Why Does The Back Of My Head Hurt
If you have pain in the back of your head, youâd probably enjoy some relief. To find a long-lasting fix, you need to find the root of the problem. From poor posture to different types of specific headaches, the back of your head may hurt due to one of these causes.
Tension headache: This is the most common type of headache. It happens when the muscles in your scalp and neck tighten. This causes pain on the sides and back of your head. Usually itâs a dull pain that doesnât throb.
A tension headache isnât a sign of another medical issue. Still, it can be painful. Some people say that it feels like a vise is squeezing their head.
There are two types of tension headaches:
- Episodic: Itâs often called a stress headache because it comes on when youâre stressed, anxious, hungry, angry, depressed, or tired.
- Chronic: This kind of headache happens more than 15 times a month for at least 3 months. The pain is almost always there, though it may vary over the course of a day. You may also feel a little bit queasy when you have one.
You can treat most tension headaches with over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe an antidepressant, which can also act as a painkiller.
Standing or sitting up straight can help relieve headaches from poor posture. Over-the-counter pain relievers may help as well. In some cases, you may need physical therapy.
What Are Some Upper Back Pain Risk Factors
Say you havent seen the doctor yet about your upper back pain, but youre pretty sure its not an acute injury. After all, you havent taken up a new sport. Maybe you barely have time to exercise, much less overdo it.
Believe it or not, that actually increases your risk of back injury. When youre physically active, the muscles in your belly and backyour corehelp support your spine. If youre sedentary, you might have weak muscles that contribute to upper back pain.
Lack of exercise is one of several factors that can increase your risk of upper back pain. Others include:
Excess weight. Since your spine supports the weight in your torso, excess weight could stress your back. Belly fat, in particular, is a problem: If you carry a lot of weight in your midsection, it can strain the soft tissues in your back. Conversely, weight loss can reduce pain though research suggests it may be even more effective as part of a holistic strategy that includes pain management strategies.
Belly fat can contribute to upper back pain, but weight loss can help relieve it.
Psychological conditions. Experts arent sure why, but you might be more likely to have back pain if you have depression and anxiety. In fact, some research suggests that people who have depression have worse back pain than people without depression.
When Do You Have A Headache And Back Pain
PMS refers to a group of physical and emotional symptoms that occur between the time of ovulation and when a period starts. Headache and back or abdominal pain are common PMS symptoms. Other symptoms to look out for can include: Headaches and back pain are common causes of discomfort during pregnancy.
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What Are The Side Effects Of A Lumbar Puncture
Vomiting is a possible adverse effect too. Welcome back. Vomiting is also a possible side effect of lumbar puncture, and together with pain in your upper shoulder and hand, are probably caused by the temporary lowering of the cerebrospinal fluid pressure. This pressure lowering may cause small spinal cord displacements inside the spinal canal.
Pain After A Car Accident
So you were in a car crash and you managed to walk away seemingly fine because youre not feeling excruciating just yet. But the payback can happen after some time. You may have gone through a whiplash – a sudden and violent back-to-front jerk of your head – during the accident. This can create tears and inflammation of the muscles and ligaments in your neck and upper back. Schedule a visit to your doctor if youre having dizzy spells, neck pain, and fatigue along with your back pain.
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What Causes Upper Back Pain
Upper back pain is usually caused by soft tissue injuries, such as sprains or strains, or muscle tension caused by poor posture or looking downward for long periods.
Poor posture and text neck can combine to wreck your upper back. Common behaviors and activities that can cause upper back pain include:
- Poor posture
- Spinal stenosis
- Cancers that affect the spine
Dont let that long list of potential, serious conditions alarm you too much. In younger patients and when I say young, I mean people up to their mid-60s its most commonly a strain, Dr. Knight says.
Chiropractic Care For Cervicogenic Headaches
If you suffer from cervicogenic headaches, our chiropractor can help heal you using spinal manipulation, joint mobilization, and deep neck flexion exercises. Cervical spinal manipulation is performed to alleviate neck pain. Joint mobilization involves physically moving the joints in your neck to bring pain relief and restore your range of motion. When it comes to deep flexion exercises, our chiropractor will actively move your joints and muscles around so that they are returned to their natural position. These exercises also stretch your neck’s flexor muscles, allowing you to hold your neck in its proper position more easily. Electric muscle stimulation, soft tissue mobilization, and other similar treatments may also be used in conjunction with chiropractic care.
