What causes throbbing in the back of the head? Is it a serious situation? When should you see a doctor? How does it go? You can find the answers to all these questions and much more below.
Headache and throbbing
A throbbing sensation, including a throbbing headache in the back of the head, is a symptom often associated with headaches, a common medical condition. Because when you have a headache, blood rushes to the affected area of the head to solve the problem. The throbbing is caused by the dilation of your blood vessels due to the increased blood flow. The throbbing often feels like a pulsating sensation and can come and go quickly. The throbbing in your head can also feel like a vibration or mimic a heartbeat.
Most of the time, headaches and throbbing are just a temporary nuisance and can be treated at home. However, some headaches may have more serious causes, such as a stroke, brain tumor, or meningitis. For these reasons, it is important to consult a doctor if you have headaches that do not go away or that get worse.
Throbbing pain in the top of the head
Migraine is the most common cause of throbbing pain at the top of the head . It can cause headaches and throbbing sensations, as well as nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light or sound. While some migraines go away on their own after a while, in some severe attacks, you may need to take the drugs prescribed by your doctor.
Throbbing pain in the forehead area
Migraines can also cause a throbbing pain in your forehead . Another cause of throbbing pain in the forehead is a condition known as temporal arteritis. Temporal arteritis occurs as a result of inflammation in your temporal arteries.
Throbbing pain on the right or left side of the head
While migraines affect many areas of the head, they can only affect one side of your head, namely the right or left side of your head. In rarer cases, another cause of throbbing pain on one side of your head may be hemicrania continua. Hemicrania continua is a type of severe headache. The severity of this type of headache is usually constant.
Throbbing pain behind the eye
A throbbing headache behind the eyes may be caused by a type of headache called cluster headaches. Cluster headaches usually occur with a burning sensation, but throbbing may also be a symptom. Cluster headaches are painful, usually come on suddenly and can last for several months.
Throbbing headache on standing
Throbbing and headache when standing may be due to a rare condition known as low pressure headache. Low pressure means, The medical name for this condition is spontaneous intracranial hypotension (low blood pressure). This type of headache is rare and worsens when you stand up and usually goes away when you lie down.
Throbbing pain in the back of the head
Occipital neuralgia is the most common type of throbbing pain in the back of the head . Occipital neuralgia is a condition caused by damaged nerves running from the spinal cord to the scalp and is often confused with migraine. This condition results in a sharp, aching or throbbing pain that starts at the base of the head and travels to the scalp. Occipital neuralgia can also cause pain behind the eyes.
Treatment of throbbing headache
How to treat a throbbing headache depends on the underlying cause of your pain. Depending on the cause, possible treatments include:
- Occipital neuralgia:
Treatments for this condition include heat therapy, massage, pain medications, and prescription muscle relaxants. Your doctor may also prescribe stronger medications if needed.
For mild migraines, over-the-counter pain relievers may work for you. For migraines, your doctor may also prescribe ergotamines, triptans, and even opioids.
- Cluster headaches:
Those who experience cluster headaches can often feel relief with pure oxygen therapy. Triptan nasal spray or DHE injections may also help. A topical capsaicin cream can also be applied directly to the painful area. Preventive options include corticosteroids, calcium channel blockers, melatonin, and nerve blockers.
- Temporal arteritis:
This condition that causes tissue damage cannot be fully cured, so current treatment focuses on minimizing tissue damage. In this case, your doctor may prescribe oral corticosteroids.
- Hemocrania continua :
The most common drug for hemocrania continua is indomethacin. Alternatively, your doctor may prescribe celecoxib. As a preventative measure, she may also prescribe a prescription antidepressant such as amitriptyline or other tricyclic antidepressants. If other treatment methods are not successful, nerve blocks can be used.
- Low-pressure headache :
According to the journal Emergency Medicine , this rare condition has been treated with bed rest, caffeine, and steroids. An epidural blood patch may also be a treatment option.
Remember, your doctor will decide which medicine to take and how.
When should you see a doctor?
If frequent or severe headaches are affecting you, it’s time to see a doctor. Your doctor can give tips or prescribe medications that can help you manage symptoms. Throbbing headaches can also be a symptom of other medical conditions. Because of all these, it is important to diagnose the underlying causes of headaches.
You should contact your doctor if:
- If you are experiencing a new type of headache and are 50 years of age or older
- If you have a major change in the pattern of your headaches
- If you have cancer
- If you have a weak immune system
You should seek emergency medical help if:
- If you have a headache after a fall or injury
- If your pain is not responding to treatment
- If you have a headache with fever or rash
- If you have eye problems such as double vision
- If you have difficulty speaking
- If you have confusion or memory loss
- If you are experiencing personality changes
- If the headache increases with movement or coughing
- If the headache is getting worse
- If you have eye redness or bleeding
- If your headache hits your eyes
- If your headache is extremely severe
As a result
A headache, especially a throbbing headache, can be painful and distressing. In some cases, it can even affect your quality of life. There are many causes of a throbbing headache. Most of the time, it is possible to treat your headache once the cause has been found. For this reason, you should not skip a visit to your doctor so that you can get the right treatment and identify the underlying cause.