Pain in Back of Head at Base of Skull Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

As we are human beings, we live with the use of our mental and physical organs. Sometimes our organs may create complications and headache is the most common issue to many of us. Pain in Back of Head at Base of Skull, due to suboccipital muscle headache causes. The headache pain makes you less productive or even turns down to zero productivity in your daily life.

In some cases, stress and a poor lifestyle may be the reason for your headache pain. Besides this, if you are dealing with some physical issues, you may develop headaches pain. If you have pain in the back of the head base of the skull, it may be for tensions or migraine-type headaches. Sitting on your workstation continuously for a longer period can trigger pain in the back of your head. You can alleviate headache pain by taking primary care such as therapy, rest, and adequate sleep. But in severe cases, you have to consult with a doctor.

The adults and as well teens are experiencing headache pain. A slight change in your daily lifestyle can alleviate your headache pain significantly. Now we will discuss the further causes, symptoms, and treatment for headache pain in the back of the head at the base of the skull for your better understanding.

Causes of Pain in Back of Head at Base of Skull

There are numerous causes of your tension headache pain. The most common causes at the base of the skulls are:

Tension headache : This type of headache is most common for the pain at the base of your skull. They can last long for 30 minutes to 7 days. Several factors can trigger your tension headaches such as stress, lack of sleep, missing meals, sinus pain, not drinking enough water, arthritis.

Migraine : Migraine pain is an intense pulsing from deep with your head. They can last for days. They often start in your childhood, and the frequency of headaches can increase within your age. Inflammation in the blood vessels and nerves can cause migraine pain. Migraine patients are very sensitive to light and sound.

Medication overuse or rebound headache : Overuse medication may cause pain at the base of the skull. When a person takes medications more than two or three times daily, they can suffer from this type of headache.

Occipital neuralgia : There are suboccipital muscles at the base of the skulls that may cause pain. These muscles are responsible for the movement of your neck and skull. Any damages to these nerves can occur in this pain. Besides this, tumors, diabetes, inflammation of blood vessels, infection are the cause of this type of pain.

The exercise included headaches : This type of headache can develop due to your physical activities. A wide range of exercises can be the cause of the pain. This pain becomes severe just right after your exercise.

Symptoms of Pain in Back of Head at Base of Skull

The pain starts at the base of the head and spreads across your eyes. It can also spread through your neck, back, and shoulders also. Headaches can be associated with symptoms such as;

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Pain in the eyes when looking into the light
  • Pain on one side or both sides of the head
  • Dizziness
  • Tenderness of the scalp
  • Feeling tight around the back or head
  • Visual disturbance
  • Worse pain when walking
  • Last for several days

Different Types Of Headaches

Headache refers a pain “in any region of the head”. The cause, duration, and intensity of this pain can vary according to the type of headache. You have to identify the type of headache, you may experience to ease your pain.

Most common primary headache:

A primary headache is not triggered by something your body is dealing with, like illness or allergies. These headaches can be episodic or chronic.

  • Episodic headaches may appear so often or just once in a while. They can last long for few minutes to few hours.
  • Chronic headaches appear on most days of the month and it can last long for 60-90 days.
  • Tension headaches may appear with the symptoms of feeling dull, aching sensation all over your head. The pain occurs around your neck, forehead, scalp, or shoulder muscles.
  • Cluster headache can occur with severe burning and piercing pain. They occur around or behind an eye or one side of the face. Swelling, redness, sweating may occur on the pain side. Eye tearing may also occur in these headaches.
  • Migraine headache is throbbing and usually at one-sided. This pain can last for several days. The headache can significantly limit your ability to carry out your daily routine. Migraine patients are often sensitive to light and sound. In case of severe pain, nausea and vomiting usually occur. If you experience 6-times headache within one month and these are last for several days, you have to talk to your doctor.

Most common secondary headache:

Secondary headache is triggered by something your body is dealing with, like illness or allergies. If the trigger of your secondary headache lasts long, it can be chronic.

  • Allergy or sinus headaches can happen as a result of allergic action. In your sinus area ad in front of your head, this pain may occur.
  • Hormone headaches are commonly experienced by women. This pain is linked to hormonal fluctuations. Menstruation, birth control pill, pregnancy all affect the estrogen levels that may cause headache pain. This pain occurs before, during, or after menses, as well as during ovulation.
  • Caffeine headaches can occur by having too much caffeine. Too much caffeine can affect blood flow to your brain. Those who have migraine pain are likely at risk of triggering pain due to having caffeine.
  • Hypertension headache is commonly experienced by those who have high blood pressure. This occurs when your blood pressure becomes high. Hypertension occurs usually on both sides of your head. It typically worsens with activity. You may also experience changes in visions, nosebleeds, chest pain.
  • Post-traumatic headache can develop after a head injury. These types of headaches can last for 6 to 12 months. These are likely migraine and tension-type headache.

Treatment of Pain in Back of Head at Base of Skull

You have to be more concerned about your headache. Ignoring your pain can significantly affect your body. There are numerous treatments are available for headache pain. Headache pain can be recovered by primary care. It’s better to get treatment from a doctor if you are suffering for several days or several months of headache pain continuously.

Treatments or medications are available according to the types of headaches and the intensity of pain. Taking pain relief such as aspirin or ibuprofen is enough for your tension headache. Depending on the frequency you may go for relaxation techniques such as physical therapy. In the case of migraine pain, your doctor may suggest antimigraine drugs known as a triptan. Taking therapy can reduce your pain. Taking too much medication can trigger your pain sometimes. In this case, you may change your behavior or lifestyle to get relief from your pain. For occipital neuralgia, you may take aspirin or paracetamol to reduce your pain. In severe cases, you may go for surgery after consulting with your doctor. The surgical treatments involve the placement of electrodes under your skin near occipital nerves, between the spinal cord and vertebrae. According to a study, 95% of patients get relief after immediate surgery.

