Pain Back of Head Above Neck: Causes and Relief Techniques

Do you regularly get neck-level head pain? You’re not alone. This terrible headache affects many individuals. This blog will discuss this pain’s causes and provide remedies.

Tension-type and low-pressure headaches may produce back-of-the-head discomfort. We’ll next discuss cervicogenic headaches and occipital neuralgia, which may induce back-right or back-left head discomfort.


Pain All Over the Back of the Head

Many things may cause back-of-the-head discomfort, particularly above the neck. strain headaches, migraines, muscular strain, cervical spine, and nasal difficulties are examples. Try heat or cold packs, relaxation, and over-the-counter painkillers. If the discomfort worsens, see a doctor. Good posture, stress management, and regular exercise help reduce head and neck discomfort.

Tension-Type Headache

Tension-type headaches, one of the most prevalent, may produce discomfort at the back of the head above the neck. Stress, muscular strain, and bad posture typically induce severe headaches, but their etiology is unclear. Deep breathing, meditation, and hot or cold compresses relieve tension-type headaches. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen might also help. If tension-type headaches continue or worsen, visit a doctor.


Low-Pressure Headache

Low-pressure headaches, often called spontaneous intracranial hypotension, may produce discomfort at the back of the head above the neck. A CSF fluid leak lowers brain pressure, causing extreme discomfort and this form of headache. Neck stiffness, nausea, and light/sound sensitivity may accompany discomfort. Bed rest, water, caffeine, and anti-inflammatory drugs may treat low-pressure headaches. Repairing the CSF fluid leak may require epidural blood patches or surgery.

How Does a Dural Tear Occur?

A dural tear happens when the protective covering around the spinal cord or brain is harmed, often due to trauma or during surgery. Symptoms include intense headache, neck pain, and fluid leakage from the nose or ears. Treatment usually involves surgical repair and may require further medical attention.

Back Right or Left Side of the Head

Back pain above the neck has several reasons. Muscle tightness, cervical spine issues, and occipital neuralgia can cause tension headaches and migraines. Occipital nerve irritation causes severe discomfort in the back and sides of the head. Massage, physiotherapy nerve blocks, and medicines alleviate pain and inflammation. For a proper diagnosis and treatment, see a doctor.

Cervicogenic Headache

Cervicogenic headaches, a specific type of headache originating from the cervical spine, can cause pain on one side of the head, particularly at the back or top. These headaches result from various factors, such as muscle tension, poor posture, and cervical spine disorders. Consulting a healthcare professional is crucial for an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment plan. Options for managing cervicogenic headaches include physiotherapy, chiropractic adjustments, exercises, and over-the-counter pain medications. Addressing the root causes is key in managing and minimizing the occurrence of cervicogenic headaches.


Occipital Neuralgia

Occipital neuralgia is a condition characterized by chronic pain at the back of the head, specifically on one or both sides. The intense pain is often described as sharp, shooting, or throbbing and may radiate to the neck or behind the eyes. It can be caused by various factors including pinched nerves, muscle tension, inflammation of the occipital nerves, or even osteoarthritis in the upper spine. Occipital neuralgia is often diagnosed by a healthcare provider specializing in neurology. Treatment options for occipital neuralgia range from medication and physiotherapy to nerve blocks and even surgical treatments in severe cases. Consulting a healthcare provider is crucial for accurate diagnosis and determining the right treatment approach for occipital neuralgia.


For individuals experiencing pain in the back of the head above the neck, various treatment options are available. It is crucial to undergo a medical evaluation to pinpoint the underlying cause. Over-the-counter pain medications can provide immediate relief. physiotherapy is beneficial in addressing muscle tension or strain in the neck, whereas relaxation techniques aid in stress management and overall well-being. Implementing lifestyle changes, such as correcting posture and embracing stress management techniques, can help prevent future pain episodes. In cases that require advanced interventions, healthcare professionals may recommend injections or surgery. Consulting a healthcare provider is vital to determine the right treatment approach.

Tension-Type Headache

Tension-Type Headache:

Tension-type headaches, also known as stress headaches, are a common type of headache that can cause pain in the back of the head above the neck. These headaches are often characterized by a dull, aching sensation that feels like a tight band around the head. They can be triggered by various factors, including stress, muscle tension, poor posture, or even overuse of painkillers. While tension-type headaches are generally not severe, they can still be quite bothersome and affect daily life. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can provide relief from the pain associated with tension-type headaches. In addition, practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or progressive muscle relaxation, and managing stress levels can help reduce the frequency and intensity of these headaches. It’s important to consult a healthcare provider for the right treatment and to rule out any underlying conditions that may be causing the headaches.

