Understanding Pain in Back of Head and Neck Left Side

Have you ever experienced a throbbing pain in the back of your head and neck on the left side? It can be quite discomforting, and understanding its causes is crucial for finding relief. In this blog, we will delve into the various factors that can lead to pain in the left side of the head and neck. From tension or muscle strain to more serious conditions like whiplash and cervical radiculopathy, we will explore all possibilities. We will also touch upon less common causes such as degeneration of the cervical disc and meningitis. Additionally, we will discuss when it’s necessary to seek medical help and how pain in the left side of the head and neck is diagnosed. If you’re looking for answers to alleviate your discomfort, keep reading!


What Causes Pain in the Left Side of the Head and Neck?

Pain in the left side of the head and neck can be attributed to tension headaches, migraines, muscle strain or tension in the neck, or more serious conditions like a pinched nerve or cervical spine disorder. It is important to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Tension or Muscle Strain

Tension or muscle strain in the neck and head can lead to pain on the left side. Factors such as poor posture, stress, and muscle overuse contribute to this discomfort. Common activities like prolonged sitting or carrying heavy bags can strain the muscles in the neck and head, causing pain. Treatment options include rest, heat or cold therapy, gentle stretching exercises, massage, and over-the-counter pain relief medications. Seek medical attention if the pain persists or worsens, as it could indicate other underlying causes.



Whiplash, a common cause of pain in the left side of the head and neck, is the result of forceful jerking of the head. This motion strains the neck muscles and ligaments, leading to symptoms such as pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion. Treatment options for whiplash include rest, pain medication, physiotherapy, and exercises to strengthen the neck muscles. It is important not to ignore whiplash, as it can result in chronic pain and long-term complications. Seeking prompt treatment is crucial for proper recovery.

Acute Torticollis

Acute torticollis, also known as wry neck, is a sudden and severe pain experienced in the left side of the head and neck. This condition, often triggered by poor posture, can cause discomfort and limited range of motion as the pain radiates from the neck to the back of the head on the left side. Treatment options for acute torticollis usually include rest, using heat or ice, over-the-counter pain medications, and stretching exercises. In some cases, physiotherapy or chiropractic adjustments may be recommended to relieve muscle tension and restore proper alignment.

Degeneration of the Cervical Disc

Degeneration of the Cervical Disc is the wear and tear on the discs in the neck region of the spine that can cause pain in the left side of the head and neck. Along with the pain, symptoms like numbness or tingling in the arms or hands can also occur. Aging, poor posture, repetitive movements, and injury are common causes. Treatment options may involve physiotherapy, medication, injections, or surgery. Consulting a healthcare professional is essential for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.



Meningitis, a serious inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, can cause severe pain in the back of the head and neck. Alongside headaches and neck stiffness, symptoms like fever, nausea, and vomiting may also arise. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are vital, as meningitis can result from bacterial, viral, or fungal infections. Healthcare professionals usually prescribe antibiotics or antiviral medication for treatment.

Cervical Fracture

A fracture in the bones of the neck, known as a cervical fracture, can cause pain on the left side of the head and neck. This injury, commonly resulting from trauma like a car accident or fall, presents symptoms such as severe pain, swelling, and difficulty moving the head and neck. Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs may also occur. Treatment options for a cervical fracture include immobilization with a brace or collar, pain management medication, and, in some cases, surgery. Seeking medical attention is crucial if you experience severe pain on the left side of your head and neck following an injury.

Herniated Cervical Disc

A herniated cervical disc, also known as a slipped disc, occurs when one of the discs in the neck becomes damaged and bulges or ruptures. This can result in pain in the left side of the head and neck, as well as other symptoms such as headaches, numbness, tingling, and weakness. The pain may radiate down the arm and into the hand, affecting daily activities. Treatment options for a herniated cervical disc include physiotherapy, pain relief medication, muscle relaxants, steroid injections, and in some cases, surgery. To diagnose a herniated cervical disc, a doctor may evaluate your medical history, conduct a physical examination, and order imaging tests such as an MRI or CT scan. It’s important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing persistent or severe pain in the left side of your head and neck, as it could be a sign of a more serious underlying condition. Seeking prompt treatment can help alleviate discomfort and prevent complications.

How Is Pain in the Left Side of the Head and Neck Diagnosed?

To diagnose pain in the left side of the head and neck, a healthcare professional will evaluate your symptoms, medical history, and perform a physical examination. They may also order imaging tests like CT scans or MRIs to identify potential underlying causes. If needed, specialized tests or referrals to specialists may be suggested for a thorough diagnosis.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the common causes of pain in the back of the head and neck on the left side?

Pain in the back of the head and neck on the left side can be caused by tension headaches, muscle tension or strain, migraines, and cervical spine issues like herniated discs or arthritis. It’s important to identify the underlying cause for proper treatment and pain management.

Where can I find physiotherapy near me?

To locate physiotherapy services in your vicinity, you can begin by searching online directories or using search engines. Seek recommendations from your primary care physician, friends, or family who have undergone physiotherapy. Consult your health insurance provider for a list of in-network physiotherapists. Contact local hospitals, clinics, or sports medicine centers to inquire about their physiotherapy offerings.

Where can I find sports massage near me?

To locate sports massage services near you, utilize online search engines or directories such as Yelp or Google Maps. Seek recommendations from friends, family, or fellow athletes. Additionally, inquire at local fitness centers, gyms, or sports clubs for information on nearby sports massage therapists.


In conclusion, pain in the back of the head and neck on the left side can have various causes, ranging from muscle strain to more serious conditions like cervical fractures or meningitis. It is important to pay attention to any persistent or severe pain and seek medical help if necessary. A proper diagnosis is essential for identifying the underlying cause and determining the appropriate treatment. If you are experiencing ongoing pain in the left side of your head and neck, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation.

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