How Do You Get Rid Of Tensions Headaches?

Tension headaches can be alleviated by taking some low-effort steps, such as;

  • Check your Work Station: Your workstation can be a reason for your headache. Sitting for a longer time on your chair may cause headache pain in the back of the head. So, you have to concern about your chair height. Your feet must be flat on the ground.
  • Sleeping Positions and Pillow: Pillows that are too high creates tension in your muscles. Too much tension in these muscles may result in neck and head pain. Poor posture during sitting, driving, or sleeping may cause headache pain. So it’s better to lie on your back with a pillow that is not too high.
  • Keep Your Neck And Head As Mobile As Possible: Headaches occur for tight muscles. Try to keep your neck and head moving as much as possible. It prevents muscles from tightening or stiffness.
  • Yoga or Meditation: A slight change in your daily lifestyle can relieve your tension headache. Yoga or meditation may inhibit the nerves which cause stress. And stress, tensions are the main reason for headaches. Yoga can ease your stress level.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do Tension Headaches Lasts?

Tension-type headaches are the most familiar type of headache among people. Especially in adults and older teens. In the United States, about 30-80% of the adult population suffers from a tension headaches. Women slightly suffer more than men’s. Approximately 3% of people are suffering from chronic daily tensions. Episodic tension-type headaches may appear for fewer than 15 days in a month and can last from 30 minutes to several days. Most chronic tension-type headaches may appear for more than 15 days in a month and can last for more than 60 to 90 days.

How Do I Know If I Have Neuralgia?

Neuralgia is a condition in which, you may feel severe pain due to nerve irritation or damage. You may feel pain in the back of your head or at the base of your skull. Since the symptoms of neuralgia and migraine or other types of headaches are the same, people get confused. Typical neuralgia can last for a few minutes to two hours. Trigeminal neuralgia occurs as a result of aging. It occurs for nerve damages or by a tumor compressing the trigeminal nerve. For neuralgia, you may feel severe pain in the back of the head or neck. Other symptoms that can clear you whether it’s neuralgia or not are included here.

  • You feel continuous aching and burning pain.
  • Pain behind your eyes.
  • You may feel pain on one side or both sides of the head.
  • You may feel pain when you move your neck.
  • Tenderness in the scalp.
  • Sensitivity to light.
  • It may last for a few minutes.

Will Ibuprofen Help A Tension Headache?

Tension headaches become a common occurrence in everyday life. The good news is, you can get relief from tension headaches with painkillers. Many painkillers are used to treat headaches. Paracetamol, aspirin, ibuprofen is recommended painkillers for tension headaches. When headaches may appear, the pain usually goes for hours. Ibuprofen is a commonly used painkiller around the world. The usual dose is 400 mg taken for a tension headache. Ibuprofen usually works better for tension headaches. In a global evaluation, the experience with ibuprofen was excellent according to 40% of the people.

Does Water Help Tension Headaches?

Chronic dehydration may trigger tension headaches. Most of the time dehydration occurs when you exercise strenuously and lose water through sweat. You can lose a significant amount of water by sweating. Increasing water intake can protect you from dehydration, as well as from headaches. Water intake is the most cost-effective, non-incursive way to reduce or prevent headaches. Several glasses of water like 6-cups of water (1.5litres) can reduce headache instantly.  

What is Natural Way To Relieve Tensions Headaches?

Several types of headaches exist, and several types of medications also. Although many medications are targeted to relieve headaches, many effective natural treatments are also available. These are described below.

  • Dehydration can develop tension headaches. Intaking a proper amount of water is the easiest and cost-effective treatment for headaches. To avoid dehydration drink enough water and eat water-rich fruits.
  • Magnesium is considered a safe and effective remedy for headaches. Lack of magnesium can promote migraine. According to a study, taking 600 mg magnesium can reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.
  • Alcohol triggers migraine headaches. It causes tension and cluster headaches. Additionally, it acts as a diuretic that causes the body to lose fluid through urination. Avoiding alcohol can reduce the frequency of headaches.
  • Sleep deprivation is another cause of tension headaches. If you want to relieve yourself from headaches, it’s too important to get adequate sleep.
  • A beverage that contains caffeine such as tea or coffee may provide relief when you are experiencing a headache. It may also improve your mood, make you fresh.
  • Ginger contains some beneficial elements that are too much healthier for our body. Sipping ginger tea acts in an effective way to reduce your headache pain. Ginger is also beneficial to reduce nausea and vomiting that is associated with severe headaches.

Final Recap

Headaches are too common in our daily life. Around 60% of adults are suffering from chronic headaches. Headache pain is being recovered in primary care. Tension headaches can arise because of tight muscles in the back of the neck and scalp. Most of the time tension headaches are triggered by stress from work, school, family, friends, and other relations. Daily stress can lead to chronic headaches. Treatment must be suggested for reducing pain. Although adequate sleep, intaking a lot of water, caffeine-containing drinks are an effective way to ease your headache pain, but to get a greater benefit consult with the doctor.

Ignoring your pain can cause significant damage to the tissues of the head and scalp. So, it’s better to go for medical treatment. If you are suffering from long-term headache pain to get back your normal activities without any obstacles you should seek medical treatment.