Pain In Back Of Head

Pain In Back Of Head: What to do & What It Means

The intensity of a headache can vary from mild to severe. It may be the primary cause, but understanding the symptoms is necessary. Many headaches can be brought on by neck tension or stiffness, which can result in pain in the back of the head. The signs and symptoms may be related to a variety of headache-causing diseases. But there are underlying conditions that lead to back and head pain.

Back of the head pain might be brought on by a migraine disorder or problems with your neck, spine, or posture. Changes in your lifestyle, complementary therapies, and drugs can help you manage or prevent the pain.

The degree of headaches can range from bothersome to disruptive. They can show up anywhere on the head.

There are numerous possible causes of back-of-the-head discomfort in headaches. Additional symptoms can be used to identify many of these causes. These signs and symptoms include the sort of pain felt as well as potential discomfort sites in other areas.


There are several possible causes for the discomfort in the back of the head. The aetiology of headaches can be determined in part by the nature and location of the pain. Headaches that are severe and chronic require prompt medical attention from a physician.

Tension-Type Headache

The most typical type of headache and most likely cause of a “back of the head” headache are tension-type headaches.

Around the head and neck, these headaches produce a clamping, tightening, or pressure-like sensation. Consider donning a tight headband or an inadequate baseball cap. The mild to moderate severity of the headache pain doesn’t go worse while you move about.

Experts are unsure of the exact cause of tension-type headaches. Numerous causes, including sensitivity of pain pathways in the neurological system and/or environmental triggers like stress, lack of sleep, or skipping meals, are probably at play.

Low-Pressure Headache

Low CSF fluid pressure in the brain causes low-pressure headaches, commonly referred to as spontaneous intracranial hypotension. The fluid that circulates through and cushions the brain and spinal cord is called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

Pressure around the brain is reduced if spinal fluid leaks as a result of a tear in the dura (one of the membranes that covers the spinal cord). A severe headache is the result, which is often felt in the back of the head.

Poor posture

The muscles in the back of your head, upper back, neck, and jaw might become strained if you have a tendency to slouch while sitting or standing. Additionally, it may put those nerves under pressure. As a result, bad posture can result in tension headaches and back pain.

Headaches brought on by bad posture might be relieved by standing or sitting straight. Additionally, over-the-counter painkillers might be useful. You could need physical treatment in some situations.

Cervicogenic headache

Although it may feel like a headache with back of the head pain, the problem is in the neck. Referred pain is when you experience pain in one area of your body but it actually originates elsewhere.

These are secondary headaches, which means they are a symptom of another medical condition and don’t occur on their own.

Occipital neuralgia

The occipital nerves experience discomfort in this uncommon type of headache. Your spinal cord and your scalp are connected by them. You might have pain in the back of your head or behind your ears when they are swollen or injured.

People describe the pain as acute, stabbing, and shocking. From a few seconds to a few minutes, it could last. You can get a dull discomfort afterward.

Occipital neuralgia’s cause is unknown to medical professionals. When you perform routine tasks like combing your hair or adjusting your head on a pillow, the headache might strike. It could be a side effect for people who have whiplash or tumors.

Warm compresses and light massage are frequently used as treatment methods. Additionally, muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory drugs may be beneficial. Your doctor can recommend antidepressants or antiepileptic medications if you frequently experience these headaches in order to decrease the attacks.

Cervicogenic headache

Although it may feel like a headache with back of the head pain, the problem is in the neck. Referred pain is when you experience pain in one area of your body but it actually originates elsewhere.

These are secondary headaches, which means they are a symptom of another medical condition and don’t occur on their own.

Arthritis headache

Back pain that worsens with movement is the primary symptom of an arthritis headache. It can be a result of arthritis in your spine’s first, second, or third vertebra. It might also be brought on by modifications to your neck’s bone structure or swollen blood vessels in your head.

Consult your doctor about available options. Anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, or a combination of both can typically be used to treat these headaches.

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You can proceed with developing a therapy strategy once your headache kind has been identified.

Cervicogenic Headache

Physical therapy is frequently used in the initial course of treatment for cervicogenic headache. Exercises to strengthen the neck muscles can be combined with cervical neck manipulation and mobilization by a physical therapist.

Additionally frequently advised include maintaining excellent posture, massage, and ice/heat therapy. Patients may occasionally receive a prescription for the nerve painkiller Lyrica (pregabalin).

A pain specialist may administer a corticosteroid injection into the neck or an anesthetic (numbing) blockade for severe or persistent headaches.

Tension-Type Headache

An over-the-counter pain reliever such Tylenol (acetaminophen) or the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) Advil (ibuprofen) is typically effective in treating tension-type headaches.

Before taking any drug, be sure to consult your doctor. You want to avoid consequences like headaches from medicine usage in addition to making sure it is safe. When your body becomes acclimated to medications, it develops these headaches.

Low-Pressure Headache

To treat a low-pressure headache, conservative therapy including rest, caffeine, and hydration are typically used first. Within a few days to two weeks, headaches usually go away.

An epidural blood patch treatment may be used if the headache is severe or persistent. Your own blood is drawn from your arm and injected into the lower spine’s epidural area, which is situated immediately outside the dura. Relief generally comes right away.


Dandelion tea is another option you can make at home to perhaps stop gout attacks.

In order to support renal function, which may help the body get rid of too much uric acid, dandelion tea and extract are widely utilized.

Although one animal study did suggest dandelion can lower uric acid levels, there isn’t much evidence to support the use of dandelion as a gout treatment.

Dandelion tea is sold in a lot of grocery and natural food stores. Before using any supplements or dandelion extract, see your doctor. You should also carefully read and heed the label’s instructions.

Occipital Neuralgia

Depending on how severe the illness is, occipital neuralgia can be treated in a variety of ways.

Commonly used therapies include:

  • Drugs such as Lyrica, Gabapentin (Neurontin), or a tricyclic antidepressant
  • greater or lesser occipital nerve blockage
  • Neck strengthening and stretching exercises, massage, and ice/heat therapy are all included in physical therapy.

Botox injections or pulsed radiofrequency, a minimally invasive treatment that delivers radiofrequency bursts to the occipital nerve, may be tried for more severe or chronic instances.


Back of the head pain is typically a tension headache type of pain. A “back of the head” headache could also be the result of a neck or scalp nerve irritation or an underlying medical disease like arthritis.

Once your specific headache type is identified, treatment is typically not too difficult. It could entail prescription drugs, physical treatment, or specific procedures.

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