Do people with vertebral artery dissection have a lot of pain?

Symptoms. Vertebral artery dissection (VAD) can cause localized pain (often described as being sharp, aching or pulsing pain) in the head, neck and face. It is estimated that between half to one third of patients with a VAD experience this type of pain. Though VAD can be diagnosed on the basis of pain alone, it is usually followed by neurological symptoms such as numbness or vertigo within hours or days.