); 03 5241 6129 (The Cottage Medical Centre); or 03 5264 8838 (Torquay Medical Health & Wellness).


Sourced and originally published on HealthDigezt.