Back of Head Hurts


webmd_photo_of_woman_massaging_away_her_headacheWhat do you do when you have local pain at the back of the head or when back of head hurts all of a sudden. This headache pain is quite common, however it is associated with an abundance of health conditions and causes that may require further examination and treatment.

Whether it is after a head injury or caused by allergies and other things when the back of the head hurts, you should definitely try to seek a cause, know whether or not you need medical intervention, and also learn some natural ways that you can manage this type of pain.

Back of Head Hurts: Causes

When the back of head hurts there can be many causes that are not so serious in nature. However, if you get pain in the back of the head frequently and it is severe you may need to speak with your physician about finding out a specific cause, getting a definite diagnosis and seeking further pain management and treatment for it.

Because there are so many causes related to back of the head pain, your doctor will do a thorough examination and run tests such as cat scans, xrays, blood work, and more so that he/she can get a better idea of what may be causing it.

Here is a list of the most common causes for the symptom of back of head hurts:

Direct Trauma/Concussion

If you recently taken a blow to the head or bumped the back of your head- you could be experiencing pain where the back of head hurts. It could be due to bruising or even be so severe that of your head is throbbing like a constant headache you may have a concussion. Concussions are nothing to play around with. If you are dizzy, lightheaded and have a head trauma you should seek medical attention immediately.

Migraine Headaches (cluster headaches)

Migraine headaches take the form of all types of pain in the head. But often they impact the back of the head mostly. If your headache is exploding and you feel pressure all around the temple and at the region in back of the head you may be suffering from a migraine headache or sometimes they are known as cluster headaches.

Stress and Tension 

Tension in the neck, clinching your jaw, and circumstances where a person is stressed can lead to a headache where the bac of the head hurts. The best thing to do is try to relax as much as possible and rest so that this type of headache runs its course and goes away. This type


Seizures can occur in the head that consist of referred pain that is local to the rear of the head. This pain can be so severe as the nerves are also impacted when a seizure takes place. It is important that if you experience a seizure that you also get to the emergency room ASAP.

Brain Tumor

If a growth or tumor is present anywhere in the skull or brain, it can compress on nerves or initiate other parts of the skull & brain to swell. This swelling and compression of nerves can be localized to the back of the head and also results in a nagging, sharp, dull ache, or stabbing pain in the head.

Brain Hemorrhage

A brain hemorrhage is where the inside of the brain starts to bleed. This bleeding is located around the brain and can be caused by a number of factors such as high blood pressure, drug overdose, head trauma, and more. When your brain begins to hemorrhage an individual will experience symptoms very closely that imitate a stroke. However, one of the main symptoms and signs involves a really bad headache. This could be also a cause for back of the head pain.

Skull or Brain Cancer

Depending upon the severity and size of the cancer. Many primary cancers can spread to the base of the occipital bone (back of the skull region.) Pain related to the spread of such primary cancers such as lung, breast, pancreatic, and prostate cancers into the occipital bone results from damaged cells which the cancer is corrupting.

Sinus  Headache

Sinus headaches or pressure from sinuses clogged with infection or mucus can cause pressure to the cranium. Typically this type of headache can be felt around the nose, front of the head, back of the head, around the ears, and also at the temple.

Coughing Too Hard

When you cough really hard it can be so intense that it causes your blood pressure to rise suddenly and temporary. This strain can cause a lack of oxygen as well that can sometimes result in a severe headache that is regional to the back of the head.

Swollen Lymph Glands

There are lymph nodes and glands located at the base of the head, on the neck and around the area at which you may be experiencing pain or discomfort. Swollen lymph nodes when infected are working diligently as an immunity resolve to help fight diseases, illnesses, and bacteria from invading your body. When these nodes swell it can often accompany a bad headache that can be felt on the base of the neck bottom of the head.

Allergy Spurred Headaches

Allergies whether pollen, air related, or otherwise can spur a severe headache concentrated in the back of the head. Diesel, sensitivities to perfumes, candles, or toxins in the air can immediately bring on a headache that is quite painful. If you have gotten a whiff of something your body does not like, you can take an over the counter allergy med to help alleviate it.

Hyperthyroid Disease

Certain thyroid disorders and issues can leave an individual suffering with chronic pain where back of the head hurts. You may not realize that you have an overactive or underactive thyroid, so you may want the doctor to perform a few tests. There are plenty of medicines that help treat the root cause of the problem that your provider can prescribe you to take care of this type of headache.


Dehydration caused by not drinking enough fluids and not eating well can be a big culprit of a headache such as the one we are referring to. Additionally, alcohol use and the day after hangover is a good example of a headache where pain is felt around the head and near the back of the head. The best cure for this is aspirin and drinking lots of fluids.

Side Effects of Medicines

Many pharmaceuticals and medicines prescribed by your doctor including amphetamines, anti-depressants, narcotics, and other types of medicine like nitro used to treat a number of health conditions can cause the side effect of a headache. Be sure to know and be aware of the different side effects associated with the medications that you take on  regular basis.


Encephalitis is a horrible disease contracted and spread through mosquitoes. As it often proves fatal it impacts the brain immensely causing brain cells to die and the brain to swell from the bacteria placed into your blood stream by a mosquito bite. This is an absolute emergency if you have recently been exposed to mosquitoes or bitten by any- that you seek immediate medical help to get treated for it.

Spinal Meningitis

Spinal Meningitis is another disease that is highly contagious and deadly. It is associated with a bad headache, nausea, vomiting, weakness, malaise, and a high fever. If you have been exposed or in contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with spinal meningitis it is important that you get seen and treated as soon as possible.


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