Headache Top Of The Head | An Overview

Learn From Doctor Team
Learn From Doctor Team is made up of well-qualified doctors of different fields with brilliant academic results and professional careers. The article is written and reviewed by doctors of this specialty.

Headache Top Of The Head

Headache on top of the head can be classified as primary or secondary, it depends on the underlying causes. The underlying cause for a secondary headache can be structural, infective, inflammatory, or vascular conditions.

We doctors can classify the headache in many ways and differentiate it. But what about the non-medical person. They can just feel the pain in some specific area of the head or multiple areas. How can they know, what happened to them? So, here I am to answer some basic questions.

If you feel headache on the top of the head, there can be one or multiple cause beneath it.

let us dive deep into it;

Tension-type of headache

It is the most common type of headache. Most of the people who are suffering from headaches are actually suffering from this type of headache.

Tension headache is not completely understood. Emotions and anxiety are the most common precipitants and there is sometimes more associated depressive illness. Anxiety about the headache top of the head or some other area itself may cause the continuation of symptoms and patients often become convinced of a very severe underlying condition. Muscular spasms may worsen this in some of the patients.

The character of tension headache

  • The pain of tension headache is usually characterized as dull, tight or like pressure.
  • There may be a sensation of a band around the head.
  • Pain in the top of the head

Tension headache has generalized and constant character but still, sometimes pain radiates from the back of the head. The pain is maybe less noticeable when the person is working or ignoring the headache. This headache is less severe or painful in the early part of the day. But it becomes unbearable as the day goes on. Sometimes you may feel tenderness on the top of the head in this type of headache.


The treatment of tension headaches cannot be only some medicines. There are some procedures and steps that have to be followed by the patient. Few may need analgesics, others may need physiotherapy for muscle relaxation and stress relaxation. Few patients need psychotherapy to get rid of tension and anxiety. It depends on the condition of the patient.

Read Complete Headache Chart

Headache top of the head

Migraine type of headache

Migraine usually appears before middle age; it affects about 20% of females and 6% of males at some point in life. Some patients assume that migraine is a term encompassing any severe headache but it has a characteristic presentation, discussed below.

The character of migraine pain

The exact cause of migraine is unknown. But there are some research and evidence about the cause and aggregating factors of it.

Migraine headache is usually a severe and throbbing type, with photophobia, phonophobia and vomiting. That lasts from 4 to 72 hours. Any kind of movement makes the pain worse and patients prefer to lie alone in a quiet, dark room.

Extra care should be taken in ascribing the cause of an individual’s limb weakness or isolated aura without headache to migraine. In such cases, other structural disorders of the brain, or even focal epilepsy, need to think about. In some of the patients, the symptoms of the classic migraine do not resolve, leaving more permanent neurological disturbance. This persistent aura (known as classic migraine) may occur with or without evidence of brain infarction. About 20% of patients experience aura.

In female patients the frequency of migraine attacks at a certain points influenced by the menstrual cycle and hormonal changes. estrogen-progesterone-containing oral contraception pill sometimes exacerbates migraine and increases the small risk of stroke in patients who is suffering

from migraine with aura. Doctors and patients often overestimate the role of dietary precipitants such as cheese, red meat, chocolates, or red wine. When psychological factors contribute more, the migraine attack often occurs after a period of stress. Being more likely at the end of the week.

Treatment procedure

The best and sometimes only treatment of migraine is avoidance of the influencing factors. In minor(acute) attack doctor prescribe OTC drugs such as aspirin, paracetamol, NSAID. If attacks are frequent (more than 3-4 months) then you may need antidepressants. The hormones those are responsible for migraine headache should be controlled by drugs. Oral contraceptive pills should be replaced by other methods.

Sitting or lying in quite dark room may give you some quick relief.

Some people get confused about migraine and tension headaches. Learn about Migraine vs Tension Headache

Medication overuse can cause headache

Nowadays people take over-the-counter painkillers without hesitating. This is becoming a reason behind the pain on the top of the head and other areas. This is more associated with migraine and tension headache. Those who take painkillers for 10-15 days in a month, you may be suffering from headache because of these painkillers side effects.

Possible treatment can be the withdrawal of the responsible painkillers or medicines; patients should be warned that the initial side effect will increase the headache. Migraine prophylactics may be helpful in reducing the rebound headaches sometimes. In severe cases, hospital admission is required.

Cluster headaches (also known as migrainous neuralgia) are much less common than migraines. male predominance is seen in this type of headache and onset is usually in the third decade.

The exact cause of this headache is unknown but few studies have shown that this headache is different from classic migraine and more common in male smokers.

Cluster headache is very periodic in nature, featuring identical headaches beginning at the same hour for weeks at a time (the eponymous ‘cluster’). Patients may experience either one or multiple attacks within a 24-hour period. Cluster headache causes severe, one-sided pain behind the eye with autonomic features, The pain, though severe, is characteristically short (30–90 minutes). In contrast to the behavior of those with migraines, patients are often highly agitated during the headache period. The cluster period is typically a few weeks, followed by remission for months to years, but a small number of patients do not experience remission.

Treatment procedure

An acute attack can be treated by certain subcutaneous injections and 100% oxygen inhalation. The severe attack does not reduce with migraine therapies. Then you need special medical attention.

Read Headache From Heater

Sleep deprivation headache

When you don’t sleep enough (6-8 hours peacefully a day) you may suffer from this type of headache. It feels like a dull and heavy pressure on the top of the head. You may feel dizziness along with headache on the top of the head.

Brain freeze headache

This happens when you eat a large piece of cold ice cream or a large sip of cold drink. Very sharp pain felt on the top of the head for a few seconds.

This type of headache is not a big issue but still you should avoid those habits.

Occipital neuralgia

We have 12 pairs of spinal nerves. One pair of them named occipital nerve. It runs from the spine through the scalp of the head. So when it gets irritated or damaged it causes this type of headache and felt in the top of the head. Sometimes you may feel a band around your head too.

Doctors find out the cause beneath the irritation or damaged nerve then repair it.

Sinus headache

In sinusitis, you may feel headache due to infection on the sinus. It’ll go away when you treated properly the sinusitis.

Secondary Headaches

Secondary headaches are also responsible for headache

Secondary headache means other physiological or pathological conditions causing your headache. Head injury, hypertension, fever, emotional conditions can be the common reason for secondary headache.

Don’t get panicked if you have a headache. But also don’t ignore it when it’s very intense. If you feel a sudden headache, difficulty in movement, speech problem, please don’t late to be hospitalized. There are symptoms of brain stroke.

Emergency symptoms  present with headache top of the head when you need to be emergency hospitalized

  • Sudden intense headache
  • Blurry vision
  • Stiff neck
  • Face dropping
  • Eyelid dropping
  • Pass out

Last Updated on February 23, 2022 by Learn From Doctor Team

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