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Tender spots on head

My pain on my head seems to be more noticeable at times then others but the pain is constant. I have had what I called "soft spots" for a while and they hurt if you touch them. It has just been recently that they have seemed to go from "only certin sections of my head" to the whole top back of my head. Now when I lay in bed with my head on my pillow my head will hurt (more often then not) because of the pressure touching them I guess. I cant afford insurance. What do you think is wrong with my head? Do you think its serious?
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147426 tn?1317265632
It sounds like you are describing something called "nummular" headaches.  These are well-circumscribed spots on the head that can be tender and that appear to cause localized headaches.  The headaches can be sharp and stabbing and can build to a constant and fairly severe pain.  They are always in the same spot(s).  

Nummular means "coin-shaped"

I couldn't find out much about them except it is thought that they are caused by an inflammation at the end(s) of a branch of one of the nerves which goes to the scalp like the trigeminal  nerve. As far as I could tell they are benign - meaning do not indicate a serious problem.  

I couldn't find out what to do to relieve them, but I wonder if ice to the area would be helpful since they may arise from sensory nerves deep in the skin and muscles of the head.

There are two other kinds of tender spot headaches that I learned about.  One is where a person has or keeps the hair pulled back tightly called "hair-traction headache".  The other is more common and complicated and called "cervical cephalgia."  It is a complex headache of the back of the head and involves contract/spasm of the back cervical neck muscles, pressure on the sensory nerves at the back of the head and pulling at the point where the muscles attach to the head.

These last two are mechanical problems, not headaches which come from something inside the head.  So they, too are not serious.  This isn't to say that any of these headaches can't severely affect one's quality of life.

Agian, I'm not a neurologist, but these are my thoughts on what you describe.

Quix
Helpful - 1
1 Comments
Thanks so much.  I think I had as more anxiety about my sore spots indicating something serious, like brain cancer, as I had minor pain from the spots themselves.
Avatar universal
I have a spot on top of my head that is sore to the touch,no headache,just sore on top.This comes and goes.Today I woke up again with the sore spot.its in the area of the head that babies have a soft spot,weird.
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
Hi Guys (and Girls)

I am currently suffering from the same thing. I'm not sure whether its somehow related to the flu which I don't seem to be quite over, or something else.
I also seem to recall having something similar last year when I first started coming down with suspected CFS/ME.
The 'tender spot' eventually resolved itself on its own.
I have noticed that it tends to hurt more when I prod around the area. As others have described, it feels like someone is pulling my hair.
I have also had what feel to be small cluster headaches migrating around the back of my skull. This one feels different though. It's more of a burning/pulling/bruised sensation. Very hard to describe.

Oh, and to the person who suggested that all this might be psychosomatic, please pull your head in.
Lyme was once 'psychosomatic'. MS was once 'psychosomatic'. Seizures were once 'psychosomatic'. Science has a lot of catching up to do.
Helpful - 1
147426 tn?1317265632
I hope you and the others see this.  I found a discussion on the Dr-to-patient Neuro forum on this very topic.

The headaches are also called "epicrania fascia" headaches meaning arising from pain from the outside of the head and the conective tissue.

If that's what they are they can be treated often successfully with Botox injections locally.  Great news!

here is the link to the Neuro's answer:

