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Stabbing Pain In Head If I Laugh

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I get a stabbing headache like pain which lasts a few seconds to a few minutes. It happens when I cough / laugh/ sneeze or strain. It is so intense that I crouch holding my head in extreme pain and I feel tired afterwards.
I had a ct scan which showed a normal brain Smile what could it be.

I suffered from severe migraines from the age of six.
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First Helper natalien555
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replied October 6th, 2004
Cough/laugh Headache
The symptoms you have are consistent with "cough headache"--this is a benign (although it hurts) form of primary headache that is triggered by anything that increases your intrathoracic pressure such as coughing, sneezing, doing situps etc. It rarely is associated with anything sinister. If frequent, it can be responsive to a presription drug (indocin), but this is hard on the stomach--you could try 1 aleve twice a day with food.
An mri is a better test to see if you may have a chiari malformation (when the brain is riding low within the skull). This would still be responsive to indocin--but you might want to get that checked out. Good luck.
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replied June 3rd, 2012
I get a severe pain in my head also and can breathe my way out of it when I laugh. The unual thing is that I only get the pain when I have had a drink of alcohol. Does anyone else experience this??
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replied February 1st, 2005
Thank you for you reply
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replied November 19th, 2005
Re: Cough/laugh Headache
Hello! My boyfriend has exactly the same type of headace. We live in sweden. We wounder what is the ingredience in indocin and in 1 aleve, so we can try to find the same type of drug over here?
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replied August 28th, 2007
Cough Headache
I read these posts and thought I'd try to get an opinion on my condition. Last Christmas (it's August now) I had a violent cough that on three or four occasions brought on a brief, stabbing pain in the left front part of my head. The pain subsided, but for a further two or three weeks I had trouble thinking clearly and remembering, and even felt some numbness/tingling in the extremities on my left side.

MRI, MRA, and CT scan all came out clean, and the symptoms gradually died down. However, eight months later, I find that I still can't exercise or strain myself in any way without experiencing pressure in the same area of my head and feeling dopey for the rest of the day.

Is it possible for primary cough headache to have such lingering effects? Every site I've checked claims that the condition should subside in a matter of days or weeks, not months. Any input would be appreciated.
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replied May 28th, 2009
Headache when Laugh and sneeze or cough.
I get headache like pain back of my head and it last for few minutes. It Happens when I Sneez/laugh/cough. And some time there is a headache and my head spins and I feel like falling. I have sit down for some time and then after some time I am ok. I have got my MRI done they found out there is some kind of growth where the nerve lead to the brain when cough it gets pressed and is the cause for pain and head spinning. I would like to know should I go in for an operation of can it be healed by medicineâ?¦
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replied August 22nd, 2009
Head pain caused by cough or sneeze.
I had similar symptoms in waves of 4 to 8 months duration then a few months clear over a period of about five years. MRI scans were normal. I was put on several different drugs without effect. The periods of remission gradually increased and I have been clear now for over 3 years. At worst one sneeze would cause dizzying symetrical head pain lasting over an hour during which I would lie down till it subsided. No cause was found.
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replied September 8th, 2009
brain sprain
hi i just get get a sprain feeling in the back of my head after i have been laughing also i feel it when i yawn? i have had this for months any advice?
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replied March 9th, 2011
Headache and liesions
I also get a severe headach when I laugh. However i do not get one from sneezing and i have not had a cough for years. I do seem to always have a mild headach that is irritating but not debilitating. My MRI found 60 small liesions that the nuroligest has been unable to explain. I am very worried do to my recent inability to consintrate and remember things. The pain in my head goes from one ear to the other and feels like the back of my head is going to explode. I am a 43 year old woman who has had hodgkins disease that has been cured for 14 years. The only explanation so far is the possiblity of inhaled burning garbage in Iraq and a small possibility of MS.
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replied April 29th, 2011
Strain Pain
I have horrible pain when I cough or laugh or actually strain in any way...the only thing that makes it stop fast is to tuck my chin to my chest..(bend your head all the way down even if you have to use your hand to help your head down(sometimes it's so bad I can't do it without my hands help)). This will make it stop almost immediately....my son has the same problem....I also suffer from chronic headaches and migrains on a daily basis (for over 25 years).
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replied May 24th, 2011
Stabbing pain in the left side of the head, possible cause.
Guys, look up Trigeminal Neuralgia. I have the same symptoms and this seems to explain it. Some people have more extreme versions, where the stabbing pain is caused by touching the skin on their face, but it is commonly triggered by laughing, coughing, and sneezing as well.
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replied May 24th, 2011
thanks for the suggestion....I looked it up and unfortunately my problem is pain inside my head not in the skin of my face. It feels like something is either constricted or wide open, and too much or too little of something (maybe blood) is getting to the brain or something. It's like an accute severe migraine that throbs at a high level of pain for a quite a few seconds for me.
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replied August 27th, 2011
natalien555

