Why is there Pain in back of my head?

Backside pain

If you are often experiencing that sudden, tingling, and sharp pain in the back of your head, it’s time to see your doctor. PPain in the back of the head can be due to various factors, including low pressure headaches, tension headaches, exertion headaches, cervicogenic headaches, cluster headaches or occipital neuralgia. While some of these originate with the pain in the back of the head, others may start from different points on the body like from head or neck.

Sometimes, the pain is located in one region, but patients may also experience it radiating to other places in the head or the neck, and symptoms may vary from person to person. Backside headaches, as commonly referred to, can also be triggered by certain sudden events that can cause immense stress, anxiety, allergy to certain food items, etc.

If you suffer from persistent backside headaches in the back of your head, consult your doctor immediately for diagnosis and treatment.

What Are The Types of Back Head Pain?

Pain in the backside of the head is common; however, if you are suffering consistent pain, talk to your doctor to find out the root cause. Here are the types of backside headaches:

Tension Headache:

A common type of throbbing pain in the head, it is caused due to the tightening of the scalp and neck, especially on the sides and back of the head. It starts as a dull pain but can become a nagging sensation disrupting daily activities if not treated on time.

Cluster and Migraine Headaches:

Migraine headaches can be chronic, and this pulsating pain can interfere with daily activities. Migraine headaches can happen in any location of the head but are often felt on the left side or backside of the head.

Similarly, cluster headaches too can be excruciating. Though rare, these headaches mimic migraine symptoms and can continue for weeks or even months, causing intense pain in the backside of the head.

Arthritis Headache:

If you are feeling severe pain in the back of your head, but it worsens even as you move, it is known as an arthritis headache. This agonizing discomfort results from arthritis in the first three vertebrae of your spine, inflamed blood vessels in the neck, or changes in the bone structure of the neck.

Posture Headache:

If you are one of those riveted to a chair owing to work commitments, it can strain the muscles in the head, upper back, jawline, and neck region. Poor postures can strain the nerves in these areas leading to pain in the back of your head. Ensure sitting or standing straight to get relief from headaches.

Spontaneous Intracranial Hypotension Headache:

Also known as low-pressure headache, Spontaneous Intracranial Hypotension Headache or SIH is caused due to leakage of spinal fluid from the neck to the back. This leads to a decrease in the cushion of spinal fluid around the brain, causing intense pain in back side of the head. It may worsen when you sit or stand still but reduces after lying down for around 30 minutes. In some patients, mild SIH can happen in sleep but can intensify as the day progresses.

Occipital Neuralgia:

Occipital Neuralgia is a rare condition where occipital nerves, running from the spinal cord up to the calps, get injured or inflamed. This starts as a stabbing, sharp pain in back side of head or behind the ears. If not addressed on time, it can progress into severe pain that can feel like a shock that lasts a few minutes.

Cervicogenic Headache:

Cervicogenic headache may feel like intense pain as a backside headache, but it originates in the neck. Also known as referred pain, it occurs in one part of the body but radiates from somewhere in the neck. A secondary headache is caused due to broken bones, tumors, rheumatoid arthritis, and infection.

Symptoms of Back Head Pain?

The causes for back head pain are aplenty, and symptoms vary from patient to patient. The most common symptoms of pain in the back side of the head include:

  • Dull, throbbing pain in the backside of the head
  • Sharp, stabbing sensation in the head
  • Nausea and sensitivity to light and sound
  • Nausea
  • Excessive tearing and drooping eyelids
  • Stuffy nose

If you notice any of the above symptoms that are frequent, lasting more than 2 to 3 days in a row, seek a doctor’s appointment immediately.

Treatment For Back Head Pain?

Your doctor would diagnose the condition based on the physical evaluation. The causes of back head pain can be underlying, and a detailed investigation will help in an accurate diagnosis. Your doctor may ask for imaging tests; blood works to understand the causes and symptoms.

The treatment plan for back side headaches includes medicines to reduce inflammation, correcting the posture, muscle relaxers, physiotherapy, antidepressants, corticosteroids, melatonin, and nerve blockers in some instances.

Patients suffering from intense, chronic backside headaches may rarely need surgical intervention.

Glenegales Hospital, Mumbai is the hub of neurologists. Talk to our experts for detailed diagnosis and treatment options, and bid farewell those nagging backside headaches.


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