http://www.medhelp.org/forums/neuro/messages/34390.html

Quix
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
I get these also, Im concerned because I have noticed the back of my head hurting in the same spot (only if I touch it or lay down) Over the last week it has been with dizziness and I vomited on Monday then again on Friday------Im not sure if that is from the flu or something related to the head thing.  It feels like my hair has been pulled back in a pony tail too tight or like I hit my head and there is a bruise which I have not had either happen.  If you have any insight I would greatly appreciate it.  
Heather
Or PLEASE email me at ***@****
Helpful - 1
510496 tn?1211023325
Hi,
Occipital Nerve Compression Headaches, TMJ/TMD and some migraine headaches are all known to cause tender spots on the scalp. Occipital nerve compression headaches can be caused by cervical disc problems but that is not the only cause.  
These headaches are not typical headaches.  The best way I can describe them is to say that your head fills up with pressure, so intense sometimes, it can make you really think that your eyeballs are being pushed out of your skull.  It is my understanding that TMJ can cause those headaches as well as the tender spots (without necessarily having a headache at all).
I too suffer from constant dizziness. I faint regularly, on a daily basis, and I also have the nausea and vomiting.  It has even caused changes in my apetite.  I cant eat much at any one time now, I dont eat over half the foods I used to eat (used to being since last fall) because they dont taste good to me anymore.. and Ive lost over 25 lbs due to this, since december.  
Mine are caused by disc problems in my neck, but I also have TMJ.. so basically, I won the double whammy lottery. lol  I had the herniated disc removed 9/07 and 1 month later discovered that the disc below it was herniated.  4 months post op, we discovered the 2nd herniated disc was there on my MRI image from 8/07  but everyone missed it. My neurosurgeon even missed it.. on the mri image as well as during surgery.  So I am right back where I started, going through the entire process all over again.
I would have a dentist check your  jaw for TMJ problems and see your family dr to have your neck checked out.  Keep in mind that your dr may try to suggest a neck xray (c-spine) because its cheaper.  BUT.. soft tissue (discs) does not show up on xrays. You need an MRI for that.  If you are not having neck pain, I wouldnt concern myself with that being the cause.  Millions of people however, have TMJ and dont even realize it.  
I hope some of this helps you guys.. Ive been dealing with this stuff for 3 yrs next month.  It was a long hard road to finding the answers, but I got there in the end.
Also, one last note here, for all of you.  If it does turn out for any of you, that its a cervical disc problem, many drs, including the specialists (neuro) do not believe that disc problems can cause those headaches if the problem is below the C3 level. My neurosurgeon did not believe it.  But luckily for me, the neurologist he sent me to, to care for my new herniated disc until when/if I required surgery to fix this one... does know that problems below the C3 level can and do in fact cause these headaches.  So dont let that discourage you.  If any of you end up dealing with this as the cause, find a good neuro that does believe or you are wasting your time.
Good luck and blessings to all of you.
Helpful - 1
1 Comments
This is very helpful.  I do have some cervical disc probems that have shown up on an MRI, so this connection explains a lot.  My tender spots, however are not always in the same place and move from the back of my head to sometimes in an area above my ear.  The pain is not intense enough for me to want a surgical solution right now, so this article relieves a lot of anxiety about my having brain cancer or something equally insidious.
Avatar universal
Actually to all, I have the same soreness, as many others all who have been "floxed" meaning an adverse reaction to fluoroquilone antibiotics, which result in Central nervous System and PNS damage.Plus several other disabling damages to the body. I am suspecting it is nerve ending damage as well as cranium pessure. Hope this helps. The main Fluoroquilones are Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox, educate yourselves on this damage, very widespread.
Helpful - 1
4589525 tn?1356888459
Probably not a tumor. I have them and I've had two MRIs of the brain, with contrast, both clear. I've been in 7, yes 7 rearend collusions in the past 25 years. I would highly suggest that you insist on an MR, with contrast (!!!!) of your cervical spine. They just did one on me and have found a "thickening" in my tonsil, damage to a nerve, and paraylsis of my left neck. Who knows when all this happened due to nobody imaging it until now. On my insistence. You really have to push. If you have to, just say you are having memory gaps and numbness in your arms and hands (cervical-based). Crappy to have to fib, but doctors are dealing with insurance companies and you have to hand them the symptoms to get over that hurdle. Me? I'm off to an ENT to see if the "thickening" is cancer, perhaps brought on by all the truama to my neck. (MRI said "neoplasm"; not me being dramatic.) :-(
Helpful - 1
2 Comments
Thank you for posting that. That actually takes guts to tell the truth. But that IS the truth. With our medical system, they make it so you have to become creative (from trial and error) with doctors, hospitals and insurance. Too bad they make it that way. It's also too bad that there are people who take huge advantage of the system. If it weren't for them, it would be different. But, since our last President really gave away our tax dollars and rights to ANYONE at all who cares to take it..... We are now paying the price more than ever. America is so messed up, that it's almost beyond repair.
President Trump is trying to fix all that, so we won't be as encumbered by the people taking advantage of the system and taking free (welfare) and medical help, when they don't DESERVE it. Most of them don't work because they don't have to. Or they work LESS to get MORE welfare. They have the system so screwed up, that people know exactly how to cheat and lie to get what they want. Then someone innocent comes along, who is in a tough spot and can't get the help they need because they "work too much"
THAT is what they told me. WE WORK TOO MUCH TO get WELFARE. We only needed Medicaid for a short period. Not asking for a check or stamps or anything. Only have 2 kids and both working full time. NOPE, we work too much, so they couldn't help us.
How about they stop letting all the illegal trash into the country AND MAKE them get educated on their own dime AND MAKE them learn ENGLISH within a specified period. AND MAKE them support themselves or within a specified period of time...or DEPORT THEM. So that when the LEGAL and hard-working ones come in for some help, we can actually GET IT !!

Why do some people think it's ok to just come to America and TAKE ALL THE benefits that WE have PAID into the system, then DENY us OUR welfare when we are down and out, for short periods of time? That was all we wanted, some intermittent help here and there to get to another job that had decent insurance, to get through a few tough years. THAT'S all we wanted. Instead, we got DENIED, because of OUR messed up Democrat President and his stupid army of drones.

