Never Ignore The Pain at the Back of The Neck – Here’s The Causes and Treatment

Most of you wondered what causes the sharp pain in the back of your head, right? Generally, headaches are the result of tension, stress, muscle tightness, tiredness, and the overuse of medications.

Headaches may also be caused by more severe conditions like tumor or other diseases. However, if you start experiencing chronic pains in your head and have other symptoms like nausea or dizziness, you should visit your doctor immediately.

Having knowledge of what causes headaches can help you how to deal or prevent the pain you suffer in the back of your head. So, what causes pain in the back of the head?

* Coughing Headaches

If you suffer sharp pain in the back of your head when you cough, sneeze, blow your nose, or even bend over you could have what doctors call a “coughing headache”. According to Mayo Clinic, this can cause a sharp pain in the back of your head. However, it is not known what causes coughing headaches.

The most effective way to prevent coughing headaches is to try and avoid whatever triggers it. Thus, keep yourself as healthy as possible to avoid sneezing, colds or any other activity which can put pressure on your brain.

 Occipital Neuralgia

A sharp pain like an electric shock at the back of your head could be a symptom of occipital neuralgia. You may also notice that your scalp is tender to touch and even a simple brushing of your hair can cause pain. This can be caused by inflammation in the nerves at the back of your head.

To ease this kind of pain, AANS suggests using gentle heat treatment and rest for headaches relief. A calming massage can also help to get rid of the headache caused by occipital neuralgia. Moreover, you can also use essential oils to ease the pain.

* Migraine

Migraines can cause serious headaches starting around the eyes and temple and then the pain can spread to the back of the head. It can also cause neck pain. It can be accompanied by poor concentration, blurred vision, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, and vomiting.

* Tension Headaches

It is usually caused by some type of emotional stress or tiredness and start with a pain at the back of your head and move toward the front. According to Dr. Neil S. Lava, tension headaches are often caused by tight muscles at the back of the neck. Factors like emotional stress, hunger, fatigue, low iron levels, and bad posture can cause this.

* Tight Muscle Headaches / Muscle Strain

You may suffer a sharp pain at the back of your head and neck along with stiffness in your neck and shoulders. This pain could be caused by strained or injured muscles.
The main causes for tight muscles which cause pains in the back of the head and neck are:

– Holding your head in one position for a long period of time.
– Tension caused by stress.
– Sleeping with a pillow that doesn’t support your head properly.
– Injuring the spine or neck by tripping or being in an accident.

* Basilar Migraines

This type of migraine causes pain at the back of the head. Moreover, if you have dizziness, double vision and lack of coordination before you get serious pain in your head, then you could suffer from basilar-migraines. Although it is harmless, it can have negative impact on both partners because of a fear that s** will lead to severe headache.

* Exercise Headaches

Exercise headaches usually happen because the blood vessels at the back of the head and neck dilate and cause pain. There is nothing to worry about with exercise headaches and that they respond well to pain-relief medication. However, if your exercise headaches have recently started and are accompanied by nausea, stiff neck, vomiting, loss of consciousness, double vision, you should visit your doctor immediately.

Giant Cell Arteritis (Temporal Arteritis) 

A headache which develops in the top, temples or back of the head and is tender to touch could be caused by giant cell arteritis. You may also find that your temples are bloated. This causes torturous pain in the head and usually pain killers are useless at treating the pain.

* Trigeminal Neuralgia

The pain caused by trigeminal neuralgia has been described as “the most unbearably painful human condition” Usually, the pain is felt on just one side of the face around the lips, jaw, cheek, and gums. But, it can also extend to the back of the head and neck.

* Brain Tumor

According to neurologists, generally headaches that are mild, occasional, of short duration and cause by identifiable factors are not a cause for concern. It is also very rare that a headache alone is a symptom of a brain tumor.

* Arthritis Headache

The inflammation in the facet joints in the cervical spine between the shoulders and base of the head causes pain at the back of the head.

* Rebound Headache

If you suffer from headaches and you have regularly take pain-relief medication you could be suffering from rebound headaches. Regularly taking analgesic medications 3 times a week can trigger rebound headaches. That is why experts suggest to stop taking analgesic regularly to break the cycle of headaches caused by the overuse of medication.

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