Low-Pressure Headache

Low-Pressure Headache:

Low-pressure headaches occur when there is a leak of cerebrospinal fluid from the spinal canal, leading to decreased pressure in the brain. These headaches, also known as intracranial hypotension, can cause pain at the back of the head above the neck. Common causes of low-pressure headaches include dural tears, which can occur after a spinal tap or other medical procedures. Other potential causes include meningeal diverticula, which are small pouches in the lining of the brain and spinal cord that can cause fluid leakage, and spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid leaks. These leaks can result in a decrease in the fluid surrounding the brain, leading to low-pressure headaches. Symptoms of low-pressure headaches may include a dull or throbbing pain that worsens with sitting or standing and improves with lying down. Nausea, vomiting, neck stiffness, and light sensitivity are also common. Diagnostic tests such as a brain MRI or a CT myelogram may be performed to identify a possible cerebrospinal fluid leak. Treatment options for low-pressure headaches may include bed rest, increased fluid intake, and caffeine. In some cases, a blood patch procedure may be performed to seal the leak and restore normal pressure in the brain. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause of your pain and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Cervicogenic Headache

Cervicogenic headaches, also known as neck-related headaches, are caused by issues in the neck, such as muscle tension or joint dysfunction. These headaches typically arise due to tight neck muscles or irritation of the nerves in the neck. The pain experienced can radiate from the back of the head above the neck to the sides of the head, affecting the scalp and muscles in the upper neck. Cervicogenic headaches cause intense pain and are often accompanied by stiffness in the neck. Treatment options for cervicogenic headaches involve a multidisciplinary approach, including physiotherapy, chiropractic adjustments, and pain medication. It is important to seek the right treatment for cervicogenic headaches to alleviate pain and improve overall quality of life.

Occipital Neuralgia

Occipital neuralgia is a condition characterized by chronic pain in the upper neck and scalp. It is often caused by irritation or inflammation of the occipital nerves, which run from the base of the head up to the sides of the head. The pain can be intense and may feel like a sharp, stabbing sensation. Other symptoms of occipital neuralgia can include numbness or tingling in the affected area, sensitivity to light, and pain that radiates. Treatment options for occipital neuralgia include medication, nerve blocks, physiotherapy, lifestyle changes, and more.

When to See a Healthcare Provider

If you are experiencing pain in the back of your head above the neck, it is crucial to know when to seek a healthcare provider. Whether it is a tension headache, occipital neuralgia, or another type of headache, if the pain is severe or persistent, it may be a sign of an underlying condition that requires medical attention. It is important not to ignore the pain and wait for it to go away on its own. Instead, reach out to a healthcare provider who can evaluate your symptoms and provide the right treatment. Remember, timely intervention can help alleviate pain and improve your quality of life.

Seek Emergency Care

Seeking Immediate Emergency Care for Intense Pain at the Back of Your Head above the Neck

If you are experiencing sudden and intense pain at the back of your head above your neck, it is crucial to seek immediate emergency medical care. This type of pain can be a cause for concern and may indicate a serious underlying condition such as a brain aneurysm or meningitis. It is important to remember that every individual and situation is unique, so it is best to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate course of action based on your specific symptoms and concerns. Seeking prompt medical attention ensures that you receive the proper evaluation and treatment for your condition.

Occipital Neuralgia

Occipital neuralgia is a condition characterized by intense pain in the back of the head above the neck, often described as shooting or stabbing. It is caused by irritation or inflammation of the occipital nerves, which run from the upper neck to the base of the skull. This condition can result in headaches, scalp sensitivity, and pain behind the eyes. Treatment options for occipital neuralgia include medication, nerve blocks, physiotherapy, and relaxation techniques. It’s essential to consult a healthcare provider to determine the right treatment for occipital neuralgia symptoms.


People often experience pain at the back of the head above the neck due to various factors, including tension headaches, cervicogenic headaches, and occipital neuralgia. This pain can be accompanied by additional symptoms like neck stiffness, dizziness, and sensitivity to light or sound. To find relief from such discomfort, individuals can try applying heat or cold packs, practicing relaxation techniques, and performing stretching exercises. If the pain persists or worsens, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional to receive a proper diagnosis and explore suitable treatment options. Additionally, individuals can benefit from considering alternative treatment options such as massage therapy, nerve blocks, or physiotherapy to address the underlying causes of their pain.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common causes of pain at the back of the head above the neck?

Pain at the back of the head above the neck is often caused by tension headaches, which can be triggered by poor posture and muscle tension. Cervicogenic headaches stemming from cervical spine issues are another possible cause. Additional causes include migraines, sinusitis, and occipital neuralgia. Blood vessels pain relief occipital nerve block.

Where can I find physiotherapy near me?

To find physiotherapy near you, conduct an online search or use directories and review websites to locate highly rated clinics. Seek recommendations from friends, family, or healthcare professionals who have undergone treatment. Contact your insurance provider for information on in-network physiotherapy providers.

Where can I find sports massage near me?

To find sports massage services near you, try searching online using platforms like Yelp or Google Maps. Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or healthcare professionals. Contact local fitness centers, gyms, or sports clubs as they may have suggestions or offer sports massage themselves.


In conclusion, if you’re experiencing pain at the back of your head above your neck, it’s important to understand the underlying causes and explore relief techniques that work for you. Tension-type headaches, low-pressure headaches, cervicogenic headaches, and occipital neuralgia are some of the common culprits of this type of pain. Treatment options vary depending on the specific cause, but it may include lifestyle changes, medication, physiotherapy, or other interventions. If your symptoms persist or worsen, it’s always recommended to seek medical advice from a healthcare provider. Remember, taking care of your health should always be a priority. If you found this information helpful, share it with others who may benefit from it.

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