Headache on Top of Head Main Causes Symptoms & Treatment
9 September 2022

Headache on Top of Head: Main Causes Symptoms & Treatment

You know it is not fun to feel pain in your head. A headache can be felt on the top of your head as throbbing pain, or pressure in the crown. Although headaches above the head are not life-threatening, they can be very disruptive and painful. Continue reading to find out more about headaches and what you can do to prevent them from happening.

Headaches on the Top of The Head

Although it is easy to spot a headache, you may be surprised at some of the symptoms that can affect your senses and reach the neck.

What are the symptoms of a headache above the head? A headache above the head can be described as:

  • Constant or throbbing head pain
  • Tightening sensation
  • Pressurization
  • Neck pain
  • Jaw pain

Sensitivity to light and noise

Although patients won’t feel all these symptoms, they will experience some pain at the top. Patients may feel pain in the other side or back of their heads. Ice pick headaches can also be experienced by some patients.

Common Headaches

Headaches can be caused by many things, including pain at the top or side of the head. One or more of these possible causes may be present. Sometimes it is difficult to pinpoint the root cause of headaches.

These are the main causes of headaches on the top of your head:

  • Sleep deprivation
  • Teeth grinding
  • Overusing pain relievers
  • Caffeine
  • Poor posture
  • Head injury
  • Blood vessel constriction

Sleep Deprivation

People who are experiencing headaches often lose sleep. Frequent headaches are a sign of many sleep disorders. A nap or going to bed can help to relieve some headaches.

Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Grinding your teeth (also known as bruxism) is a major cause of headaches. People with bruxism grind their teeth while they sleep. This affects the muscles and bones of the jaw, skull, and joints. It can also lead to headaches in adults.

Overusing Pain Relievers

A rebound headache, also known as a medication overuse headache, can be caused by overusing prescription or over-the-counter pain relievers. These headaches are common in patients who use medication for recurrent headaches for a prolonged period.


Rebound headaches can also be caused by too much caffeine, especially if you are used to drinking it every day or trying to cut down on how much you consume. Too much or too little caffeine can lead to headaches.

Poor posture

Your posture could be the cause of your headaches, especially if your computer is in front of you all day. Headaches can be caused by a forward-looking posture that puts too much stress on your neck muscles and bones.

Head Injury

No matter how severe the head injury is headaches can be intermittent or persistent. Evidence suggests that chronic headaches can be more common in those with minor head injuries.

Constriction of Blood Vessels

Pain at the top of the head can also be caused by blood vessels constricting in the brain and head. These headaches can sometimes be caused by reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS), a rare condition often referred to as thunderclap headaches.

What can cause your head to hurt at the top?

Your head can hurt from migraines, bruxism, and certain medications.

Six Types of Headaches on Top of the Head

There are many types of headaches that you might feel on the top of your head. These headaches aren’t dangerous but can be very painful. Sometimes, headaches such as tension, migraine, or cluster headaches can be caused by a headache disorder.

Here are some ways to tell which type of headache you have:

  • Tension Headaches Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. These can be caused by poor posture or spinal alignment. This can cause muscle tension to travel up to the top of the head.
  • Migraine Headaches – Migraines can be described as severe headaches, which feel like a throbbing sensation on one side of your head. Migraines can occur with or without auras, visual and auditory disturbances. Many sufferers are sensitive to loud and light sounds.
  • Cluster Headaches – Cluster headaches can feel like severe pain behind one’s eye. They often accompany nasal congestion and watery vision. These headaches can last for several weeks or months before they stop.
  • Sinus Headaches – Sinus headaches can feel severe in the sinus area, jaws and cheeks. Sometimes, sinus headache sufferers also experience pain at the top.
  • Hypertension Headaches – Hypertension headaches are caused by high blood pressure. This causes pressure to rise around the brain, which can cause pain. Hypertension headaches may be a sign of serious high blood pressure. If you experience a severe headache, get medical attention immediately.
  • Occipital Neuralgia – The occipital nerves are nerves that run from the spinal cord to the top of your head. Sometimes these nerves can become inflamed. This is called occipital neuroglia. This pain is often described as a piercing or throbbing sensation.

different types of headaches

Treatment of a Headache on the Top of the Head

You don’t have headaches all the time. There are many effective ways to treat headache pain and prevent future headaches.

Conventional Treatment

Over-the-counter pain relief medications like acetaminophen are the most common treatment for headaches above the head. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, muscle relaxants and triptans (Imitrex and Zomig, Relpax, and other similar drugs) are also very popular.

Although these drugs are effective, they can also cause side effects. Some can interact with antidepressants and other medications. You can also get a massage or a warm shower and a change of posture.

Chiropractic Medical Care

Chiropractic care is a natural treatment for headaches that doesn’t require taking any drugs. Poor posture and neck positioning are the main causes of headaches. Chiropractic care can help align your spine. Many headaches are caused by problems with your cervical spine.

Head pain is strongly connected to the upper cervical spine, which is the top two vertebrae, and the occipital bones, the bone at the base of the skull. A chiropractor is a great way to treat chronic headaches. You won’t feel any side effects, and there are no drug interactions.

Chiropractic Adjustments

Chiropractic neck and back adjustments can be very effective in treating headaches. The chiropractic neck adjustments align your upper cervical spine, which helps eliminate headaches.

Eliminate Triggers that Cause Headaches  

Certain triggers can cause headaches such as hormones, food, or alcohol. Each person’s headache triggers can be different so it might take some trial and error to discover yours.

These are the best ways to get rid of headache triggers:

  • Caffeine: Be consistent with your caffeine intake. It’s easy to get headaches by drinking more or less caffeine than usual. Keep your caffeine intake steady and don’t stop taking caffeine abruptly.
  • Sleep: A lack of sleep can cause headaches. Get enough sleep each night to protect your brain and your overall health. Here are the best sleeping positions.
  • Stress reduction: Stress can cause major headaches. Find stress relief strategies that work for your needs. Exercise, yoga, meditation, and time spent with loved ones can help to reduce stress.
  • Limit your alcohol intake: Drinking excessive alcohol can cause headaches. Consider reducing your alcohol intake or eliminating alcohol if you get headaches from drinking.

How Can You Relieve a Headache from the Top of Your Skull?

A headache on your top can be treated immediately with medication or acupuncture. Chiropractic treatment may also help address the root cause.

How can you treat a headache that is causing your head to throes? A chiropractor can help you align your neck to relieve a headache that keeps coming up. The uppermost vertebrae should be the focus of your chiropractor.

When to See a Doctor

Sometimes headaches above the head may be due to serious medical conditions such as an aneurysm, tumors, or other medical issues. However, it is very rare. For medical advice, go to the emergency department if you experience a severe headache.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to seek immediate medical attention:

  • Severe headaches that come on quickly
  • A severe headache and stiff neck can be accompanied by a stiff neck.
  • You lose consciousness
  • One or both of your eyes is not working properly.

Your Headache Can be Caused by Head Trauma

If you have nausea, vomiting, or dizziness that is not improving after trying other treatments or medication, consult your doctor immediately.

What does it mean to have pressure on the top of your head?

If you feel pressure at the top or sides of your head, it is a sign that you have tension headaches. Contact your healthcare provider if you have severe symptoms or are concerned about the severity of the condition.

Clarendon Hills, IL Headache Relief

I can help you if you are tired of suffering from chronic headaches, headache pain, or reaching for the pill box every time you get a headache. Clarendon Chiropractic is proud to make our patients feel extremely comfortable and welcome.

Click here to make an appointment and discuss your headaches. I am looking forward to meeting you and helping to end your headaches.


Posted by ccadmin


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