What to do if headache hurts: causes and possible treatment


Nape pain

The appearance of pain is associated with the pathology of the following occipital structures:

  1. The skin.
  2. Occipital bones and I-VII cervical vertebrae.
  3. Cervical and occipital muscles.
  4. Vessels. There are two large groups. Superficial are from the outer side of the bones of the skull, in soft tissues. Internal are located in the substance. Described arteries and veins: occipital, posterior ear and brain, branches of the middle cerebral, located behind. Veins lead to the sinuses, from where venous blood enters the jugular vein.
  5. Nerves. There are large and small occipital nerve, spinal roots and their processes, the branches of the facial nerve.
  6. Shell: soft, arachnoid, hard. The lesion may concern the subdural and subarachnoid space.
  7. Substance of the brain. In the back of the head is the cerebellum, its cortex, the hemispheric occipital lobes, the medulla.

The reasons

Headache in the back of the head due to external and internal causes. External are associated with temporary exposure and do not lead to organic lesions. To the appearance of pain leads to heat stroke. Long exposure to the sun leads to overheating of the body, which can not handle the usual mechanisms of thermoregulation. The discomfort in the back of the head is observed along with reddening of the skin, shortness of breath, fainting, hallucinations.

Another external cause is poisoning. Toxic substances accumulate in the body and have an adverse effect on the organs of the gastrointestinal tract, brain, heart. In addition to headache, nausea, weakness, impaired consciousness, urinary retention, apathy.

Pain arises due to excessive mental , hypothermia.

Internal reasons why a headache in the back of the head is associated with diseases of the internal organs, muscle and bone tissue.

Epidemic occipital myalgia

Various viruses, including Coxsacks, can affect muscle tissue at different sites. At the same time the temperature rises, nasal congestion occurs, a cough appears.

Severe pain appears abruptly, localized in the back of the head, in the stomach, between the ribs. It takes an average of 5 days.

Cervical myositis

The pain, aggravated by turning, causes muscle , which develops due to infections and injuries. It is described as sharp, sharp, intense. At the site of normal muscle tissue sclerotic is formed.

Pain occurs in the back of the head, spread to the shoulders, the area between the shoulder blades, the back of the head. May appear more on the one hand, for example, on the left.


Atherosclerosis or various pathologies of blood vessels lead to the fact that the neck and neck muscles do not receive enough oxygen. Formations of sclerotic tissue are formed, which press on the roots of the nerves and cause soreness.

In this case, the patient is often dizzy, he feels weak. Seals are felt through the skin. A sharp pain appears when pressed on them.

Muscle stiffness

Constantly being in one position leads to a prolonged contraction of muscle tissue. The result is the breakdown of lactic acid, the compression of blood vessels and nerve fibers.

There is a constant pain, sometimes it is aggravated due to spasms. Describe it as squeezing. Accompanied by goosebumps. The condition is typical for drivers and office workers.


Constant pain occurs as a result of the destruction of the vertebrae due to inflammation. When this occurs, the compression of the nerves emanating from the spinal cord.

The disease appears primarily due to and inflammation of the connective tissue. Freedom of movement decreases, as the spine develops, spinal deformity occurs, growths can form. Sleep is disturbed.

Intervertebral hernia

As a result of protrusion of the nucleus of the intervertebral disk, nerve fibers are squeezed, pain appears, movement is disturbed, and a feeling of numbness arises.

The pain is one-sided, extends not only to the back of the head, but also to the limb, for example, from the left side.

Cervical osteochondrosis

Destructive tissues of the vertebrae lead to squeezing of the nerve processes and constant, aggravated after a long strain or hypothermia headaches in the back of the head. In the head at the beginning of the disease, they are episodic in nature, but are further characterized as permanent. When exacerbations occur shooting.

Dizziness appears, the skin turns pale. Throwing back his head sharply, the person falls, but at the same time does not lose consciousness.

Cervical migraine

The back of the head hurts due to compression of the nerve fibers of the hernia, bone tissue, edema. Pain – periodic, sharp. The intensity of the manifestation depends on the position of the neck and head. Inclines, turns lead to its increase.

With predominant lesion of the nerve on the right side pain is localized to the right. Complemented by a violation of sensitivity to odors, sounds, light.

Occipital Neuralgia

A headache in the occiput with a lesion of the cervical ganglion. It is characterized as strong, sharp. Sometimes it spreads to the ear, neck area. The defeat of individual areas causes local pain, the same on the right and left side. The patient increases sweating, reddens the skin.

The pain is described as extremely strong, intolerable, burning, paroxysmal. Appears after hypothermia, on the background of osteochondrosis. During the movement increases.

Multiple sclerosis

The destruction of the myelin sheath of cells of the nervous tissue leads to a violation of the conductivity of nerve impulses. In this regard, there are uncontrolled muscle spasms, accompanied by pain.


With constant elevated pressure, a pressing, throbbing pain occurs in the back of the head. Sometimes the pain is permanent, in other cases it appears sporadically. In a noisy environment, with stress, changing the position of the body increases.

Accompanied by palpitations, visual disturbances, vomiting. Psycho-emotional disorders are noted.


Occipital pain occurs due to blockage of blood vessels by atherosclerotic plaques. They disrupt blood circulation, lead to malnutrition of the brain. Soreness manifests itself in the later stages of the disease.

Accompanied by fatigue. Causes an increase in .


