Headache-Adviser.com

Occipital Headache

by Irene
(Michigan)

Occipital Pain

Occipital Pain

I have throbbing pains in the back of my head...the headache is made worse by walking but stops when I sit down.

Answer

Hi Irene,

The most common cause of pain that you describe is usually spasms of the large muscles at the back of the head and neck. You can see on the illustration where the red spots are pain.

However, pain that stops when you sit down is a bit different..high blood pressure that is uncontrolled could cause this type of pain with exertion.

There are a few other things that could be happening. We all have blood vessels in the neck. The carotids are in the front and the vertebrals and basilar artery are in the back of the neck and head. If there is a blockage anywhere, with mild exertion you could have pain. As you walk, these arteries open up to get blood to the brain and if it doesn't work then a headache results. Most of the time, dizziness also occurs.

If you are having tinnitus (buzzing or ringing in one ear or both) you need to get to your doctor right away. Rare conditions such as aneurysms or dissections of arteries can have these symptoms.

None the less, please have your doctor check this out as soon as possible, as you may need an MRI of the head and the neck.

Good luck!
Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask The Expert.

Occipital Headache

by Kristy
(CA)

Normal CT Brain

Normal CT Brain

A patient had a really bad headache confined to the back of the head. CT negative. Responded to 1 dose of imitrex subQ sent home from ER. Went to sleep and woke up with another bad headache. Did respond to excedrin OTC. What could this be from. Can we safely say its a migraine?

Answer

Hi Kristy,

Without more information it is hard to say. I am assuming the physical exam was normal if the person was discharged from the ER.

One thing to be careful about is the atypical nature of the headache. True migraine is throbbing at the temples, around the eyes and has nausea and maybe vomiting. Pain in the back of the head could be related to the vertebral or basilar arterties.

If this patient came to our practice we probably would do an MRI and MRA just to view the arteries. If all is normal then perhaps it was an atypical migraine.

Cervicogenic headache is not on the list here, as those headaches do not respond to Imitrex.

Hope this helps..
Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask The Expert.



Does the scenerio above sound like you? If not, or if you think you need more information please read about different types of headaches to find out which type of headache you are experiencing.

Sign up for the Headache Adviser Newsletter for the latest updates in headache medicine.

Enter your E-mail Address

Enter your First Name (optional)

Then

Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Headache-Adviser Newsletter.



Sign up for the RSS feed..it's free!


XML RSS
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Add to Google


Are you having headaches and neck pain?

I use only one pillow personally..The Chiroflow Pillow


mediflow pillow

Purchase one of the BEST pillows for neck pain, and start having a great nights sleep!




Sign up for the RSS feed..it's free!


XML RSS
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Add to Google

Protected by Copyscape Online Plagiarism Test





| Homepage |Written by | Privacy Policy | Medical Disclaimer|

Copyright© 2007-2012 Information Enterprises, LLC. The information on this website is for educational purposes only. See your doctor for headache treatment.