Almost everybody will experience headaches on the back of head. The cause may be due to a range of lifestyle factors, however frequent headaches are a symptom of something serious.

What are headaches?

Almost everybody will experience headaches on the back of head in their life. The cause may be due to a range of lifestyle factors, however frequent headaches are a symptom of something serious. Many medical doctors and health practitioners see headaches as something minor, despite the fact that millions of people complain of headaches every year. For those suffering with headaches, they understand that the pain can be disabling, impacting work, family life, hobbies, relationships with friends and finances. There are several main types of headaches (cluster headaches, tension headaches, cervicogenic headaches, sinus headaches etc), with pain medication as the most common treatment offered (Read here about, How Our Approach is Different).


headaches on back of head

why do headaches happen?

Headaches can occur in the front, back or sides of the head. They may be more on sided, bilateral or be felt all over. There may be associated symptoms into the neck, shoulders and arms, or even into the face, ears and eyes. There are different types of headaches with different causes.


What are the types of headaches?

The types of headaches are:

1. Primary

These are headaches which are not caused by another underlying disease or condition. Their causes can be linked to pressure on the nerves, blood vessels or muscles in the head and neck. If there is a change in chemical activity in the brain (affecting the nerves) this can also be a cause.

2. Secondary

Secondary headaches are linked to another disease or condition, where headaches are a symptom or by product of that condition. These could be caused by the flu, alcohol, sinusitis, tumours, blood clots, concussion, glaucoma or medications.

Commonly an injury to the top of the neck can damage the nerves that supply the head and neck. Therefore it is logical that correcting the upper neck misalignment (known as a Subluxation) will remove pressure on the Atlanto Occipital Articulation, remove pressure on the cranial and sympathetic nerves and restore normal function.

Headaches on the back of head, side or front may be caused by a combination of factors. This could also include an injury, accident, posture or lifestyle factors. Other symptoms may include; fatigue, vomiting, nausea, visual and concentration problems, tingling or numbness into the arms, neck pain and depression.

To find out more about Headache at the Back of the Head, click here.


While the causes are usually an accumulation of factors, there are some more recognised risk factors for headache attacks:

1. Stress

Stress plays a big factor for most headache patients. When stressed the brain is working harder on mental and emotional tasks. With this reduced capacity, there is less focus on maintaining the body in its healthy balance, including regulation of the muscles and proper nerve function.

2. Head Movements

When moving the head quickly it can irritate the muscles, especially if there is a misalignment (known as a Subluxation) present. When moving too fast it may strain the neck and even incur dizziness and vertigo

This can also occur due to movements of the neck. The nerves in the neck supply information to the head, neck and down the shoulders to the arms. If the neck movement pinches the nerves it may irritate them, triggering a headache. This is particularly likely if there has been a head or neck injury in the medical history.

3. Dehydration

If the patient has not drank enough water, or has had too much alcohol, this can cause a headache. This is a secondary headache. It is due to the brain pulling away from the skull, because of the reduced liquid.

4. Lack of sleep

If the body doesn’t get adequate rest, the immune system will be weakened and the body will not be able to heal itself efficiently.

5. Posture

If more time is spent sitting, standing or hunched forward, all movements will affect the neck and head. With poor posture the head will move forward, increasing the strain on the nerves and muscles of the neck. This will irritate the nerves which supply the head, causing headaches. For every 2cm the head moves forward from neutral, the neck has an increased 5kg of work. 

How are headaches diagnosed?

Diagnosis will first include a medical history and physical examination. This is to help triage the possible types of headaches and exclude serious pathologies, such as tumours. Depending whether suspected to be primary or secondary, the tests will vary. These may include: 

  • X-rays
  • MRIs
  • CT scans
  • Blood work
  • Nerve scans

An x-ray and nerve scans should be taken for all headaches cases to assess the upper neck for its condition and for the presence of Subluxation. 


Current treatment for headaches

Treatment for headaches on the back of head, front or sides is primarily pain medications and muscle relaxants, counselling, pain management and even electronic medical devices.

However, the latest research shows that medication is only a short-term relief and doesn’t address the underlying cause. In fact, research shows that people chronically using pain killers experience more painful headaches in the future. Analysis has revealed that the cause is often problems in the upper neck, irritating the nerves that supply information to the head, neck and face. 

Upper cervical Chiropractic has especially good success with frequent or chronic headaches by focusing on the cause rather than the symptoms. After care, patients are able to decrease, or stop, pain medications; allowing them to return to normal activities and go months without symptoms.


How can chiropractic help headaches?

Chiropractors focus on the nerve system. Upper Cervical specific Chiropractors specialise in the bones in the top part of the neck, known as the Occiput, Atlas and Axis. This is the location of the Atlanto Occipital Articulation, as mentioned above, where Subluxation takes place. 

Studies show that over 90% of headache and migraine sufferers find a solution with Chiropractic. Upper Cervical Chiropractic is especially effective.


At Vitality Chiropractic we specialise in Upper Cervical care. We are the first to bring this technique to South East Asia and the only clinic in Singapore. We use unique computed infrared thermography nerves scans and biomechanical x-rays to accurately diagnose the problem and provide treatment for headachs at the back or head, front or sides.

Our Doctor, Dr Shaan, has undergone post-graduate work, years of experience and has a history of helping patients to treat  headaches. Click Here to Read Reviews or Hear Testimonials from our patients.

Call 8438 9550, email help@vitalitychiropracticcentres.com or fill in your information below to book your appointment.

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