Headache When Lying Down

Pain developing from any part of the head is referred to as headache. This ache that could be felt on one side or both sides at the very same time might be sharp, throbbing or dull in nature, radiating from one point to another or being localized to one particular site. You may experience headache on standing or a stress in headache when lying down. Headaches can be unexpected and sharp in beginning, or begin slowly and may last an hour or for weeks.

Main Causes and Treatments for Headaches When Lying Down

You may experience headache when lying down. But why and how can you get relief from that annoying headache? Let’s throw some light on different causes and treatment.

1. Cluster Headache

The most painful, unusual but not dangerous kind of headache gets its name from the cyclic pattern/clusters when it occurs. The phase of regular attacks, or called cluster period, corresponds from period to duration lasting from weeks to months and is usually followed by a remission phase where headaches vanish completely that can last years too.

Symptoms: With cluster headache, you might experience excruciating unexpected pain which is usually situated around one eye but can radiate to neck, face and other regions of head. Symptoms of this headache may also consist of

  • Sharp, permeating and burning pain
  • Restlessness
  • Queasiness
  • Extreme tearing
  • Soreness in the affected eye
  • Swollen around the affected eye
  • Stuffy nose
  • Sweaty and pale skin, particularly the face
  • Sagging eyelid
  • Irritation in headache when lying down
  • Level of sensitivity to light, noise and aura (on one side mainly).

Treatment can reduce the frequency, period and seriousness of attacks, but the condition itself is challenging to treat because of its unexpected onset and end. Acute treatments for cluster headaches consist of:

Breathe in 100% oxygen by means of a mask with a minimum rate of at least 12 liters per minutes
Use medications like triptans, octreotide, anesthetics and dihydroergotamine.

2. Brain Tumor Headache

Brain tumor is a mass of cells growing at an unusually high rate.

Symptoms and signs brought on by brain tumor headache greatly depend on its size, rate of growth and site, but it usually causes

  • Beginning of headaches or headaches when lying down
  • Headaches that change patterns or become regular and severe slowly
  • Seizures
  • Queasiness and vomiting
  • Vision and hearing problems
  • Balance and speech difficulties
  • Loss of sensation gradually
  • Character and behavior modifications

Treatment of this kind of headaches includes treating the underlying causes, which might include:

  • Surgery can be performed if the tumor is available and can be separated from the normal tissues totally. This alone has a significant effect on signs and symptoms.
  • Other treatment choices include radiation therapy, radiosurgery, chemotherapy and targeted drug therapy.
headache lay down gets worse

headache when laying down gets worse…

3. Cervicogenic headache

A headache developing in the region of neck is called cervicogenic headache.

Symptoms of this type of headache are:

  • Headache when lying down or pain on one side of the head and neck
  • Range of neck movement is decreased.
  • Specific neck motions tend to set off the headache.
  • There may be pain in shoulder or arm on the exact same side.
  • One might likewise experience queasiness, vomiting, photophobia and phonophobia.

Treatment: Unlike other types of headaches, treatments play a very important role in alleviating this kind of headache:

  • Physical therapy is the first line of treatment in cervicogenic headaches.
  • If this does not work as well, then your health care service provider might recommend an anesthetic injected into the neck or steroids.
  • Radiofrequency neurotomy might be used. It includes transmission of rays through needles to the afflicted nerves that create heat, which is responsible for shutting down the nerve that brings the pain signals.

Other treatments are biofeedback, relaxation, cognitive behavioral therapy
Surgery is an option when all else has failed.

4. Tension Headache

It is the most common type of headache identified by a moderate to moderate diffuse pain and often explained by patients as a tight-band like probing the head. Episodic and chronic are two types of tension headaches.

Symptoms of this type of headache consist of:

  • Dull pain and headache when lying down
  • Tight band like experience throughout the forehead or on the sides and back of head
  • Inflammation in neck, scalp and shoulder muscles.

Treatment: While a modification in routines in addition to lifestyle modification does wonders in alleviating this headache, people usually choose over-the-counter medications and seek no medical recommendations but repeated use of OTC medications could cause overuse headache. So, take the following medications as advised to treat stress headache:

  • Pain relievers like aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen have the tendency to be the first line of treatment.
  • Combination medications may be more reliable than single-ingredient medication. For instance, aspirin or/and acetaminophen can be integrated with a sedative or caffeine in a single drug.
  • Triptans and narcotics are particularly beneficial in patients struggling with tension headache and migraines.
  • Narcotics nevertheless are hardly ever used.

5. Sinus Headache

An enhanced pressure in sinuses due to infection or inflammation may cause sinus headache:

Regardless of the underlying pathology, a sinus headache has the following signs and symptoms:

  • Pain and a sense of fullness or pressure in cheeks, eyebrow or forehead
  • Headache when lying down or when bending forwards
  • Tiredness
  • Stuffy nose
  • Pain and discomfort in upper gums and teeth.

Treatment: You can take the following medications to treat sinus headache:

  • Pain relievers like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen
  • Triptans, like sumatriptan (Imitrex) or naratriptan (Amerge) can promote blood vessel constriction and block pain pathways in brain.
  • Ergots tend to be more reliable in patients with pain lasting more than 72 hours
  • Anti-nausea medications like chlorpromazine are practical, as migraines are often accompanied with queasiness too. Since sinus headache and migraines typically overlaps, this medication can assist treat sinus headache.
  • Glucocorticoids when used with other medicine further eliminate pain however should not be used often for dangers of steroid toxicity.



Updated: August 17, 2016 — 3:49 am

The Author

Reyus Mammadli

Healthy lifestyle advisor. Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.
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