Causes of Severe Neck Pain and Headaches in Back of Head.

Neck Pain and Headaches in Back of Head. 

Many types of headaches account for severe neck pain and headaches in back of head. From my deep research in this domain, I will be analyzing of the causes of the pain detailing. Below are the various types of headaches responsible for pains in the neck and head.
1.                Tension Headache.
 This is a dull pain, tightness, or pressure around your forehead or the back of your head and neck. There are two types of tension headaches as stated below:
  • Episodic tension headaches. It occurs in less than or equals to 15 days per month.
  • Chronic tension headaches. This type occurs for greater than 15 days a month.  These headaches can last from 30 minutes to a few days. The episodic kind usually starts gradually, often in the middle of the day.
Chronic ones come and go over a longer period of time. The pain may get stronger or ease up throughout the day, but it’s almost always there.
Tension headaches most at times, will still enable you do you daily activities, and they have no clear affect on your vision, balance, and strength.
More than 75% of adults in the U.S. get them from time to time. Above 2.5% have chronic daily tension headaches. Women are more expose to tension headaches than men.

What are the Common Symptoms?

Some most common ones include:
  • Mild to moderate pain or pressure in the front, top, or sides of the head
  • Headaches that starts within the day
  • Sleeping difficulties
  •  Very tired feeling
  • Irritability
  • Facing difficulties in focusing on what you intend to do
  • Mild sensitivity to light or noise
  • Aches in your muscles.
Tension headaches usually, tart at the back of your head and spread forward and suddenly become like a band of dull pressure or squeezing pain, around your entire head. They usually affect the front and the back of your head equally and also causes the muscles in your neck, shoulders, and jaw feel tight and sore.

Treating tension headaches

Tension headaches are usually completely taken care of with over the counter (OTC) drugs. Your doctor may prescribe prescription medications for severe, chronic tension headaches. Your doctor may also prescribe preventative medications like antidepressants or muscle relaxants to reduce headaches from occurring in the future.

2.                Arthritis Headaches.

Arthritis headaches are caused by inflammation and swelling in the neck area. They often cause pain in the back of the head and neck. Movement typically triggers more intense pain. These headaches can be caused by any kind of arthritis. The most common are Osteo arthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis. 

Arthritis headaches are best treated with anti-inflammatories and heat to reduce inflammation.

 Poor Posture Headaches.

Poor posture can also cause pain in the back of your head and neck. Poor body positioning creates tension in your back, shoulders, and neck. And that tension may cause a headache. You may feel a dull, throbbing pain at the base of your skull. 

Poor Posture Headaches can be easily treated with acetaminophen. In the long term, you can treat or try to prevent these headaches by improving your posture. Purchase an ergonomic work chair with good lumbar support, and sit with both feet on the ground.
 Cervicogenic Headache

Herniated disks in the cervical spine (neck) can cause neck pain and tension leading to cervicogenic headache. The pain typically originates and is felt in the back of the head. It may also be felt in the temples or behind the eyes. Other symptoms may include discomfort in the shoulders or upper arms. Cervicogenic headaches may intensify when you’re lying down. Some people will actually wake up because the pain disrupts their sleep. When lying down, you may also feel a pressure on the top of your head like a weight. Herniated disks headaches are treated by concentrating on the treatment of the underlying condition. Treatment for herniated disks includes physical therapy, gentle stretching, chiropractic manipulation, epidural injections for inflammation, and surgery if needed. Good results may be maintained through exercise.

Occipital neuralgia

Occipital neuralgia is a condition that occurs when the nerves that run from the spinal cord to the scalp are damaged. It is often confused with migraines. Occipital neuralgia causes sharp, aching, throbbing pain that starts at the base of the head in the neck and moves towards the scalp.
It has many symptoms like as follows:

Pain behind the eyes, Sharp stabbing sensation that feels like an electric shock in the neck and back of the head, sensitivity to light, tender scalp and pain when moving your neck.

Treating occipital Neuralgia  is treated through a combination of Warm/heat therapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, massage, and prescription muscle relaxers. In severe cases, your doctor may inject a local anesthetic into the occipital area for immediate relief. This treatment option can last up to 12 weeks.

Migraines Headaches.

Migraines can appear in any location, but many people experience them on the left side of the head or the back of the head.
It has many causes as listed below.
  • severe, throbbing, pulsating pain
  • auras
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • watering eyes
  • light or sound sensitivity
Migraine headaches may start on the left side of the head, and then move around the temple to the back of the head.
To cure migraines, the doctor may prescribe both a preventative medication, like a beta-blocker, and an immediate pain-relief medication.

Some over-the-counter medications, like Excedrin Migraine, are designed specifically for migraines. These may work for mild migraines, but not severe ones. Your doctor may also help you discover what triggers your migraines so that you can avoid these stimuli.

Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are rare but extremely painful. They get their name from the “cluster periods” in which they occur. People with cluster headaches experience frequent attacks. These periods or patterns of attack may last weeks or months.
Cluster headaches may cause pain in the back of the head or the sides of the head. They may get worse when lying down. Other symptoms to watch for include:
  • sharp, penetrating, burning pain
  • restlessness
  • nausea
  • excessive tearing
  • stuffy nose
  • drooping eyelid
  • sensitivity to light and sound

Treating cluster headaches

Treatment for cluster headaches focuses on shortening the headache period, reducing the severity of attacks, and preventing further attacks from occurring.
Acute treatment may include:
  • triptans, which are also used to treat migraines and can be injected for fast relief
  • octreotide, an injectable artificial version of the brain hormone, somatostatin
  • local anesthetics
Preventative methods may include:
  • corticosteroids
  • calcium channel blockers
  • melatonin
  • nerve blockers       
When can you visit a Doctor
When you experience the following situations, it is vital to meet the doctor.
  • you start experiencing new headaches that last for more than a few days
  • your headaches interfere with your normal activities
  • the pain is accompanied by tenderness near the temple
  • you experience any new changes in headache patterns
If you develop a severe headache that’s worse than you’ve ever had, or if your headaches become progressively worse, you should make an appointment as soon as possible.
If your pain becomes impossible to think through, go to an emergency room.
There are some symptoms that indicate an emergency. If you experience headaches alongside any of the following symptoms, seek emergency medical attention:
  • sudden changes in your personality, including uncharacteristic mood swings or agitation
  • fever, stiff neck, confusion, and decreased alertness to the point where you’re struggling to focus on a conversation
  • visual disturbances, slurred speech, weakness (including weakness on one side of the face), and numbness anywhere in the body
  • severe headaches following a blow to the head
  • headaches that come on extremely abruptly when they normally don’t, especially if they’ve woken you.
A careful follow of the above types of headaches, will better guide you on your next step of action when need be.