Neck pain that can be accompanied by tension headaches usually feels aching, tender or tight. In cases where the neck pain started before tension headaches, such as trauma or chronic neck condition, neck pain may feel more intense, such as severe or burning.
Comparison of Tension Headache With Similar Headaches
A few examples of the distinguishing causes of tension headaches from other headaches are:
- Symptoms of tension headaches such as neck pain and tenderness in the head and neck areas are also seen in migraine headaches or cervicogenic headaches.
- However, tension headaches have a compelling nature and usually do not get worse with physical activity. Pain in tension headaches is always caused by stress; different from food, odors, hormones, or posture known to cause other headaches.
A condition called tension-migraine is a headache characterized by tension headaches and migraine headaches. Migraine headaches are believed to occur first, resulting in muscle tension that causes tension headaches.
When Is Headache and Neck Pain Serious?
Immediate medical attention is recommended in neck pain and headaches associated with one or more of the following symptoms:
- Pain and numbness shining under one or both arms.
- Severe neck and fever or headache.
- Headaches caused by coughing, sneezing, running, folding, urination, or Valsalva trick.
- Heart attack, weak speech, loss of balance and blurred vision.
- Unexpected weight loss or nausea.
These symptoms may indicate serious underlying conditions such as aneurysms, meningitis, stroke, or tumor. Neck pain due to an injury to the lower part of the skull should be considered as an emergency and treated without delay.
Different types of headaches that occur in the back of the head?
There are a number of different factors that can cause headaches that occur in the back of the head. Here are some types of headaches:
Tension headaches are a common cause of back pain. They can last for 30 minutes to seven days. Excessive stress, fatigue, lack of sleep, skipping meals, poor posture, or not drinking enough water can cause headaches.
Patients usually feel tightening in the back or front of the head; the pain can range from mild to severe. Treatment includes painkillers, lifestyle adjustments, massage, and sometimes relaxation techniques (e.g., meditation). However, recurrent tension headaches require physician supervision for further treatment.
Symptoms of pressure in back of head and neck
Common symptoms of pressure behind the head and neck include:
Squeezing or pushing around the head such as wearing a tight-fitting hat or tight-fitting belt or carrying a heavy weight on the head is common in stressful headaches.
- The pain is moderate to moderate but can be severe in some cases.
- Neck pain and trigger points are present in the muscles of the neck, shoulder, and face which cause pain over manual pressure.
- Increased sensitivity to light or sound — any symptoms may be present.
- The pain is not exacerbated by normal physical activity in tension headaches.
- Low pain threshold and high sensitivity to pressure and pain are common behaviors of people with tension headaches. This causes stress and tension to easily induce neck pain and headaches.
Other symptoms associated with pressure on the back of the head and neck may include:
- Swelling, burning, or severe pain in your back. Pain can be placed in one place or cover a large area
- Leg numbness or tingling above or below your knee
- Stiffness or stiffness that occurs anywhere on your back (from neck to tail)
- Severe shooting pains extending from the back to the buttocks, below the thigh, to the calf and your toes.
- Frequent pain in the middle or lower back, especially after standing or sitting for a long time
Pain that occurs suddenly in the back or neck, due to an injury, is considered acute pain. Acute pain comes on quickly and can go away faster than chronic back or neck pain. This type of pain should not last more than 6 weeks.
Causes of pressure in back of head and neck
At the base of the skull, there is a group of muscles called the suboccipital muscles. They can cause headaches for many people. These four pairs of muscles are responsible for subtle movements between the skull and the first and second vertebrae in the neck.
Tension headache; This is the most common type of headache. Occurs when the muscles of your head and neck tighten. This causes pain in the side and back of your head. It is usually a severe pain that does not go away.
Disk; Often, back or neck pain comes down to release the gel as cushions that sit between the vertebrae. They help maintain the natural curvature of your spine, and allow your spine to bend or bend. And most importantly, the disk absorbs shock when walking or running.
Arthritis; Osteoarthritis “wear-and-tear” type of arthritis is another common cause of back or neck pain. The joints connecting the vertebrae are lined with cartilage, flexible, elastic tissue. As you age, cartilage disappears. At the same time, the disc loses water and becomes thinner, adding more pressure to the joints.
Low pressure headache; Acute hypotension within the skull is more commonly known as low blood pressure headaches. This happens when spinal fluid leaks into your neck or spine. Leaks cause a stream of spinal fluid around your brain to slow down.
Cervicogenic headache; This may feel like a headache and pain in the back of your head, but the issue is in the neck. This is called back pain, when you feel pain in one part of your body but it comes from another.
Migraine; How it feels: Migraine pain is usually defined as throbbing or tingling. It usually occurs on one side of the head, and can be so severe that it is disabling. Migraine is often accompanied by additional symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.
Occipital neuralgia; This rare type of headache involves pain in the occipital arteries. These extend from the spinal cord to the scalp. When they are injured or swollen, you may feel pain in the back of your head or behind your ears.
Bad posture; If you have a slippery slope when sitting or standing, that can stretch the muscles behind your head, upper back, neck, and jaw. It can also put pressure on the arteries in those areas. As a result, poor posture can cause tension headaches and back pain in your back.
