Tightness or generalized pressure in the head could be caused due to a wide range of reasons. This sensation could even be a warning sign of certain ailments. If this feeling of tightness or pressure is becoming a daily occurrence, the affected individual must seek medical help for proper diagnosis and treatment. Scroll down to learn about the circumstances under which one may experience sudden tightness in the head.
More often than not, the feeling of pressure in the head is indicative of an underlying medical condition. Here is some information on medical conditions that may be responsible for causing the sensation of pressure in the head.
Pinched Nerve in the Neck
Nerves are bundles of fibers that consist of neurons. These transmit impulses between brain and other parts of the body thereby conveying sensory and motor information to the targeted region. One is most likely to suffer from distressing symptoms if any of the nerves gets compressed. Herniated disc, muscle spasms, spinal stenosis or development of a bone spur could give rise to a pinched nerve in the neck. A compressed nerve in the neck could give rise to pain in the neck or the base of the skull. The pain could even radiate upwards. The affected individual might also feel pressure in the head and might not be able to move his/her head freely.
A feeling of pressure in the head could even be a symptom of tension headaches. The affected individuals often experience something called 'hatband' tightness around the head. They may sense 'a weight on the top of the head'. These sensations are rooted in stress. If you are going through a turbulent phase in your professional or personal life for a long time, you are likely to experience such sensations. Anxiety, lack of sleep, poor dietary habits and overexertion may also make you susceptible. Your head, neck and shoulder region might become stiff. Sometimes this condition might also be accompanied by migraine. The combination of migraine and tension headache is most likely to cause sensation of pressure.
The feeling of pressure in the head might even be felt during a panic attack. When a person suffers from a panic attack, his/her body may experience several sensations. Muscle stiffness, tingling sensation, tight scalp and dizziness are some of the common symptoms of a panic attack. People who suffer from hypertension could also experience generalized pressure or pressure in some parts of the head.
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome that is characterized by pain and stiffness in muscles and connective tissues. If the trigger points are in the head or neck, one may suffer from pain or facial tightness. There might be tight areas within a muscle or tissue that might become extremely sensitive due to the production of certain chemicals. These sensitive areas might cause irritation in the adjacent nerves and pain may even travel to other areas.
Increased Intracranial Pressure
Increased pressure within the skull could also cause tightness. Conditions that may give rise to an increased pressure within the skull include brain tumor (development of an abnormal growth in brain), meningitis (infection characterized by inflammation of the membrane that surround the brain), hydrocephalus (accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid around the brain), traumatic brain injury or hemorrhage (bleeding within the brain).
Since the feeling of tightness in the head could be caused by various medical conditions, one must consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis. Besides conducting a physical examination and analyzing the patient's medical history, certain blood tests and imaging procedures would be conducted to ascertain the underlying condition. Once the doctors are able to pinpoint the underlying medical condition, they can come up with the best treatment option and suggest the needed lifestyle-related changes that will help in easing one's discomfort. It is extremely essential to take the prescribed drugs and follow the dietary guidelines given by doctor. If the sensation of tightness is induced by stress, hypertension or anxiety, you might have to consider lifestyle-related changes to get rid of stress. It is advisable to perform relaxation techniques such as yoga meditation to get back your peace of mind. You can also try alternative treatment options such as massage therapy or aromatherapy.
Since stress is a major contributory factor for pain or pressure in the head, one must take all possible measures to stay relaxed and stress-free. Since pressure in the head could be attributed to serious medical conditions as well, it would be best to seek medical help. A timely diagnosis and treatment is extremely essential.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.