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Pain That Comes With Fever
Severe back pain that comes with fever, plus tingling or numbness in your arms, can be a sign of a spinal infection. It doesnt happen often, but youre more at risk if you are obese, immunosuppressed, or have diabetes or cancer. Your doctor will ask for X-rays, CT scans or MRI scans to rule it out. In some cases, you may have to check in the hospital to get intravenous antibiotics.
Middle Back Pain And Between Shoulder Pain Treatment
Many who experience middle back pain between the shoulder blades may have just slept in an awkward position or have just been working out too much. Or this between shoulder pain stems from bad posture and/or excessive movement while playing sports, like tennis or golf. The pain in your middle back might be just muscle irritation or a strained muscle. Depending on the symptoms of the pain between shoulder blades it may be something more serious particularly, pain in the upper back could be related to spinal issues. You should certainly consult a chiropractor for a specialists opinion of your middle back pain injuries.
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Are There Any Side Effects Of A Lumbar Puncture
Headaches caused by a lumbar puncture are generally felt either at the front of the head or near the base of the skull, and are experienced by about 40% of people who have gone through this procedure. This pain can, many a time, spread to the neck, shoulders, and the lower back. Serious side effects of a lumbar puncture are very rare.
What Causes Tension Headaches
At the base of the skull, there is a group of muscles called the suboccipital muscles. They can cause headache pain for many people. These four pairs of muscles are responsible for subtle movements between the skull and first and second vertebrae in the neck.
The suboccipital muscles may become tense and tender due to the following:
- Eye strain
- Grinding teeth
Pain from the suboccipital muscles commonly feels like a band wrapping around the head. Also, tension in these muscles may cause compression of a nerve that exits the base of the skull. This can trigger pain that wraps over the head and above the eyes.
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When To Worry About Neck Pain With A Headache
Usually, theres nothing to worry but at times when you notice these conditions immediately consult your doctor.
- Having shoulder and neck pain with headache or pain that extends to the lower back.
- The presence of the condition for more than 2 weeks.
- When the condition is due to the result of an injury.
- Eye pain is a combination of headache and neck pain.
- Slurred speech and blur vision.
Treating Neck And Shoulder Pain
Treatment of neck and shoulder pain depends on the underlying cause.
Heart attack, stroke, and other serious conditions often include emergency treatment. For most other situations, home remedies, physical therapy, and massage will bring improvement.
Some of the more serious situations that may require surgical treatment include:
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What Are The Symptoms Of Cervicogenic Headaches
Cervicogenic headaches typically cause pain at the back of the head. This pain may spread to the top of the skull and sometimes to the forehead or temple. It may also be associated with pain or discomfort behind the eye.
There is often, but not always, associated neck pain or discomfort, and sometimes the neck pain and headaches become more or less severe at the same time.
Nausea, poor concentration and irritability are frequent symptoms.
Use Your Head: 4 Ways Spinal Problems Cause Headaches
The process to develop an effective approach to pain management is often complex. Your health care providers may have to account for several symptoms that arent necessarily directly related to the center of your pain.
For example, in our last blog, The Connection Between Your Digestive Health and Back Pain, we discussed how your diet and your digestive system health problems can contribute to spinal pain, and vice versa.
In this blog, well discuss one of the most common back painrelated complications: headaches. Here are four ways that spinal issues can contribute to or cause headaches.
1. They Encourage Stress and Physical Stress Responses
Back problems, especially those that inhibit your normal range of motion, can feel frustrating. Often, individuals with spinal issues must tailor their work, socialization, and recreation habits to cause the least amount of back pain possible.
In some cases, this arrangement may mean working less, bowing out of social interactions, or decreasing the amount of exercise youre used to, all of which can contribute to feelings of stress. As emotional stress increases, your body may also exhibit more physical stress responses.
Stress responses such as stiffness, fatigue, and muscle aches may trigger the development of a headache or make an existing headache more intense.
2. They Increase Pressure on the Neck and Skull
3. They Limit Tension Release
4. They Pinch Sensitive Nerves
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Stimulation Of Dura Mater
A spasm that starts in the upper spine may affect the outer membrane of the spinal cord and brain . Since this membrane is especially sensitive, the stimulation from the muscle spasm may trigger a tension headache. While your brain has no feeling, stimulation or irritation of the dura mater can result in the symptoms characteristic of tension headaches.
How Are Back Pain And Dizziness Treated
Treatments for back pain and dizziness are dependent upon the cause. Rest after injury can often help reduce back pain. Physical therapy exercises to stretch and strengthen your back may help decrease dizziness related to intense pain.
In some instances, your symptoms may require more significant interventions, such as injections to relieve pain and surgery to reduce nerve compression. Your doctor can prescribe medications to reduce dizziness. Antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine and meclizine , also may help treat dizziness.
