Primary stabbing headache is a headache form that involves short jabs or jolts of severe pain lasting no more than seconds and usually in the forehead or eye. The condition reflects involvement of the first division of the trigeminal nerve called the ophthalmic division. It may occur in other areas about the head and neck as well, but is most common in the upper portion of the face. It is commonly encountered in patients who have other primary headaches, particularly migraine. In those cases it is confined to a single area and occurs periodically throughout the day. Sometimes migraine features such as sensitivity to light and sound accompany the brief attacks.
Primary stabbing headache generally starts in middle age, although can occur later or earlier. It occasionally can be provoked by other migraine provoking factors. It can be treated with a variety of medicines and sometimes nerve blocks.