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What Causes Migraines In The Back Of Your Head

The Common Culprit For Headaches

What causes headaches and migraines where the pain is at the back of your head?

A common trigger for migraine and neck tension headaches is limited movement of the joints in your upper cervical spine.

Normally, each of the joints in your neck moves freely and independently. Sometimes, restrictions in the upper cervical spine initiate a painful cycle of stiffness, muscle tightness, and joint inflammation. This may cause irritation to the sensitive nerves leading from your neck into the back of your head.

And did you know spinal manipulation, like what we perform in our office, has proven to be one of the most effective forms of treatment for these types of headaches?

Now that you know a little more about the different types of headaches, you may be able to figure out which type is leaving you in pain. If you are suffering from migraines or tension headaches, give our office a call.

Were here to help! Before we conclude this post, let’s look at migraines since they are often the most misunderstood of the three types.

What Medications Are Used To Relieve Migraine Pain

Over-the-counter medications are effective for some people with mild to moderate migraines. The main ingredients in pain relieving medications are ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen, naproxen and caffeine.

Three over-the-counter products approved by the Food and Drug Administration for migraine headaches are:

  • Excedrin® Migraine.
  • Advil® Migraine.
  • Motrin® Migraine Pain.

Be cautious when taking over-the-counter pain relieving medications. Sometimes overusing them can cause analgesic-rebound headaches or a dependency problem. If you’re taking any over-the-counter pain medications more than two to three times a week, report that to your healthcare provider. They may suggest prescription medications that may be more effective.

Prescription drugs for migraine headaches include:

Triptan class of drugs :

  • Sumatriptan.
  • Butterbur.
  • Co-enzyme Q10.

Drugs to relieve migraine pain come in a variety of formulations including pills, tablets, injections, suppositories and nasal sprays. You and your healthcare provider will discuss the specific medication, combination of medications and formulations to best meet your unique headache pain.

Drugs to relieve nausea are also prescribed, if needed.

All medications should be used under the direction of a headache specialist or healthcare provider familiar with migraine therapy. As with any medication, it’s important to carefully follow the label instructions and your healthcare providers advice.

What People Are Being Told The Issue Is

  • sinus infection sinusitis
  • some are diagnosed with otosclerosis
  • constriction at the back of the neck can cause/add to these symptoms
  • advised to see neurologist when there’s dizziness and pressure
  • many doctors refer to stress and anxiety as a cause for pressure, dizziness, tingling, numbness, ringing, etc
  • some tell that if there’s jaw pain with ear discomfort and jaw makes a popping noise it can be a dental issue? TMD
  • thyroid issues
  • GAS linked to depleted adrenals

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When You Should Seek Immediate Medical Care

Most headaches arent dangerous, but some can be. Dr. Yancy shared some red flag warning signs that should trigger a trip to the doctor:

  • If your headache escalates to maximum severity over seconds to a few minutes.
  • If your headache is associated with other symptoms, such as one-sided weakness or sensory loss, vision loss, trouble speaking or a loss of vision.
  • If your headache is accompanied by fever, nausea or vomiting thats not related to an illness.
  • If you have a headache following a head injury.

If youre experiencing any of the symptoms above, speak with your health care provider or schedule an appointment with one of our Banner Health specialists. You can find a Banner Health specialist by visiting

When To Get Medical Help

SEE: Do you have a headache or a migraine?

There’s usually no need to see a GP if you only get occasional headaches.

But see a GP if you get headaches several times a week or they’re severe.

They’ll ask questions about your headaches, family history, diet and lifestyle to help diagnose the type of headache you have.

You should get immediate medical advice for headaches that:

  • come on suddenly and are unlike anything you have had before
  • are accompanied by a very stiff neck, fever, nausea, vomiting and confusion
  • follow an accident, especially if it involved a blow to your head
  • are accompanied by weakness, numbness, slurred speech or confusion

These symptoms suggest there could be a more serious problem, which may require further investigation and emergency treatment.

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What Are The Other Possible Diagnoses

Cervicogenic headaches may resemble occipital neuralgia, which is a condition that causes localised pain and neurological abnormalities in the distribution of the occipital nerves at the back of the head.

Migraines may also be confused with cervicogenic headaches. An opinion from a neurologist is frequently sought to be more certain of the diagnosis.

Other Signs And Symptoms Of A Brain Tumour

Other features of headaches have been identified as “red flags,” which may suggest a brain tumour. These include:

  • a change in previous headache pattern
  • if your headaches are associated with:
  • any new muscle weakness, sensory symptoms , or visual symptoms, especially on one side of the body
  • a change in memory, personality, or thinking
  • seizures this does not have to be a full convulsive seizure, but could be a twitching of the hand, arm or leg, or an ‘absence’.

It is important to remember that all these symptoms can frequently occur in harmless headaches.

