Tension headaches in the back of the head — four potential causes

Tension Headache in the Back of the Head

Recurring tension headaches can represent a serious drain on your productivity and well-being. While some people get them on the forehead or the top of the head, another common complaint is tension headaches that develop in the back of the head. If you’re dealing with headaches that develop on a regular basis, you should seek diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. 

It can sometimes be difficult to determine the underlying cause of tension headaches, which is why it’s so important to take a proactive role in your care. You can give your doctor key information to work with by being proactive and writing down your specific symptoms, the times of day they’re more likely to occur and the activities that seem to trigger them. 

Educating yourself on potential causes can also be illuminating, which is why we created the following guide. We’re always here to help. If you’d like to learn more about potential causes and treatment options for tension headaches, feel free to reach out. 

Be aware of these causes of tension headaches back of the head

Tension headaches are typically caused by muscle tension in the head that can be painful in and of itself but also cause constricted blood flow to the brain. If this pain is primarily felt in the back of the head, the upper neck muscles are a likely source of the tension. Here are some of the potential causes that can trigger a headache here: 

  1. Stress — Pressure from a deadline or receiving bad news can cause us to tense up in different places without really being aware of it. Not taking time to relax can lead to the development of tension headaches.
  2. Dehydration and poor nutrition — Our muscles and connective tissue need water and nutrients to function properly. Not getting enough water or skipping meals are common culprits for tension headaches in any location. 
  3. Posture — When staring at a computer or phone screen, our necks are often craned at in an awkward position that puts stress on the back of the head. This phenomenon, referred to as “text neck,” can be a frequent cause of tension headaches, particularly stemming from the back of the head. 
  4. Neck injury — There can be a number of neck injuries that contribute to these types of tension headaches, including whiplash, muscle strains and spine conditions. 

Physical therapy for tension headache relief

When you meet with a physical therapist, he or she can perform a thorough evaluation to determine the physical factors that can lead to tension headaches in the back of the head. With this information, you and your therapist can develop a comprehensive action plan for relief. 

Continuum Wellness specializes in individualized care for a wide range of injuries and conditions, including tension headaches. To learn more about our treatment options and our highly trained staff, contact us today.