Headache in the Back of the Head – Symptoms and causes

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How to Find a Cause of Pain in the Back of the Head?

A pain in the backside of head can be due to diverse reasons. The cause of such a pain can be diagnosed by studying various factors like the duration of pain, characteristics, circumstances and other symptoms.

Newly Appearing Headache in the Back of the Head

A first time headache in the back of head that lasts for a few minutes to weeks can be due to following reasons:

* A torn or strained muscle tendon leading to an injury in the neck can cause backside headache. The shoulders, neck, upper back or back side of head ache terribly. Stiffness and swelling is observed in the neck.
* Cervical Spine injuries like broken a broken vertebra or herniated disc resulting in one-side pain and numbness in neck and head-back.
* Scalp infections like staph infection and scalp ringworm where the scalp itches followed by a patchy rash.
* Usually seen in children, middle ear infection or mastoid causes pain in back of head and one or either ears. The sense of hearing is affected. Fever and irritability are some other symptoms noticed.
* Swollen tonsils and soreness of throat along with fever and swollen lymph nodes are seen along with severe headache on the back side. This condition is known as Strep throat.
* Sinusitis leading to thick discharge through nose or a blocked nose sometimes accompanied with low grade fever. A dull pain is felt on the back side of head.

Some other causes of a newly appearing back-side headache are folliculitis, infectious meningitis, shingles and widening of brain arteries leading to a brain aneurysm.

Episodic, Short-Lasting Headache in the Back of the Head

A recurring headache that lasts for a period anywhere between few minute to few days and then vanishes completely until later can be triggered due to various causes. Given below are some causes that lead to these episodes of headache in the back-side of head:

* Excessive use of hair accessories and hats can surprisingly lead to episodes of back-side head pain.
* Stress and Psychological triggers migraine in the back-side of head resulting in a throbbing pain.
* High blood pressure and menstruation (in women) are some rare causes of episodic pain in the back of head.

Chronic Recurrent Headache in the Back of the Head

Some headaches last for a longer period due to various disorders. These chronic recurring headaches are triggered due to the following reasons:

* Cervical Spine disorders lead to recurring stabbing pain in the back side of neck. Tenderness is observed on the back of head.
* Fibromyalgia that leads to muscle and joint aches and chronic tiredness.
* Temporomandibular joint disorder triggered due to speaking or eating and causing pain around the ear and head-back.

Other causes include chronic myofascial pain, somatisation disorder, polymyalgia rheumatica, torticollis and cranial arteritis. Patients of multiple sclerosis also report of a shooting pain in the back side of the head and neck.

Chronic Persistent Headache in the Back of the Head

Constant and persistent headache that lasts for a longer period is rarely observed. The reasons for such a pain can be one among the following:

* Brain tumor in which abnormal weakness and sensitivity is observed on one side of body. Headache which cannot be treated by general painkillers.
* A persistent headache in the back side of head can also be caused due to reasons like enlarged lymph nodes, congenital disorders, chiari malformation and syringomyelia.

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