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What Causes Headaches in the Back of Your Head

What Causes Headaches in the Back of Your Head

Severe pain in the back of the head is not a common type of headache. It can be caused due to disorders related to the head, shoulders or even vertebrae. Let us know the causes and treatment methods in detail.
Madhura Pandit
People suffer from headaches at one point or the other in their life. Headaches can be of different types and caused due to different reasons. For e.g. the causes of headaches include injury to the head, tension, stress, symptom of certain disorder, etc. In most of the cases, pain in head is felt at the front, in temple region or at the top of the head. Pain in back of the head is a relatively uncommon condition.


Tension headache is the most prominent cause of pain in the back of the head. People suffering from this condition experience a feeling of tightness around their head. One may also experience pain in the neck and around the shoulders. The precise cause of this condition is unknown, but, factors like stress, anxiety, improper posture and clenching of jaw, can trigger off this condition. Secondly, arthritis and inflammation in the neck bone is also responsible for headache. Occipital neuralgia, caused due to injury or inflammation to the occipital nerve, can also cause severe and excruciating pain. Apart from these, there may also be a possibility that you may be suffering from the following conditions:
  • Retropharyngeal tendinitis
  • Vertebral artery dissection
  • Migraine
  • Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) headache
  • Brain tumor
  • Cluster headaches
  • Sinus headaches
  • Flu / fever
Headache during pregnancy is also a common phenomenon. Tension headaches are commonly observed during pregnancy. The exact cause for it is not known; however, changes in hormonal levels is believed to be the potential reason. Secondly, if a pregnant woman has suddenly quit smoking (cold turkey), before or during pregnancy, she may suffer from headache in the front or back of the head.

Treating Headache

Headaches can be treated with medications as well as home remedies. However, before looking for any treatment, it is essential to get the condition diagnosed. In case the pain is caused due to any severe disorder, one should follow the treatment procedure advised by a doctor. On the other hand, if it is caused due to minor cases like stress or postural problems, one can adopt certain home remedies for the same. The following are some of the most effective home remedies for treating headaches:
  • Applying ice pack, or cold compress, is one of the best home remedies used since ages to get rid of headache.
  • Secondly, you can go for over-the-counter or prescription painkillers like analgesics, ibuprofen to treat inflammation and pain.
  • Massage and light exercises of the neck and the shoulder muscles also help in relieving headaches. You can also use pain relieving spray before massage.
  • Lastly, taking rest is the best means to get rid of headache. Take a short sleep or nap, or try to relax with your head in a comfortable position to get rid of the pain.
Minor causes can be prevented by sitting and sleeping in comfortable positions and reducing stress. If you experience chronic headaches, it is recommended to consult a doctor immediately. Take care!

Disclaimer: This article is purely for informative purposes, and should not be treated as a replacement for professional medical advice.