Headache in the back of the head – causes, treatment

Update: October 2018

Headache in the back of the head or, simply, the back of the head
often worried about people. This unpleasant symptoms can only
sometimes overpowering a person, and may be present for years. Trifle
is it not worth paying attention to? Many believe that yes
and for the hundredth time they swallow the usual tablet of Citramon, causing
addiction to this drug and just. But the organism never
does not send us false signals, and the pain in the back of your head may be
a symptom of a pathological process. Pain always
is a bad sign, so do not let go
the situation with painful discomfort in the back of the head to drift and deal with
useless self.

Causes of pain in the back of the head and features of its manifestation during
various pathologies

Acute headache is not causeless. Causes headache
pains in the nape often lie in the vascular, neurological
pathology and diseases of the spine. Accordingly, one or another
pathology occipital headache has its own characteristics, which,
as a rule, the patient can clearly state to the doctor.

Isolated cases of headache are not necessarily associated with
disease. Such a painful manifestation may be provoked.
long stay in a forced or uncomfortable posture, stress,
hunger, sleep on a hard surface, and also due to smoking,
large consumption of caffeine, products with chemical additives and

Therefore, one-time cases of this pain syndrome should not
cause unrest, but long and often repeated
symptoms, of course, is the reason for visiting the doctor.

Cervical osteochondrosis

Cervical osteochondrosis – одна из частых причин головной боли в
neck area. The disease is characterized by destruction of intervertebral
disks of cervical vertebrae. Pain syndrome in cervical osteochondrosis
is strictly permanent and, besides the occiput, is localized in
neck and temporal region. When the movements and tilts of the head pain
manifestations are getting stronger.

With the development of vertebrobasilar syndrome, occipital pain
combined with noise in the ears and hearing loss, nausea
and vomiting, involuntary contractions of the diaphragm, are observed
impaired coordination (see causes of tinnitus, causes of noise in
head). A person is disturbed by visual disturbances – a veil, fog and
double vision. Often there are severe dizziness, and
when dropping back or turning the head of a person
to fall, losing temporarily the ability to move, but remains in

For osteochondrosis is also characterized by cervical migraine, painful attack
which comes suddenly and is projected in the right or left
the back of the head, extending to the temporal and superciliary region.
At the same time, dizziness occurs with noise discomfort in
ears, as well as an episode of blackening in the eyes.

Cervical spondylosis

In cervical spondylosis, the connective
vertebral ligament tissue in the bone. Bone arises on the vertebrae
growths that significantly impair neck mobility, causing
stiffness in all turns of the head.

Pain in the occipital area is characterized by persistence and
spread to ears and eyes. Turns and head tilts
cause increased pain, but also when the head is stationary
pain syndrome persists.

As a rule, sleep is disturbed. The disease is most common
people with special needs of labor process, expressed in forced
body position and inactivity during the shift, as well as for
elderly patients.

Hypertonic disease

Hypertensive attack is accompanied by the appearance of arching
pains in the occipital segment of the head with a ripple, which are often
begin at the moment of awakening. Occipital pain accompanies
dizziness and feeling of “heavy” head, there may be a general
weakness and palpitations. The pain becomes more pronounced with
head tilts. Similar occipital pain becomes less
intense after sudden vomiting.

Increased intracranial pressure

Constant pressing headache corresponding to this.
pathology, can be felt on the whole head or localized
only in the back of the head. The nature of the pain is oppressive and arching
exposure to bright light and loud sounds dramatically increases
intensity of pain syndrome. Characterized by vomiting, which is not
reduces pain. By the occipital pain joins
feeling of heaviness in the head, as well as pain in the eyeballs.


Cervical myositis

With neck myositis, inflammation of the muscles of the neck occurs. Cause may
hypothermia, uncomfortable position of the neck and injury. Pain
occurs when the head moves and starts from the neck, then
extends to the back of the head, shoulder and interscapular region.
The asymmetry of pain is characteristic.

Myogeloz of the cervical spine

Miogelozu cervical spine is characteristic
violation of muscle blood circulation, which leads to
painful seals in the neck. Occipital head arises
pain that is accompanied by manifest dizziness, and also
stiffness of the muscles of the shoulders and neck.

Neuralgia of the occipital nerve

Neuralgia or inflammation of the back of the neck often accompanies
osteochondrosis and other diseases of the cervical vertebral
pillar. Hypothermia may cause neuralgia
type The pains in the back of the head are very strong, even burning and
shooting, characterized by paroxysmal flow.

