Headaches can come in many different forms, but today we’re going to focus on headaches and pain that develops seemingly in the back of your head. This discomfort can develop for a number of different reasons, and determining the underlying cause is the only way to treat the root problem. Below, we take a closer look at why you may be experiencing pain in the back of your head, and how the condition is treated.
Causes Of Pain In The Back Of Your Head
Headaches that cause pain in the back of your head can be caused by a number of different factors. Some of the more common causes include:
Bad Posture – Poor posture can create tension in your back, shoulder or cervical spine. This tension can lead to the onset of a tension headache in the back of your head. Headaches caused by poor posture can usually be felt near the base of the skull.
Arthritis – Arthritis can cause inflammation and swelling in the cervical portion of your spine. This often results in the onset of a headache at the back of the head and neck. These are most common with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.
Herniated Discs – If you have a herniated disc in the cervical portion of your spine, this can lead to inflammation or compression in the area. This can cause what’s known as a cervicogenic headache, which may seem like it’s developing behind your eyes or temples. If the headache gets worse when lying down, this might be what you’re dealing with.
Occipital Neuralgia – This is a condition categorized by damage to the nerve that runs from the spinal cord to the scalp. It is often misdiagnosed as a migraine because it can cause sharp or throbbing pain at the base of the head that seemingly moves toward the scalp.
Treating Pain In The Back Of The Head
As we mentioned above, treatment involves figuring out the underlying cause of pain. Your neurologist can conduct a number of different physical or imaging tests in order to get a handle on what might be causing your pain. If one of the above causes is the source of your discomfort, here’s how it may be treated:
Bad Posture – Over the counter anti-inflammatory medications, posture improvements, spatial awareness training and making some adjustments to your work desk or car seat so that your back isn’t in a bad position when you’re seated for long periods are common treatment methods.
Arthritis – If your head pain is being caused by arthritis, your neurospecialist will likely prescribe anti-inflammatory medications and heat therapy to reduce the onset of inflammation.
Herniated Disc – Management of pain caused by a herniated disc focuses on attempting to shift the disc back to a healthy position. This is usually done with physical therapy, controlled exercise, stretching techniques, epidural injections or a minimally invasive surgical operation to remove the damaged disc.
Occipital Neuralgia – Occipital Neuralgia can be treated with a combination of anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, massage therapy, muscle relaxers or local pain injections.
Treatment is determined on an individual basis, so if you are dealing with pain in the back of your head, contact Dr. Chang’s office so you can get a diagnosis and begin treating the underlying cause. Click here to contact his office.