There are many causes for headaches, and regardless the cause, they can range from slightly annoying to totally disruptive in how severe they can become, to the point that it can be dangerous to drive or do certain types of jobs that require focus.

Headaches can also appear in different parts of your head, such as pain in the back of your head, neck and back of head, or in the sides of your head, and each of these have different symptoms.

Neck and back of head

These can be brought on by a three primary reasons, such as Arthritis caused by inflammation and swelling. Poor Posture is also a major cause of pain in the back of your head due to poor body positioning in your shoulders, neck and back. And herniated discs in the spine can cause tension and neck pain, which can often also be felt behind the eyes or in the temple. Often these headaches can actually worsen when lying down, disrupting your sleep.

Right Side and back of the head

These are usually caused by tension, and result in a tightness of the scalp or neck.

Left Side and back of head

This is usually identified as a migraine headache, and while they can appear at any location, most people will experience them on the left side of the head.

Pain in the back of your head when lying down

These are often referred to as Cluster Headaches, and while not common, they are very painful. The reason they call them cluster headaches is due to the wave of attacks the person experiences.

Some symptoms associated with cluster headaches can include:

  • Nausea
  • Blocked nose
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Restlessness
  • Drooping eyelid
  • Sharp, burning pain

There are three main classifications for headaches:

Primary headaches
Migraine; tension-type headache; cluster headache and other trigeminal autonomic cephalgias; other primary headaches.

Secondary headaches
Headache attributed to head or neck trauma; headache attributed cranial or vascular headache; headache attributed to non-vascular intracranial disorder; headache attributed to substance or its withdrawal; headache attributed to infection; headache or facial pain attributed to disorder of the cranium, neck, eyes, ears, nose, sinuses, teeth, mouth or other facial or cranial structures; headache attributed to psychiatric disorders.

Cranial Neuralgias
Central and Primary Facial Pain and Other Headaches: Cranial neuralgias and central causes of facial pain; other headache, cranial neuralgia, central or primary facial pain.

When is the best time to see a headache expert

While most headaches are usually temporary, and often a cause of something above or factors such as dehydration or general injury, it is advised that you see a specialist if the headache persists more than a couple of days, or your headaches start to interfere with your daily activities.

If you experience a severe headache worse than usually, or one of your headaches becomes progressively worse rather than getting better it is also worth visiting Spinal Care to ensure it is nothing more serious.

If you suffer from headaches contact Dr George Hardas in Sydney for a consultation.