A headache in the back of the head can be triggered by a protrusion of the artery as a result of trauma, infection, and increased pressure. Pathology occurs by chance, but leads to hemorrhage.

Venous stasis

Squeezing of blood vessels by tumors, heart failure leads to impaired blood flow. Accompanied by the growth of intracranial pressure.


With concussion of the brain, edemas appear, leading to compression of the nerve endings. As a result, pain of varying intensity occurs. The patient complains that he is sick. In severe cases, there is a loss of consciousness. The child has a tearfulness, a tendency to whims, loss of appetite.

Displacement of the cervical vertebrae leads to a violation of their mobility, pain of varying intensity at the site of injury, their spread to the back of the head. Soreness is triggered by compression of the nerve processes.

Skin pathologies

Soreness in the back of the head can occur due to inflammation and the formation of pus, abrasions, wounds. Causes her skin irritation.

Infectious diseases

Pain in infectious diseases is associated with inflammatory processes, an increase in the formation of cerebrospinal fluid, a violation of its outflow, and exposure to pathogens. In addition to severe pain, characterized as dull, throbbing, sometimes shooting, nausea appears, possible disturbances or loss of consciousness.

If the inflammatory processes affect the lining of the brain, we are talking about meningitis. A special feature is the stiffness of the muscle tissue of the neck and neck.

When encephalitis is inflamed substance brain.

Tumors of the bones of the skull

The growth of tumors leads to compression of the periosteum, the membrane of the brain, its substance, the appearance of pain. Additionally, the painful sensations are provoked by hormonal, neurological disorders.

Paget’s Disease

Pathology is associated with impaired structure and deformation of bone tissue. It has a progressive nature, most often occurs in men after 40 years.

A headache in the back of the head is provoked mainly by squeezing the nerve endings. May be accompanied by hearing loss, vision.

Diseases of the internal organs

Pathologies of the heart, reducing the quantitative composition of red blood cells with anemia lead to a decrease in the amount of oxygen supplied to the brain tissue. The consequence of hypoxia are constant moderate pain, dizziness, weakness.


Incorrect bite every evening can cause pain. It extends to the back of the head, is found in the ears, crown. It is described as a long, stupid.

May last a few days. With pathology on the right side, it appears on the right.


Head soreness occurs with depression, stress, hysteria. Manifested as a reaction to excessive stress. Captures the head completely, including the back of the head. It is oppressive. Disappears some time after the tension is relieved.


To determine the causes of headache and diagnosis, the doctor interviews the patient about the symptoms, possible factors that caused it. Examines the bones of the head, asks to tilt, turn it, measures pressure, temperature. To obtain objective data prescribes a blood test, instrumental examination.

After obtaining a general analysis, the level of erythrocytes, leukocytes, and platelets is evaluated. Pathological changes in blood counts may indicate anemia, inflammation, stroke.

These biochemistry can detect signs of anemia, kidney disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes.

Instrumental methods answer the question why, because of what pathologies pains appear, and include:

  1. A sample of cerebrospinal fluid. The level of proteins, leukocytes, erythrocytes, the presence of impurities is determined. When taking a sample, the pressure of the CSF is measured.
  2. X-ray. Allows you to see injuries, tumors, hematomas, bone pathology.
  3. Computed tomography. In the process of examination, tumors, hematomas, hemorrhages, vascular drawing are detected.
  4. Magnetic resonance imaging. It is an effective method to evaluate brain structures, the state of blood vessels, detect hematomas, and thrombosis.
  5. Ultrasound with Doppler head and neck. As a result of the survey, data on anatomical changes and injuries are obtained, the structure is analyzed, the blood flow velocity is measured, and vascular tone is assessed.
  6. Electroencephalography. The study allows you to see signs of epilepsy, neoplasms, inflammation, risk of stroke.


Therapy is determined by the doctor based on the diagnosis. The treatment is carried out with the use of drugs, methods of traditional medicine, physiotherapy. In order to cope with tumors, severe pathologies of blood vessels, atherosclerosis, methods of surgical intervention are used. Uncontrolled use of drugs is unacceptable.

Rare severe pain relieve anesthetics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These include tablets Aspirin, Paracetamol, , Pentalgin.

Read also … What pills will help in the fight against high pressure headache

In heat stroke, the patient is transported away from the heat source, they take off the squeezing clothes, and they give him to drink sweet water.

If you suspect that a person is shaken, they are placed on a hard, horizontal surface.

Physiotherapeutic methods are effective in miogeloze, neuralgia, cervical osteochondrosis, muscle tension.

If the pain is caused by fatigue or stress, you can drink a cup of green tea with mint to relieve it. With prolonged stress, it is recommended to drink juice made from black currant every day.

What to do if headache hurts: causes and possible treatment

A slight pain can be removed if you rub your palms together strongly, then apply one to your forehead, the other to the back of your head.

Massage, exercise therapy, acupuncture, physical therapy helps to relieve pain in the back of the head, provoked by spasms, muscular tension, osteochondrosis. Self-massage can be done at home. Any massage is contraindicated for hypertension, skull tumors, injuries, cervical spondylosis, skin inflammation.


Often people complain that they have a headache in the back of the head. External factors provoke pain, such as heat or poisoning. It is also caused by internal causes – diseases that occur in the brain and internal organs. For the diagnosis of conducting a blood test, various methods of instrumental studies. Treatment is determined only by a doctor.

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