A headache may be a primary or secondary problem. When it is a primary one, it means that it may be difficult to find the cause of pain while in case of a secondary problem a headache is just a symptom of an underlying medical condition.
Pain in the back of the head happens quite commonly and there is a number of factors which may trigger the ache. Read on and find out what the main causes of pain in the back of the head are, try some of the best home remedies and learn about possible medical treatments.
The Causes of Pain in Back of Head
There are a lot of probable causes of pain in the back of your head. Therefore, if you want to find out what the cause of the pain is, try to observe your body to see if there are any situations or factors which trigger the headache. Also, think if you suffer from any other, accompanying symptoms.
1. Poor Body Posture
Poor body posture in probably cause number one of pain in the back of your head. It is mainly a problem of people who work in the same position for a long time, for example they sit in front of the computer in the same, poor body position.
Lack of movement or a bad repetitive movement may lead to muscle tension, which often results in pain and a feeling of discomfort in the back of your head, which often spreads to your neck and shoulders. To solve the problem change your body position frequently and do simple stretching exercises throughout your day.
2. Tension Headache
Tension headaches are very common among people who are overworked or stressed out. It is difficult to determine one cause of a tension headache, but it is always closely connected with an unhealthy lifestyle as lack of sleep, stress, tiredness, dehydration, or skipping meals are among the most common triggers of this type of headache.
A tension headache may occur either in the back or in the front of your head. It ranges from very mild to severe and it is often accompanied by a tightening feeling in the head area. Some people report that their tension headache lasts only a few minutes while others suffer from the pain even for a few days. Lifestyle changes, massage, or relaxation techniques are the best solutions to a tension headache.
Everyone who has ever experienced migraine knows that it is not a typical kind of headache, but is much more painful and troublesome. Interestingly, migraines often start in childhood and then intensify with age with women between the ages of thirty-five or forty-five being the most affected.
A migraine can come quite suddenly, causing a number of unpleasant symptoms, which make it impossible for the sufferer to perform everyday tasks or normally function. The symptoms include a throbbing kind of strong pain on either side of the head.
Apart from typical pain, the sufferer often experiences vomiting or nausea, disturbed vision, tenderness of the skin and muscles. The person is also extremely sensitive to smell, light, or noise, and even a mild physical activity makes the pain stronger.
A typical attack of migraine lasts from a few hours to even a few days. It often happens at the same time of the day and is often preceded by so called aura, when the sufferer experiences disturbed vision of flashing lights.
It is very difficult to state what causes migraines as the triggers vary from person to person. For sure, too much stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, or tension are one of the main causes. In case of some people, however, their diet or skipping meals lead to a migraine.
Moreover, some women start to suffer from migraines when they undergo some hormonal changes or when they take contraceptive pills. To find the trigger factor of your migraine, you need to observe your body and see in what situations the pain usually starts. A food diary in which you will write down everything you eat is also a great idea as it can quickly help you find a dietary cause of your suffering.
4. Occipital Neuralgia (ON)
Occipital neuralgia is a consequence of the irritation or damage of so called occipital nerves. They are located at the back of your neck and run up to the base of your scalp. The irritation or nerve damage may be caused by an underlying disease, neck tension, spine damage, tumors, infections, or in some cases the cause remains unknown.
Occipital neuralgia is often mistaken with migraine as it gives similar symptoms, which include pain in your neck and at the back of your head. The pain is often described as a sharp feeling similar to an electric shock. The pain gests stronger when you move your neck.