Illegal ( and sometimes legal) immigrants bring a translator down to the welfare office ( or pretend they don't understand) They "can't work" or don't work enough to support their 4-7 kids. They give them EVERYTHING they want. That's why they come to America....they KNOW ahead of time EXACTLY what they are going to do when they get here. TAKE all the MONEY and INSURANCE and FOOD stamps they can get their hands on. THEN guess what they do? Sell stuff under table for MORE untaxed and unreported money....It is often Stolen items they are selling. They get other jobs under the table that they don't report to the government too. Then take over states like California and act like they own the place. They go from "sad, meek and innocent" ( yeah right) to YOU can't do a thing about it thugs.
Amen!!!
Avatar universal
Hello to you all !!
I read all of the comments here & I also have sore spots on my head that are random on my scalp, sometimes they really hurt, the painful spots are usually associated with a migraine headache. I never had these until I had an epidural that didn't go well in 2005 while in labor with my son, the women slipped with the needle in my spine as I had a contraction. After that I had little to no feeling in the backs of my hands, I could not sense hot or cold & my right leg was numb in places, this lasted for about 8 months.
I get these floaters in my eyes, a coin like shape followed by an onset of colours that are quite beautiful like looking through a kaleidoscope, they last for 20 minutes. In 2009 I had a brains scan but would not have the dye they use as there is a great deal of controversy about it's long term affects. Anyhow the scan was normal from what they could see.
Just recently i had 5 migraines in one day & this has never been associated with pain but this time oh my it was awful, I have had the worst flu at the same time.  
I also get a dizzy sensation & I noticed a few years ago looking at lines would give like a vertigo feeling. When I mentioned this to my eye doctor he said, I have what is called Scintillating Sclerema headaches & this is common associated with colors & partial loss of vision that for me lasts 20 minutes.

I thank the people that have taken the time to write comments here, as I was feeling rather alone with this & very concerned that something much worse was taking place. I to agree that the neck plays a massive part in headaches & the soft tissue areas, adding to the fact that i have coughed for the last two weeks this would not of been helping.  I have also found that certain food additives such as 635 flavor enhancers can cause a headache rather quickly, as well as increased computer use. Beware Chinese food that has MSG in it. Thank you to all once again & blessings to all who suffer with.
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
I'm curious to know if any/all of you spend a lot of time at a computer or a high stress job or both?  This can significantly affect the musculature of the neck, scalp and face. Not many people think of our scalps as having muscles but they do and reading, staring at a screen or constantly being in a situation that requires critical thinking and stress can severely increase tension in these muscles. I would try getting a deep tissue massage or accupressure before taking medication. Also, if you are a person who has a high stress lifestyle, as in over worked, sleep deprived, no exrecise and poor nutrition I almost guarantee that these accumulative factors are all related to the headaches so prevention would be the key ingredient, not medication. A disc problem is a whole other issue and that also might be the case, but it may be as simple a tight muscles. I'm a massage therapist and have been for 7 years and you'd be surprised at how many of my clients have gone to extreme measures with drugs and surgery becuase their doctor really hasn't been taught how to treat soft tissue injuries.
Helpful - 1
1 Comments
Good to know that massage therapy can help significantly.  I am not wealthy and a massage is an expense I rarely treat myself to.  Wish really good and knowledgeable ones like you obviously are were more common.  But I'm definitely going to be getting a massage more often to see if it gives me significant relief from this head pain.  Strange how your insurance will cover getting expensive surgery, but not something that might give equal results and be less overall cost, even if it were frequent.
Avatar universal
I have the very same symptoms, but I am completely Bald. I thought at first it could be because I do shave my head everyday, and the pain began in the back near my neck. However; now the soreness is at the top front, to forehead.  in a area that I've never shaved, because I am naturally Bald.
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
z22
I get the sore spots on my head too. They are in random places.  I have found that taking a shower helps a lot, and if I am at work and cant take a shower, I just go wet the area of my scalp with some water.....and the sore spot subsides.  I would say that for immediate relief try the water on the spot treatment.......... its worked great for me!  by the way- I always linked the spots to stress or having hair up for too long... but after I read the comment of the bald guy- I guess I can rule out the having hair up for too long thought :-P
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
If I were you I'd be heading off to the doctor. Especially if you keep vomiting or if the pain gets worse.
Cheers
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I got into a bad car accident 2 mnths ago. This lady rear ended me while I was sitting at a red light. She was going 50 miles n hour. My back and neck is really messed up. I would def say though that my back is worse then my neck. Recently I've been dealing with this tender spot on the left kinda top side of my head. Could it be from my accident? It is really starting to scare me. Like what if its a tumor??? Can someone please help me?
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I've been told they are "neurodermatitis" caused by stress.  I get them off and on but can't find a relation to times of stress.  I was thinking maybe diet related but that doesn't pan out either.
Helpful - 0
2 Comments
I think you are correct. I Ave this too on the back right side of my head to the mid right side. Just sore spots. It feels good when I massage them. But, they can feel tender when I lay my head back on the pillow or touch it there. I have been under a lot of stress lately and this is when it seemed to start. Plus I started dieting and losing weigh. So I think you have something. It's probably related to diet, stress and the lack of water in your body too
I think you are correct. I Ave this too on the back right side of my head to the mid right side. Just sore spots. It feels good when I massage them. But, they can feel tender when I lay my head back on the pillow or touch it there. I have been under a lot of stress lately and this is when it seemed to start. Plus I started dieting and losing weigh. So I think you have something. It's probably related to diet, stress and the lack of water in your body too
2068904 tn?1331310012
In the past few days I have experienced this unusual sore patch on my scalp. No itching - no redness associated with dandruff or psoriasis etc. The paid is NOT internal to the skull like a headache. The soreness is confined to an inch or two diameter area centered maybe 3" above the right corner of my right eye. It is a soreness that is sore to the touch or to movement of the scalp (as in upraised eyebrows). The pain is underneath the skin in the connective tissue.  About a fourth of the descriptions in this forum seem to be describing this particular pain. Never had it before. KInd of odd.  WIll dig deeper into quixotic1's suggested link (above). :

