The brain does not have pain receptors but, the meninges (covering around the brain) and scalp have pain receptors. Technically, the brain itself cannot feel pain but the nerves can.
There are several causes of brain nerve pain that result in pressure on the nerves. These causes include:
- Post Trauma
- Nerve infection
- Intracranial pressure
Post Trauma Nerve pain commonly results from a concussion. A concussion can be caused by a severe blow to the head or sudden jolting like in a car accident or fall from a height.
This pain requires medical treatment to see if there are complications like bleeding in or around the brain or physical damage to the brain. Sometimes the pain is delayed and arises hours or days after the injury. Neck trauma can occur in these situations as well and should be investigated too.
Symptoms that need immediate medical attention include:
- changes in level of consciousness
- progressive head pain
- nausea and vomiting
Nerve infections like meningitis can lead to headaches and migraine-like symptoms. Additional symptoms of infection are as follows:
- feeling unwell
- neck stiffness
- intolerance to light
If left untreated these symptoms can be life-threatening. Other infections that can cause head pain are:
- Post-viral Neuralgias
All need to be properly diagnosed to avoid serious complications.
Intracranial Pressure is increased in pressure within the skull that puts pressure on the brain and nerves.
There is normally some fluid around the brain but certain conditions can cause this to vary: brain tumors, underactive parathyroid glands, to obstructions in the drainage of the veins inside the skull.
- visual changes or blurred vision
Tumors can cause headaches, but usually are rare in occurrence. Symptoms depend on the size and location of the tumor. These symptoms develop through slow progression and increase the pressure within the brain resulting in a steady loss of control in the face, head, and body. Personality changes can also occur, as well as, visual, hearing and sense of smell. Tumor type, location, and diagnosis influence the outcome.
Brain bleeds occur when blood vessels rupture. Vessels and membranes in the skull are sensitive to pain stimuli. These ruptures result in:
- sudden, severe headache
- neck stiffness
- problems with nerves in the face, head and entire body
Causes of brain bleeds are:
- high blood pressure
- head trauma
- aggressive brain tumors
The final cause of brain nerve pain is Brain and Nerve Diseases and Damage. Conditions like Multiple Sclerosis can affect the brain stem and cerebellum. Conditions like this cause inflammation or degeneration of nerve tissue in the brain, spinal cord, and nerves throughout the body. Some conditions involve inflammation or degeneration of nerve tissue in the brain, spinal cord, and/or nerves in the body itself. This situation can cause irritation to these nerves and consequently can lead to pain in the head and face regions.
Other conditions that can cause nerve degeneration, include:
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Motor neuron disease
- Blockage of arteries to the spinal cord and brain (ie: ‘stroke’)
- Some genetic diseases
There are many causes of brain nerve pain. They all require immediate attention and investigation to diagnose the cause or the pain.