Posted by: Shells | 2009/02/12

headache and earache

Hi there

This is so wierd Im not sure how to explain it!

For the past week I have been suffering with a terrible headache that comes on very suddenly - its a sharp brutal stabbing pain always on the left side of my head - its so bad that my whole body freezes and I have to stop what I am doing and want to cry out. My fiance says my face also twitches during this

It is brief, lasting about 10 seconds then it stops and shortly after the headache comes back but now its a dull throbbing and I feel the sharp pain in my ear canal.

I find that if I pull on my earlobe the pain goes away in my ear but the headache is still there and nothing I take makes it go away. Usually I go and lie down afterwards and then when I wake up its gone.

Can you tell me what this is? I' ve never suffered with headache like this before

I am 27, female, in relativley good health, and I work out 6 times per week (I dont swim so I dont think its an ear infection from that!)

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear Shells,

You are correct, it probably isn’t an ear infection, but you still have to be thoroughly checked. To get to the root of the problem, you need what is called a “multidisciplinary assessment”. There are so many different structures in the head and neck, all of which can be involved in the headache process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For instance, a neurologist will examine the brain and nervous system, a physiotherapist will look at the muscles, a dentist will examine the teeth etc. For this reason, the “multidisciplinary assessment” combines and integrates the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables the different members of the team to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed.

This assessment must include a thorough examination of the head and neck muscles to determine the presence of abnormal tension, and of the external carotid vasculature to determine whether there is an arterial element to the pain.

Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the constant pain and associated symptoms. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg) on 0861 678 911.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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