Is the pain that goes like a knife on the right side of the head normal? Why does it happen? What are the triggers? How serious is it? When is a doctor’s check required? What can be done to make it pass? You can find the answers to all these questions and much more below.
Is the pain that goes like a knife on the right side of the head normal?
Headaches can cause a dull throbbing or intense aches and pains in different areas, including the right side of your scalp, the base of your skull, and your neck, teeth, or eyes. In addition, some headaches may manifest as a stabbing pain on the right side of the head.
While headaches can be bothersome, they are unlikely to be “brain pains.” The brain and skull have no nerve endings, so they do not directly cause pain. Instead, a wide variety of factors, from lack of sleep to caffeine withdrawal, can affect headaches and cause stabbing pain on the right side of the head.
Pain that enters the right side of the head like a knife: Causes
Headaches are most often caused by the following factors:
- irregular diet
- Muscle problems in the neck
- Long-term use of pain relievers
Infection and allergies
Sinus infections and allergies can also be described as stabbing pain on the right side of the head or cause a general headache. Headaches from sinus infections are the result of inflammation that causes pressure and pain behind your cheekbones and forehead.
overuse of drugs
Overuse of medication to treat a headache can actually cause a headache or a generalized headache, described as a stabbing pain on the right side of the head. This is the most common secondary headache disorder and affects approximately five percent of people. Medication-overuse headaches tend to be worse upon waking.
- Occipital neuralgia: In the spine at the top of your neck, there are two occipital nerves that run from the muscles to your scalp. Irritation of one of these nerves can cause pain that feels like fever, electricity, or tingling. Most of the time the pain will be on only one side of your head.
- Temporal arteritis: This is an inflammation or damage to the arteries that supply blood to your head and brain. This pressure can cause other symptoms such as visual impairment, shoulder or hip pain, jaw pain, and weight loss.
- Trigeminal neuralgia: Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic condition that affects the nerve that carries sensation from your face to your brain. The slightest stimulus on your face can trigger an attack of pain.
Pain that pierces the right side of the head like a knife can also be a sign of a more serious medical problem. These problems include head injury, aneurysm, benign and malignant tumors. Therefore, early diagnosis should always be made.
Pain that pierces the right side of the head like a knife: Species
There are different types of headaches, each with different causes and symptoms, and any of these types can cause stabbing pain on the right side of the head. Knowing what type of headache you have can help your doctor diagnose the cause more easily.
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache, occurring in about 75 percent of adults. While they usually affect both sides of the head, they can also be unilateral and occur on only one side of your head. Tension headaches can feel like your head is getting tight and can also affect the shoulders and neck.
Migraines can occur on one or both sides of your head and result in sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, or paresthesia. It feels like a severe throbbing and pulsing.
Before or during a migraine, some people experience “auras” that are mostly visual. Auras can have positive or negative manifestations. Positive symptoms result from activation of the central nervous system. Examples of positive symptoms include:
- Visual disturbances such as zigzag vision or flashes of light
- Auditory problems such as tinnitus or voices
- Sensory issues such as burning or pain
- Motor abnormalities such as jerking or repetitive movements
Negative symptoms manifest as loss of function such as vision loss, hearing loss, or paralysis.
Cluster headaches are usually painful and involve only one side of your head, so it can also be felt as a stabbing pain on the right side of the head. You may also experience restlessness on the affected side of your face, pale or flushed skin, redness in the affected eye, and a runny nose. Cluster headaches are often severe; Pain may also be felt in the neck, face and shoulder areas.
Chronic headaches occur 15 or more days a month. Chronically occurring types of headaches can be tension headaches or chronic migraines. If you have chronic headaches, it is recommended that you meet with your doctor to diagnose the cause.
Pain that pierces the right side of the head like a knife: Doctor’s check
In rare cases, headaches can be an immediate symptom. If you experience a post-traumatic headache or have a headache with any of the following symptoms, it is recommended that you seek medical attention immediately:
- stiff neck
- vision loss
- double vision
- blurred vision
- Increased pain when moving or coughing
It is wise to visit your doctor if the headache is sudden and severe, waking you up at night, or getting progressively worse.
Pain that pierces the right side of the head like a knife: Diagnosis
If you are experiencing a change in the frequency or severity of your headaches, you will need to see your doctor. When you go to see your doctor, he or she will do a physical exam and ask about your medical history and any symptoms you may be experiencing.
You can prepare for your doctor’s appointment by answering the following questions:
- When did the pain start?
- What other symptoms are you experiencing?
- Is a headache the first symptom?
- How often do you experience headaches?
- Do you have a family history of headaches, migraines or other related medical conditions?
- Did you notice any obvious triggers?
Your doctor will likely do different tests to give you a definitive diagnosis. Tests they may do include the following:
- Blood tests to look for spinal cord or brain infections, toxins, or blood vessel problems
- Computed tomography scan to get a cross-sectional view of your brain that can help diagnose infections, tumors, bleeding in your brain, and brain damage
- Magnetic resonance imaging (matrix) to reveal detailed images of your brain and blood vessels, including abnormalities in your brain and nervous system, hemorrhages, strokes, blood vessel problems, and infections
Pain that enters the right side of the head like a knife: Treatment
To quickly relieve a headache, you can try the following:
- Apply a warm compress to the back of the neck
- take a warm shower
- Improve your posture to reduce strain on the head, neck and shoulders
- Get out and move to a new environment, especially if lights, sounds, or smells are causing a headache or eyestrain.
- Take a quick nap to help relieve fatigue-related headaches
- If your hair is in a ponytail, braid or bun, loosen your hair
- Drink more water to prevent dehydration
You can also take over-the-counter medicines such as aspirin or ibuprofen , by consulting your pharmacist . However, if you have chronic headaches, you should avoid relying on these drugs. Physical therapy is another way to treat tension headaches or cervicogenic headaches caused by neck problems.
Muscle tension in your neck can put pressure on nerves, causing pain that pierces the back of the head like a knife. In this case, a physical therapist can help manipulate the area, and rigorous exercise programs can significantly reduce pain.
As a result
There are different types of headaches that cause pain on only one side of your head or face. Many have benign causes and go away on their own. Lifestyle changes such as managing your posture, drinking more water, or resting your eyes can help with your headaches.
If your headaches affect your daily life, it is recommended that you make an appointment with your doctor. Because in some cases, the pain that enters the right side of the head like a knife can be a sign of a more serious problem. Only a doctor can diagnose the cause of your headache and rule out more serious conditions. Your doctor will also advise you on ways to manage pain and prevent future headaches.