Why does it hurt the back of my head

You often Have a headache and it bothers you? Don't worry, not a single person on the planet who has not experienced it for yourself. To speak of its prevalence in the population is not quite correct, because then if this figure was 100%. However, this symptom manifests itself in someone more and someone less. In this case, the cephalalgia becomes the cause of discomfort, sometimes it can be so painful that not even medications help.

Sore back of the head

According to statistics, this symptom comes first when receiving a temporary disability. It should be noted that cephalalgia can be a symptom of over 50 different diseases. However, there are many varieties and characteristics of headache.

Types, features symptoms and causes

For many cases of cephalgia characteristically, when the patient complains that his head hurts in the back or with the back of his neck. Such complaints can allocate up to 10 diseases corresponding to this localization. Let us consider the peculiarities of pain syndrome and determine why headache (table 1).

DiseaseReasonsthe Nature and locationIntensityPrimary/Secondary
tension Headache1. Emotional factors. 2. Violation of the regime of work and rest. 3. The sleep disturbance.
4. Sexual problems.
5. Trauma to the head.
6. Congenital predisposition
the Pain is a dull, monotonous character, and may be located on the right and on the left is usually bilateral in nature, for example, back in the occipital lobe, but may also be distributed in the frontal, temporal or parietal. However can pain and neck and then pain will spread to other areas. Also characterized by pressing, tightening pain in the form of the helmetModeratePrimary
Intracranial hypotension1. The decline in the production of cerebrospinal fluid. 2. Increasing her suction. 3. Liquorrhea.complaints of severe, throbbing pain that does not decrease after taking pain medication. It can be located on the right and left occipital or frontal region. Often diffuse.HighSecondary
Tumor of the posterior cranial fossa1. Tumor invasion and irritation of the IX and X cranial nervesdull Pain expander nature. Patients complain that they have back or neck hurt at the bottom of the occipital region. Often the pain is on the right. In the initial stages, when the tumor size is small, the pain is rare, of low intensity, but with the growth of the tumor the intensity and frequency increaseat First moderate, then highSecondary
hypertension1. The difficulty of venous outflow from the cranial cavity. 2. The increased pressure inside the skull. 3. The increase in the pulsation of the cerebral arteries.
4. Violation of vascular regulation in the brain.
Prolonged oppressive pain or bursting nature. It may begin either with the occipital or temporal regionModerateSecondary
Cervicogenic headache1. Musculoskeletal dysfunction at the level of the cervical spine.Sore neck, the occipital region or part of it, from whence it radiates to the frontal and temporal region, the intensity increases. Is paroxysmal in nature, may last for several daysModerate or averageSecondary

Differential diagnosis

DiseaseAssociated symptomsPrevalence
tension HeadacheWith long-term headache nausea occurs, fear of bright lights and loud noises. It is noted the voltage of the trapezius and occipital muscles. Palpation painful neck muscle and prigranichnye.5-10%
Intracranial hypotensionthe Main diagnostic criterion is the control of the state of the cerebrospinal fluid. It is worth noting that the pain is worse in the vertical position and the horizontal decreases. It increases or decreases not more than 15-20 minutes.Low
Tumor of the posterior cranial fossaOver time, tumors form metastases and there is diffuse headache. Accompanied by nausea, vomiting, but during the day the intensity decreases. Characterized by its gain when coughing, head tilt, physical exertion. Can pain even neck. The patient's condition gradually worsens, pain becomes more frequent, and their intensity increases3,7:100000
hypertensionMost often it is worse in the morningafter sleep. Accompanied by a pronounced increase in blood pressure, swelling of the face, in severe conditions may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.High
Cervicogenic headachestarts to Hurt the neck and then head. Pain increases and radiates to the frontal and temporal region. When headache patients report difficulty of movement of the neck in one or more directions. The main symptom, testifying in favor of this diagnosis is to identify the dysfunction of the upper three cervical segments.17%

Methods of diagnosis

If you have a headache you should pay special attention to the frequency, intensity, location and accompanying symptoms. If the cephalalgia of high intensity, often occurs and is accompanied by vomiting or light, phonophobia, you should immediately consult a neurologist.

Pain in the back of the head

The Principal methods of diagnostics are:

  1. Tonometry. Allows to determine the blood pressure that enables the diagnosis of "hypertension".
  2. MRI. Gives the ability to visualize the soft tissue of the brain and determine the presence of tumor.
  3. Transcranial Doppler. Makes it possible to measure intracranial pressure and assess the state of blood flow in cerebral vessels.
  4. Ahoah. When intracranial hypertension provides an opportunity to assess the displacement of brain structures.
  5. EEG. Gives you the ability to make a differential diagnosis with migraine attacks.


massage for headaches in the back

Antihypertensive therapy aimed at reducing blood pressure to levels not exceeding the norm. For these purposes, use drugs:

  • "Captopril" and "enalapril";
  • "Nifedipine", "Cordipin";
  • "Furosemide, "Diacarb", "Hydrochlorothiazide".

If you have headaches vascular nature of appoint:

  • "Peroxan", "Regelin", "Sermion";
  • "Cinnarizine", "Sibelius", "Stugeron".

In cases involving a violation of tone and blood flow in the veins, prescribe the venotonics:

  • "Detralex", "L-lysine aescinat", "Caffeine".

When tension headaches the main components of therapy are massage of the collar area, therapy, the prescription of antidepressants and muscle relaxants to relax the muscles of the neck:

  • "Baclofen", "Mydocalm", "Sirdalud".

Recommend for any headache to go to a neurologist, because the disease is diagnosed in its early stages, the best chance of cure and correction. However, frequent and uncontrolled use of simple analgesics leads to the formation of chronic cephalgia, the so – called aboutuse headache, a kind of dependence on NSAIDs.


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  2. Neurology and neurosurgery / edited by A. N. Konovalova, A. V. Kozlova, E. I. Gusev, A. N. Konovalov, V. I. Skvortsova : textbook : vol. 1 – 2009.
  3. Yakhno N. N., Stulman D. R. Diseases of the nervous system:a Guide for physicians— Vol. 1 —2nd ed. Perera and extra — Medicine,2001 — p. 744.