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Pain Management

Head Pain and Cervicogenic Headaches



My husband is having sudden sharp shooting pain up the back of his head only on the left side from the neck to the top of his head. He is also undergoing testing for hyperthyroidism. Could this be related to say a tumor of the pituitary or is it something else?


Your husband may be experiencing cervicogenic headache, meaning headache that stems from the structures in the back of the neck. The most likely cause is arthritis of the facet joints on the back of the neck but there may be other causes. An evaluation with a pain specialist or a neurologist would be helpful.

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Response by:

Salim M Hayek, MD, PhD Salim M Hayek, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University