Besides being a common health complaint, headaches can be quite complex to figure out. This is because there are many types of headaches. One example is the headache on top of the head. Many people who experience it note that they feel excruciating pain and pressure on the topmost portion of their heads. Some also experience additional symptoms such as sensory sensitivity.
So what causes this? Is it something you should worry about? Does it require emergency medical assistance? Learn what it means to have a headache on top of your head in our blog post below.
Possible Explanations Behind a Headache On Top Of The Head
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all explanation behind a recurring headache on top of the head. That’s why it pays to know why it occurs in the first place. Here are the most likely reasons for the torturous pain you feel on top of your head.
Migraine is a complex neurological problem that causes many symptoms, including headaches. Many Americans complain about it every year because each episode has a debilitating effect on the body. You can quickly distinguish it from the rest of the primary headaches because it causes throbbing pain on one side of the head. Additionally, it triggers a plethora of additional problems ranging from tunnel vision to unexplainable fatigue and lethargy.
Did you know that about 1 out of 10 American adults experiences cluster headaches each year? It’s a widespread problem that primarily affects working professionals in their 20s to 40s. Some studies theorize that this type of headache originates from sudden changes in the trigeminal nerve and the cranial and facial blood vessels. It causes clusters or groups of headaches that can last from a few days to a couple of months.
Excessive muscle contraction in the head often leads to a tension headache. Sometimes, the painful sensation only affects the topmost portion of the head. It can also cause discomfort on the neck or shoulder blades. Patients who experience tension headaches note that their pain feels dull and only lasts for more than six hours.
An ice-cream headache or brain freeze causes quick bouts of pain on top of the head. It happens because of the rapid constriction and dilation of the capillaries while you eat cold food and breathe in warm air. This type of headache only lasts for a few seconds.
Lack of sleep
Sleep deprivation often leads to a plethora of health problems. One example of a symptom that it triggers or aggravates is a headache on top of the head. It appears that sleep deprivation decreases your body’s pain threshold, making you more vulnerable to headaches and migraine attacks.
Have you ever experienced a piercing or electric shock-like head, neck, and ear pain during a headache episode? Chances are, you have occipital neuralgia, a condition that develops when you have damaged nerves on your scalp due to compression or pinching. The current estimates suggest that about 3 out of 100,000 patients in the US develop this nerve pinching problem.
Intense physical activities can also lead to the onset of headaches on the topmost part of your head. Doctors and researchers refer to it as exercise headaches. Quite possibly, this occurs because of the sudden influx of blood in the brain because of the increased movement.
Besides the factors we listed above, there are other potential reasons why you experience pain and pressure on the top of your head. Doctors note that these could develop if you have pre-existing health problems such as intracranial hypertension, brain tumor, stroke, and reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS).
If you think your headaches happen because of another possibly detrimental health problem, we strongly recommend consulting your physician.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Adjustments for Headaches Relief
Persistent headaches on the top of the head can be a source of frustration and disability. It can also trigger anxiety, especially if your symptoms seem to get worse over time.
Most people who have headaches on top of the head find relief from taking pain relievers or NSAIDs. After all, it remains one of the fastest ways to get rid of the symptoms like headaches.
On the one hand, some people prefer handling their pain more naturally. So they tap into remedies like upper cervical care, a chiropractic technique that puts a strong emphasis on restoring cervical spine alignment.
During your consultation, an upper cervical chiropractic practitioner checks for misalignments in your atlas and axis bones. Essentially, these two topmost bones support the head and encase the brainstem. When they shift from their position even by a tiny fraction, you become susceptible to developing problems like headaches.
Cervical subluxation impedes the natural flow of information to and from your nervous system. This often results in pain and other unpleasant symptoms like a headache on top of the head.
Thankfully, upper cervical care aims to restore balance in your cervical spine. The careful and precise adjustments allow the bones to return to their original alignment and restore normal brain signal transmission.
Want to learn more about a holistic way to resolve and prevent a headache on top of the head? We recommend talking to a nearby upper cervical care doctor to learn more about your C1 and C2 bones today!