Brain tumor; How it feels: Pressure or heaviness in the head or neck. Swelling of the brain can cause severe headaches and is often accompanied by other symptoms, such as memory problems, vision problems, or difficulty walking.
What are the complications of pressure in back of head and neck?
- Loss or productivity; Back pain is the most common cause of disability in working adults.
- Nervous damage; If your back pain is caused by a herniated disc, pressure on the spinal cord can cause a variety of problems, such as weakness, numbness, or severe shooting pain that travels from the back to the leg.
- Depression; Back or neck pain can affect all aspects of a person’s life: work, physical activity, social activities, and sleep. Anxiety and stress caused by changes in mobility and pain can lead to depression.
- Weight gain; Decreased mobility and inability to exercise can lead to weight gain and loss of muscle strength.
It is best to see a health care provider if you are numb or irritated, or if your pain is severe and does not occur with medication and rest. If you have difficulty urinating, weakness, pain, or numbness in your legs, fever, or involuntary weight loss, you should call your healthcare provider right away.
How can you prevent pressure in back of head and neck?
Here are some tips that can help prevent pressure in back of head and neck:
- Get an eye examination. If you are struggling to read, or continue to bend your head up and down to use these outer shelves, you may need a new pair of sunglasses.
- Rearrange your work station. Just lifting your computer monitor or finding a document stand can help reduce frequent bowing of the head which can stretch the occipital muscles.
- Avoid slipping and exercising. Consider trying yoga, Pilates or Tai Chi. All of these disciplines are good forms of exercise and all can help to improve posture. Also, you may want to consult a physical therapist, therapist, or movement specialist for exercises that are tailored to your needs.
- Get a 30 minute massage that focuses on the neck and upper back. This can help relax your muscles and reduce headaches.
- Exercise regularly. Learn special spine strengthening exercises to keep your spine muscles strong. Warm up with stretching exercises before doing back exercises.
- Try using a hot pack on the base of the head. Do this for 15-20 minutes.
- Practice proper lifting techniques. avoid lifting heavy objects, when lifting something, bend your legs, straighten your back, and then slowly lift your body and object.
Put two tennis balls in socks and tie them tightly. Lie on your back on the floor. Place the tennis balls under the base of your skull and allow your head to press against them. Shake your head gently and back and side to side for a few minutes.
Treatment of pressure in back of head and neck
There are things you can do at home to ease the pain and start feeling better. Here’s how to reduce pressure in back of head and neck:
1. Pain-relieving medications
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen are available at the store (OTC) and provide relief from headaches. Combining two or more drugs such as aspirin or acetaminophen with caffeine into one drug for some people may be more effective than one drug. Prescription drugs such as ketoprofen and more potent naproxen can be used to treat severe headaches.
2. Use an ice pack
Cold therapy reduces blood flow and reduces muscle spasms and inflammation, reducing pain. A cold pack placed on the forehead, temple, or neck may be useful when treating neck pain and headaches. People who have migraines may find ice packs to be cheaper than hot packs. When using a cold treatment, limit the use to 15 minutes and at least 2 hours of rest between applications to prevent skin damage.
3. Maintain good posture
Spending an hour a day at a desk or on a computer with a head position puts extra stress on the muscles and joints of the neck. This bad posture can eventually lead to neck pain or headaches. Instead, place the head in a neutral position with the ears directly above the shoulders and waist, which normally aligns the head to the cervical spine. In addition to maintaining a good posture, try to take breaks from sitting and exercising as often as you can.
4. Find the right pillow
A proper pillow supports the natural curvature of your neck and can help reduce neck pain and headaches. Although rivers can vary greatly in length, material, shape, and durability, no river is considered to be ideal for everyone. Choosing a pillow that suits you depends on your personal preferences and head-neck balance. Try different pillows to see which one helps your neck feel better in the morning.
5. Exercise more
Increasing the amount of physical activity you can get can help reduce neck pain and reduce headaches. Some forms of exercise are better for relieving headaches than others. Choose low-impact activities that focus on calming the body, such as yoga or gentle stretching. Light cardio exercises, such as walking, can also help reduce headaches. Walking also allows you to enjoy nature and sunlight, reduce your stress levels, and further help reduce headaches.
6. Try a dry needling
A medical professional trained in dry stitching may place a thin, sterile needle on the nostrils of your neck or head. The purpose of dry needles is to relieve tension in the burning muscles and connective tissue, which may be contributing to headaches or neck pain. Some evidence suggests that dry needles can help relieve headaches of a chronic type of tension.
7. Apply firm pressure
Placing compression on the temples, forehead or back of the neck may provide relief from pain caused by headaches or migraines. This pressure can be applied to your fingers, hands, or by wrapping a handkerchief around your head.
When to see a doctor
You should see a doctor if you should regularly take pain medication for headaches more than twice a week. Schedule an appointment with your doctor if your headaches are chronic, severe, or abnormal. Headaches that interfere with your daily activities need treatment.
Seeking treatment for underlying conditions, such as sinusitis or ear infections, can also help reduce headaches. Depending on your condition, your doctor may refer you to a specialist, such as a neurologist or an ear specialist, ear and throat specialist.