http://www.medhelp.org/forums/neuro/messages/34390.html
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi, I think you're correct in that it is how one sleeps on their hair and that can affect the hair follicles direction. Mine does this and I have noticed it on the off days of washing my hair when not styling it.

Thanks for mentioning it!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I've been having this head/scalp pain for a week now. It's in the back of my head and feels good when I massage it with my finger tips. No drugs make it go away. I've had these for years. Just a small localized area but always the back of the head. I usually wear my hair up in a bun and thought this was the reason. Seems to still hurt when I wear it down. Can last for weeks. I wake up at night and it hurts. Feels like someone is pulling my hair in that spot. A real annoying pain.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have veen having tender spots on the top of my head in several places for years.  I massage them and they go away.  I also get classic migraines and have asked doctors about these sore places to no avail. My guess is that the scalp gets very tight at times and massaging them loosens it up and improves circulation to the area.  Sometimes I notice them if there are high allergens in the air as well like if the winds are blowing.  They seem to come and go. I just had a brain MRI and it did not show anything so I have ruled that out.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have had migraine for more then 30 years with relatively no long term relief. I have tried every medication including MAOI. Nothing have ever helped for very long. Has anyone tried botox or acupuncture with good results.
Helpful - 0
2 Comments
Im so sorry, its a terrible thing to have even on an occasional level. I myself have excruciating migraines, TMJ, and spine/nerve problems. They can be as frequent as three days out of a week or i wont get them for a few weeks, but I can't imagine having one every day for thirty years. I hope we both find answers.
I have botox injections every three months as well as taking endep and sandomigran. I also have regular physio on my upper neck and all of this works!!
Avatar universal
I to get sore spots on my head, have floaters, dizzyness, painless migraines, where the kalidascope type thing happens for about 20/30 mins goes then I have a headache, looking at lines or stripes they move. This has happened for years, it was very scary at first (still is really) but when it first started happening I was sure I was dying. I've had 2 MRI scans which showed nothing, all kinds of ENT tests and they cannot find anything. I too thought I was alone and a bit mad... But it's nice to here other people are feeling the same and have the same symptoms (not nice for us, just makes me feel a bit more sane! :-)
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have these tender sore spots on the top rear of my head also. I havent mentioned them to my doctors, but I have Grave Disease (Hypothyroidism), Fibromyalgia, and Severe Sinusitis.  I also have migraines.  I want to assume that this problem goes along with one of the things Im already diagnosed with.  Usually if I take a warm shower and gently wash my hair, it will ease the pain enough to get a decent night's rest.  i hope this helps.  
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thank you Quixotic1. That was very helpful to me and I truely hope that is what I have. 3 mornings ago I woke up and had this killer pain on bottom of skull, like a huge softspot painful bruise. It hurt regardless of touch, but definitely when wash my hair, touch it or lye down on it, it hurts so very much more. The painful spot then moved towards upper left of the head and then today that spot is now in middle of head. 3 spots changing periodically. For awhile been getting so dizzy and head/body numbness, this topped off my worries. I went to emergency and all tests came back good and all my feelings are unexplainable. You seem very smart and helpful. Any advice?? Thank you.......Rosemary
Helpful - 0
3778698 tn?1348110841
I know this is very late reply but I thought I would share any way. I too for many years have suffered from the same problem. Around the same time it started I also started having alot of sinus infections and strep throat. My feet also were very sore in the morings. I have since been diagnosed with SLE Lupus. After talking with other sufferers, they all had the same painful top of head. I think it is because there is alot of inflammation with Lupus and the nerve endings on your head become very inflammed. I have had countless MRI's and there were no major problems. I hope this helps.
Rebecca
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