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Why Do Neck Pain And Headaches Occur Together
There is no one special reason for headaches and neck pain to go together. Few conditions may begin as neck problems and then shoot these problems up to the head, while few problems triggered in the head are sent back to the neck. This is the reason why they both occur together.
Trigeminocervical nucleus, Dura Mater of the brain, brain tissues, and blood vessels in the head and immune system also have their role for the occurrence of these pains together. Besides, the posture of the body can also lead to both the pains at a time.
To explain it further, a combination of 1 or multiple pain mechanisms and pathways is most responsible for the cause of neck pain and headache together.
Stomach Virus Or Food Poisoning
Infection can cause gastroenteritis, which leads to pain and inflammation in your stomach. These infections include salmonella or norovirus. This condition can cause intense stomach cramping that extends to your back. In the worst cases, it can cause you to throw up so hard and frequently to the point that your stomach muscles and back will become sore. This infection usually goes away on its own, but go to the hospital if you continue vomiting after 24 hours and develop sunken eyes and other signs of intense dehydration.
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Can Neck Pain Be Prevented
The best way to prevent neck pain is to keep your spine flexible and your muscles strong. You can do this with regular exercise 30 minutes on most days. Make sure you take plenty of breaks throughout the day to stretch.
Its important to develop good posture especially when youre sitting, at work or driving. Try not to slouch or to poke your chin out. A supportive pillow is also important to prevent neck pain.
When Is Headache And Neck Pain Serious
Immediate medical attention is advised in neck pain and headache associated with one or more of the following symptoms:
- Pain and numbness radiating down one or both arms
- Stiff neck with high fever and/or headache
- Headache triggered by coughing, sneezing, running, bending, straining with a bowel movement, or Valsalva maneuver
- Seizures, slurred speech, loss of balance and blurry vision
- Unintended weight loss or nausea
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Are My Headaches Caused By Shoulder Pain
If youve ever suffered from the debilitating effects of headaches accompanied by neck and shoulder pain, you know firsthand just how important it is to identify the cause of the problem and do everything you can to remedy or prevent it.
There are a multitude of causes contributing to headaches and neck pain ranging from overuse or injury of the delicate soft tissue of the neck region to more generalized factors such as occupational, physical, or emotional stress. A long list of other causes can lead to this widespread condition, as well. Recent research suggests that frequently, the causative factors of some headaches are multilayered and not simply the result of one specific reason.
Pain is often a warning sign from your body and serves the purpose of getting your brains attention. For this reason, acute and chronic pain resulting from headaches and neck pain should be taken seriously. It is always a good idea to consult your primary health care provider and make a concentrated effort to determine the cause of your specific condition. It is often necessary to seek help from a specialist who deals specifically with the type of headache that you are experiencing.
Filed Under: HeadacheTagged With: Headaches, shoulder pain
Treatment Options For Stress
The first thing we do with every patient who has back pain is determine its root cause. Its important to understand that no adult can expect to live 100 percent pain-free or stress-free. However, we can discuss ways to minimize discomfort and help patients feel less tense.
An effective way to reduce stress and back pain is to exercise and stretch more.
Physical activity can release endorphins and improve overall health, which can help reduce stress. Make a point to get up during the work day and do a few laps around the office every few hours, or try a standing desk. At home, reserve time to exercise. Physical therapy also can help relieve spine pain and return your neck and back to optimal flexibility. A physical therapist can show you specific stretches to pinpoint trouble areas in your neck and back.
Eating a healthy diet also can help reduce stress.
When you eat well long term, your general health can improve, and you will likely feel more energetic. Healthy eating is key to weight loss and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight offloads pressure from your spine and improves your posture.
Additionally, its important to make time in your schedule to relax.
Many patients with back pain are very busy with work, family, and social commitments. Carve out time to read a good book, spend time with family and friends, or practice mindfulness or meditation.
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Signs That Your Upper Back Pain Can Be A Serious Thing
Most of the time, back pains can be described as a mere annoyance, especially if its just mild to moderate pain. But what if its the type that gets you sidelined for days and you are practically useless when the pain is in full force? You need to know how to differentiate the pain you can shrug off from pain that your doctor should be looking at.
These pain types may not need a visit to your doctor:
Why Does My Neck Pain Cause Headaches
Understanding how these issues are connected makes it easier to see how to help headaches from neck pain. Your neck and head are closely related, so it should be no surprise that a pain in the neck can also cause a headache. The connection between the two depends largely on the cause of your neck pain and the type of headaches you experience.
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