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When To See A Doctor

While the majority of top of head headache occurrences aren’t an immediate threat to your wellbeing, there are times when you should seek medical attention. If any of the following symptoms should arise, closely monitor your condition and either head to the emergency room or speak with a medical professional.

  • High fever
  • Headache for 3 days or more that shows little to no improvement
  • You suffer from a headache everyday
  • Headaches that cause severe pain, leaving you unable to manage small tasks

Ready to discover the cause of your headache top of head symptoms? Let’s start breaking down headache causes and get you on the road to treatment.

How Long Will My Migraine Attack Last

Heachaches – back of the head // self myofascial release // Part I

The duration of a migraine attack usually depends on what type of migraine you have and how you treat your symptoms. These tips can help to shorten it.

An estimated 39 million Americans have migraine, with symptoms that can range from mild to severe, according to the Migraine Research Foundation. Migraine attacks previously were thought to be a result of abnormal dilation of blood vessels in the brain, but scientists now believe that the cause may be more complex and involve inherited differences in brain chemistry.

Women are much more likely than men to have migraine, as are people with a family history of migraine, according to the Migraine Research Foundation.

But not all migraine attacks are alike, and not everyone has the same migraine symptoms, says neurologist Alexander Mauskop, MD, a founder and director of the New York Headache Center in Manhattan and White Plains, New York.

The length of time a migraine attack lasts can vary, too. The National Headache Foundation says most migraine attacks last 4 to 72 hours. But some people have migraines for a shorter time and some people have them for longer its very individual, Dr. Mauskop says.

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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.

Treatment For Neck Pain And Headaches In Back Of Head

If you are suffering from severe neck pain and headaches because of it, then know that you are not alone, and there are treatments available to relieve you from the pain. The best thing about these treatments is you do not need to go under the knife to be healed. Some of the suggested non-surgical treatments are:

  • Pain Management
  • Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression

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What Causes Headaches At The Back Of The Head

Headaches in the back of the head can have a number of different causes it might only be due to a minor injury or it can be a secondary symptom of other problems in the body. The type and location of the pain can play a crucial role in diagnosing the cause of headaches. Severe and recurrent headaches always require medical attention from a doctor.

Does Headache Location Matter

Tension Headaches

Does the location of your headache help determine the cause? The first thing to look for when you say, “My head hurts” is the headache location. Take a look at our brief headache location chart to see how head muscles play a part in your discomfort and what different locations mean.

Putting together your list of symptoms and headache locations will get you a step closer to finding out why your head hurts. Just remember that every headache is unique, and they don’t always follow the rules. If you suffer from chronic headaches, keep a headache journal to spot similarities and track the differences between your headaches for an accurate diagnosis.

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Can Migraines Be Prevented Or Avoided

Medicine to prevent migraines may be helpful if your headaches happen more than 2 times a month. You may want to consider this medicine if your headaches make it hard for you to work and function. These medicines are taken every day, whether you have a headache or not.

Preventive medications for migraines can include prescription drugs often used to treat other ailments. Anti-seizure medicines, antidepressants, medicines to lower blood pressure, and even Botox injections are some of the preventive medications your doctor may prescribe. Calcitonin gene-related peptide inhibitors can also help prevent migraines. They do so by blocking a gene-related peptide in your sensory nerves. This peptide is known to increase during a migraine attack, so blocking it can help prevent migraines.

There are also a number of non-medical treatments designed to help minimize migraine pain and frequency. One is an electrical stimulation device, which has been approved by the FDA. It is a headband that you wear once a day for 20 minutes to stimulate the nerve linked to migraines. Another non-medical treatment is counseling aimed at helping you feel in more control of your migraines. This counseling works best when paired with medical prevention of migraines, as well.

What Is The Prognosis For People With Migraines

Migraines are unique to each individual. Likewise, how migraines are managed is also unique. The best outcomes are usually achieved by learning and avoiding personal migraine triggers, managing symptoms, practicing preventive methods, following the advice of your healthcare provider and reporting any significant changes as soon as they occur.

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When Should I Call The Doctor

If you think your headaches may be migraines, you’ll want to see a doctor to treat them and learn ways to try to avoid getting the headaches in the first place. Sometimes relaxation exercises or changes in diet or sleeping habits are all that’s needed. But if needed, a doctor also can prescribe medicine to help control the headaches.

You’ll also want to see a doctor if you have any of these symptoms as well as a headache:

  • changes in vision, such as blurriness or seeing spots
  • tingling sensations
  • skin rash
  • weakness, dizziness, or difficulty walking or standing
  • neck pain or stiffness
  • fever

If you do see a doctor for headaches, he or she will probably want to do an exam and get your to help figure out what might be causing them.