Затем боль распространяется на шею, уши, а also нижнюю челюсть
and back. Любые изменения положения головы, а also кашель приводят
to a sharp increase in headache. In the interictal period remains
pain of pressing nature in the occipital region of the head. With long
excessive sensitivity of the scalp occurs during the course of the disease
on the back of the head.

Vascular pain

With spasm of arteries located on the surface or inside
of the skull, there are throbbing pains that start in
the back of the head and then pretty quickly spread to
forehead. When moving pain syndrome becomes more intense, and in
resting state – decreases.

The pain associated with obstruction of outflow from the head of venous blood,
have a dull and arching character and are accompanied by a feeling
heaviness in the head. The pain in a nape begins, and then “spreads”
all over the head. When lowering her head, coughing, lying down she
is increasing. Often such pains begin in the morning and are accompanied by
swelling of the lower eyelids.

Pain in the back of the head during exertion

Another name for the syndrome is tension pain. At the heart of pain
vascular pathology is located, such as narrowing of the lumen or
increased fragility of vessel walls. There is pain in severe
physical work, while performing certain physical exercises
with a high load.

In the occipital and frontal parts of the head there is a constant
feeling of heaviness, goosebumps and tingling. Sometimes a person feels
a kind of compression of the head with a non-existent rope or hat.
Pain умеренной интенсивности, не сопровождается явлениями тошноты и

Occipital pains during orgasm

This pain has a vascular origin, because orgasm
accompanied by a high pressure increase. This pain is experienced
people suffering from vegetative-vascular dystonia.

Professional pain

Being in the forced position of the body during the work shift,
accompanied by tension of the muscles of the neck, leads to the development of sharp
headaches in the nape. Drivers are affected by this syndrome.
programmers, jewelers, watchmakers, seamstresses, etc. Pains are
long, have a dull character and decrease when kneading a neck
head movements. Растирание шейной области и затылка also
helps to reduce the severity of pain.


Bite disturbances can provoke dull pain in
occiput areas that extend to ear and parietal
area, it can be localized from below or in one of the parties.
Pain начинается в дневное время суток и постепенно усиливается к
in the evening.

Pain under stress

Stressful pains are most common in women. Nature and
their duration is different, the normalization of the psychological state
leads to the disappearance of pain in the back of the head.

Treatment of pain in the back of the head

The treatment should be preceded by a full diagnosis and
finding out its causes. With a strong headache in the back of the head,
treatment is possible after referring to a therapist who will conduct
primary diagnosis and refer to narrow specialists. Usually,
taking control of the underlying disease leads to leveling
unpleasant symptoms, including headache in the back of the head.

Such serious pathologies as arterial hypertension and
increased intracranial pressure, require the use of emergency
etiotropic therapy. When diagnosing diseases, not
directly threatening the patient’s life, but constantly progressing
A complex of therapeutic measures is appointed, among which the most
The following techniques are common:

  • Massage. Many have noticed that even a simple rubbing of the area
    neck and neck helps to significantly reduce the severity of pain. BUT
    targeted massage of certain muscle groups in advance
    The famous diagnosis really works wonders. But trust it
    Responsible business follows only professionals. Massage
    assigned courses that can be repeated through
    a month or two. You can gently rub the strained parts yourself
    head and neck, while taking a comfortable body position. With
    hypertension and spondylosis massage is prohibited.
  • Physiotherapy. Specially selected exercises
    allow you to unload strained muscles and ligaments of the neck and spine
    in general, thereby improving the movement of blood through the vessels. This
    the technique has no contraindications, the main thing is correct performance
  • Physiotherapy treatment (magnetic therapy, treatment
    ultrasound or laser electrophoresis) well helps with
    spondylosis, miogeloze, osteochondrosis, increased intracranial
    pressure, neuralgia of the occipital nerve, vascular pain.
  • Manual therapy This is a special treatment technique that does not have
    relationship to massage, although it is performed using the hands of a doctor.
    Well helps with pains in the neck, provoked by the cervical
    osteochondrosis, myogeloma, occipital nerve neuralgia,
    professional and stressful pains.
  • Acupuncture. The technique is justified in neuralgia.
    occipital nerve, cervical osteochondrosis, stress and lies in
    point effects on the biologically active zones on the surface
  • Cranial osteopathy has proven itself to correct
    cervical osteochondrosis.
  • Normalization of wakefulness and rest, healthy lifestyle
    life often solve the problem of occipital headache without
    treatment. This recommendation is common to all pathologies and
    is fundamental to the success of the ongoing

BUTвтор: врач-гигиенист, эпидемиолог

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