Headaches can vary in frequency from bothersome to severe. They can appear on the head at any location. Headaches causing pain in the back of the head may have a variety of causes. Additional signs may classify many of those causes. These signs include the type of pain felt and other areas where the pain can occur. What causes a headache in the back of the head?

There are a variety of common causes which can cause headaches to develop in the back of the brain. These headaches can induce discomfort in certain areas in certain situations or are caused by other events.

Pain in the back of the head: 5 causes with treatment

The kinds of pain, position and other symptoms you experience will

help the doctor determine what causes and how to treat the headache.

Pain in the back of the head and neck


Inflammation and swelling of the neck can cause arthritis headaches.

Sometimes they inflict pain in the head and neck. Movements usually cause tremendous pain, and any form of arthritis can cause these headaches.

Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are the most severe ones.

Poor posture

Bad posture may also cause back and neck pain. Wrong positioning of your body causes tension of your back, shoulders and arms. And the tension has the potential to induce a headache. At the base of your skull

you may experience a sullen, throbbing sensation.

Herniated disks

Herniated discs can cause back pain and discomfort in the cervical spine (neck). This can lead to a form of headache known as cervicogenic headache.

Usually, the pain originates in the back of the head and is felt. It can be noticed even in the temples or behind the head. Many signs may include pain in the neck or arms.

Cervicogenic headaches may get more intense when lying down. Indeed certain people will wake up because their sleep is disturbed by the pain.

You can even sense a sensation like a weight on the top of your head when you lay back.

Occipital neuralgia

Occipital neuralgia is a condition which occurs when the nerves that run from the spinal cord to the scalp are damaged. It is often associated with migraines. Occipital neuralgia causes intense, aching, throbbing pain that occurs in the neck at the base of the head and progresses toward the scalp.

Some symptoms are:

  • Pressure in the eyes
  • A sharp stabbing pain in the neck and back of the head that feels like an electrical shock
  • Feeling sensitive to light
  • Tender scalp
  • pain as you move your arm

Pain in the back and left side of the head


Migraines may occur anywhere, but they are experienced by many on

the left side of the head or back of the head.

Some symptoms of migraines:

  • Extreme, throbbing pain
  • auras
  • puking
  • nausea
  • Eyes watering
  • Sensitivity to light or even sound

Migraine headaches can start on the left side of the head,

and then travel to the back of the head around the ear.

learn more about how to cure migraine.