The doctor may ask you:

  • how severe and frequent your headaches are
  • when they happen
  • about any medicine you take
  • about any allergies you have
  • if you’re feeling stressed
  • about your diet, habits, sleeping patterns, and what seems to help or worsen the headaches

The doctor may also do blood tests or imaging tests, such as a CAT scan or MRI of the brain, to rule out medical problems.

Sometimes doctors will refer people with headaches they think might be migraines or a symptom of a more serious problem to a specialist like a , a doctor who specializes in the brain and nervous system.

It’s very rare that headaches are a sign of something serious. But see a doctor if you get headaches a lot or have a headache that:

Why Do I Have Pain At The Base Of My Skull

Stop Headaches, Upper-Back and Neck Pain Due to Forward Head Posture | #PainStopClinics

Occipital Neuralgia is a specific type of pain which can occur in the base of your skull. This pain is easily confused with tension headaches. However, there are a few differences between the two. Occipital Neuralgia is characterised by piercing, throbbing or electric shock like pains in the upper neck, base of skull and back of the ears. The skull may also be sensitive to touch, and looking into light will be uncomfortable.

Causes of these symptoms include irritation or injury to the greater and lesser occipital nerves. This can be acute, from a trauma, or a gradual onset due to tightening of the muscles surrounding the neck and compressing the nerves. The positives being, its not life-threatening and can be easily treated with heat, rest, anti-inflammatories, and physiotherapy treatment plan.

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Tips For Relieving Headaches Caused By Neck Pain

    You know the signs of a headache, such as a dull ache or a feeling of tightness creeping up your neck and across your forehead. Headaches are among the most commonly occurring ailments in the world. More than half of all women report having tension headaches at some point, and one-third of all men report the same. In the U.S., 20% of women and 10% of men said they had a severe headache at some point in the past three months. Multiple factors can trigger a headache, depending on the type. In some cases, a headache is due to neck pain.

    Learn more about the connection between pain in the neck and headaches below and what to do for headaches caused by neck pain.

    Neck Pain And Headaches In Back Of Head

    by Dr. James J. Dalfino | Sep 9, 2021 | Neck Pain |

    Neck pain is one of the most common occurrences among US adults. It can lead to a stiff neck and excruciating pain. Often, neck pain induces headaches in the back of the head. In this blog post, we will discuss Neck Pain and Headaches In Back Of Head in depth.

    Most of the time, this headache is confused with a normal headache or migraine.

    Its not the same at all and the severity of neck pain can lead to headaches in the back of head.

    According to a survey, nearly 30% of American adults have neck pain in a year, and more than 50% of adults have some form of neck pain in their lifetime. A variety of reasons can cause neck and head pain. In many situations, this pain can be brought by pain in other parts of the body or accompanied by other occurrences.

    However, some of the most common reasons for neck pain and headaches are-

    • Arthritis
    • Nerve Compression

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    Other Types Of Headaches

    Doctors have diagnosed hundreds of conditions associated with headaches. Here are just a few:

    Medication headaches. Many drugs number headaches among their side effects. And although it seems paradoxical, many medications used to treat headaches can also cause medication overuse headaches or rebound headaches. Migraine sufferers are particularly vulnerable to a vicious cycle of pain leading to more medication, which triggers more pain. If you have frequent headaches and use medication, OTC or prescription, or both, for more than 10 to 15 days a month, you may have medication overuse headaches. The way to find out is to discontinue or taper your medication but always consult your doctor first. A corticosteroid such as prednisone may help control pain during the withdrawal period.

    Sinus headaches. Acute sinusitis causes pain over the forehead, around the nose and eyes, over the cheeks, or in the upper teeth. Stooping forward increases the pain. Thick nasal discharge, congestion, and fever pinpoint the problem to the sinuses. When the acute infection resolves, the pain disappears. Sinusitis is not a common cause of chronic or recurrent headaches.

    Ice cream headaches. Some people develop sharp, sudden headache pain when they eat anything cold. The pain is over in less than a minute, even if you keep eating. If you are bothered by ice cream headaches, try eating slowly and warming the cold food at the front of your mouth before you swallow it.

    What Medicines Help Relieve Migraine Pain

    Headache Pain: Define the Pain According to Area and Intensity

    For mild to moderate migraines, over-the-counter medicines that may help relieve migraine pain include:

    • aspirin
    • acetaminophen
    • an acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine combination
    • ibuprofen
    • naproxen
    • ketoprofen

    People who have more severe migraines may need to try abortive prescription medicines. A medicine called ergotamine can be effective alone or combined with other medicines. Dihydroergotamine is related to ergotamine and can be helpful. Other prescription medicines for migraines include sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, almotriptan, eletriptan, and frovatriptan.

    If the pain wont go away, stronger pain medicine may be needed, such as a narcotic, or medicines that contain a barbiturate . These medicines can be habit-forming and should be used cautiously. Your doctor may prescribe these only if they are needed and only for a short period of time.

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