Crazy!! I have never had anyone quite describe it like that, but me. My friend discribes it as "laugh and bow" because if I'm laughing, I'm bowing! I have been to so many Dr.'s and not one can understand what i'm saying. Mine started in May 2009 and has been a continous thing for me, I do have a herniated disc in C4-C5. My orthopedic dr wants to do surgery, considering it....maybe it will stop. Please let me know of any new developements on your part, I would truly appriciate it. Thanks, God Bless!
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replied August 27th, 2011
Interesting...many many years ago a Dr. said I had a slightly herniated disc but I don't remember exactly which one. Please keep me posted as to your status with all of this after surgery (if you go that route). I've been to Dr.s for 3 decades over my headaches and I can't get any real help. I live on nonasperine Excedrine and Ibuprofen to manage my pain...one thing a MRI showed was scar tissue from migraines. Maybe that is part of it...I don't know...
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replied October 25th, 2011
HAVE SUFFERED FROM SEVERE HEAD PAIN WHEN LAUGHING OR STRAINING OR BENDING DOWN FOR 18 MONTHS NOW . I HAVE HAD 2 MRI SCAN'S AND THE DOCTORS ARE BEMUSED AS TO WHAT IT COULD BE SCANS ARE ALL CLEAR. BLOOD TESTS CLEAR. 3 DAYS AGO MY SIGHT BECAME BLURRED AND LASTED 3 AND A HALF DAYS . ATTENDED A & E BUT STILL NO ANSWERS. NO PAIN WITH BLURRED VISION BUT SINCE VISION HAS RECOVERED I HAVE HAD A DULL HEADACHE. PUT ON AMNETRYPTALENE AND MOST RECENTLY TOPAMAX BUT NOTHING STOPPED THE PAIN WHEN LAUGHING OR STRAINING. I AM LITTERALLY AT MY WITS END. I CANNOT EVEN PLAY WITH MY 18MONTH OLD SON AS I WILL SUFFER WITH THE PAIN.CAN ANYONE HELP ME??????????????????
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replied January 13th, 2012
I,ve had a really bad 6 months of masive headaches a few years ago and it started with waking up one morning being half blind in one eye... Doctors had no clue, eye specialist, after 4 months diagnosed it as cat scratch fever. Funny but true. Pink brain, if your eyes swell up when blurry and thats when you get them headaches, talk to your doc about cat scratch fever.
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replied January 24th, 2012
When I was about 5 years old i started having terrible migranes that were unbearable, so my parents took me to the nuerologist and i got an mri and was diagnosed with a tumor. They gave me medicine which made the headaches stop and after a few years they winged me off the medicine and all was fine. Until about a year ago (im 16) i started having the same kind of headaches again and i went back and had another mri and they found out i have a brain disease called chiari malformation. they said it wasn't bad enough for surgery, so i just have to suffer until it gets better or worse. But i also get the terrible throbbing in my head after i laugh, cough, sneeze, or move around too much. I also get sharp pains in my head if i jump around or dance around too much. So I have to sit out on doing those things because if i dont my head ends up hurting even worse... Do you think that I should go to the dr just to make sure nothing has changed and it hasnt gotten worse or do you think its just part of the disease? Any help is appreciated! Thanks!
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replied March 2nd, 2012
Severe headaches with any straining
I too have stabbing pain with throbbing if I laugh, cough, sneeze, jump or exercise. I put my chi to my cheats and it eases it quickly. The pain is extreme. It stops me from living a full life. I have disc herniation with nerve entrapment at C5/6/7. I also have thoracic outlet syndrome. Has anyone had disc surgery that has fixed the headache? I'd describe them as a sudden ice cream type headache but so much worst.
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replied March 26th, 2012
i have the the same pain, headache for times out the week and just recently had a mri i have some kind of abnormalities since birth idk yet they would not tell me over the phone im am scared to death, i cant yell laugh or even get up to quick the pain strikes sudden and vicodin or trimodal does not work
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replied March 26th, 2012
Leiajay,

Wouldnt be too concerned about the results, I too have had the MRI and showed a abnormality since birth. Mine is the back of the skull where it goes into a n shape at the back of your neck, that bone is 2mm too long. I think mine is more to do with my C5, C6, C7 nerve issues.
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replied March 26th, 2012
Leiajay,

Wouldnt be too concerned about the results, I too have had the MRI and showed a abnormality since birth. Mine is the back of the skull where it goes into a n shape at the back of your neck, that bone is 2mm too long. I think mine is more to do with my C5, C6, C7 nerve issues.
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replied March 26th, 2012
What did they recommend. Mine to since birth
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