33 answers

Son Complaining of Head Pain in the Back of His Head.

Hello, my 7 year old has been complaining of headahces for a while now. (No other symptoms.) I give him Tylenol or Motrin and it goes away. The weird thing about it is that the pain is in the back of his head. I have headaches often as well as mensrual headahces but the pain is usually in the forehead or temples, not the back of my head. A couple of times he woke up crying in the night with these "headaches." He usually wants an ice pack on it and I give him Motrin, Advil, or Tylenol and they go away. I mentioned them to the pediatrician and they want me to keep a diary of how often these happen. Usually it is about once a month. Has anyone experienced anything like this before or know what might be causing pain in the back of the head. I have had his eyes tested and his vision is fine. Thanks!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wanted to let everyone know hat happened with my sons MRI. Brain is fine. MRI did show sinusitis. So the diagnosis for the headaches- nocturnal migraines and sinusitis. Thank goodness! Thanks again for all your responses....

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My five year old has been complaining of headaches the last 4 months or so. I don't think they were always in the back of the head but sometimes they were. I brought him to a pediatric eye doctor and found out he needs glasses. That's is more than likely the cause of his headaches. He just got the glasses yesterday so I can't tell yet if it's making a difference.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter is eight and is complaining of a similiar head pain and stomachaches. We have done blood work, an MRI, and increased water intake by request from the pediatrician. Everything came back normal and the headaches continue. The only thing that seems to work is the chiropractor. My daughter seems to fell like the head pain changes and is not as intense. If you get any answers keep us in mind. Thanks T. G.

Have you ever thought of taking him to a chiropractor. I sometimes gets headaches at the back of my head, at the top of the spine and after an adjustment I feel a lot better. If the thought is a little scary to you, see if you can go in and talk to the chiropractor and ask him questions or have him show you how they actually adjust children. It doesn't mean you have to have him adjusted if you're still uncomfortable with the situation. Good luck.

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Hi A.,

My son had same complaints. It turned out he needed glasses. I would recommend taking him to the eye doctor.
Good luck
D.

1 mom found this helpful

Please just bring him for an MRI and cat scan.
Obviously something is causing pressure. My son has Chiari 1 brain Malformation... which causes many side effects and doctors are saying that it apparently is more common than they think. Its probably not that. Could be anything, allergies but you need further tests to know for sure.
Sunshine's Momma

1 mom found this helpful

My five year old has been complaining of headaches the last 4 months or so. I don't think they were always in the back of the head but sometimes they were. I brought him to a pediatric eye doctor and found out he needs glasses. That's is more than likely the cause of his headaches. He just got the glasses yesterday so I can't tell yet if it's making a difference.

1 mom found this helpful

Honestly I do not want to scare you but take him to the hospital for tests. A little girl who was very close to my family was finally diagnosed with brain cancer after having chronic headaches for about a year. I hate to say that and make you nervous but I really want you to have these looked into, and dont let them turn you away saying it's just a headache, because they turned the little girl I knew away 4 times before they finally found it. Please let us know what happens.

When I was a child I had very bad headaches, eventually they discovered that I had severe food allergies and with a diet change and increased water intake they went away. I was a fairly simple test they drew blood and tested for the allergies. You may want to have him tested for both airborn and food allergies. hope this is helpful.

I just wanted to thank all of the moms for their amazing feedback - I had NO idea how to respond to your question, but am so thankful for all of the moms that did respond with amazing advice.

All my best,

L. A.

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I don't like the idea of your son having pains in the back of the head, if I'm not wrong, that is not a good sign and hoping you are keeping a journal and if he is going to school (if you're not homeschooling) you should discuss with the teacher about that to make sure that they keep a journal and see if he's having pains in the bakc of his head. I have known about that and there is a swelling of the arteries in the back of the head and can also be in the back of the neck for some people and he's either stressing out from something, (and believe it or not, children can get stressed out ...a bully in the school, is there a particular subject he can understand and gets frustrated and worries that he is not smart enough....There are other factors that play the role in that area. You should have some kind of clarification perhaps what he was eating, doing that day at school or at home that could be a factor. It's not good that he's getting them and put your foot down when you talk with pediatricians. Make it clear that you want some information and keep at them for test if the pains continue. You may want to check on webmed.com about things like that and see what information you are coming up with and in the meantime get this cleared up and taken care of. He's too young to be having pains in his head. Let us know what your are going through if you're having difficulty and and let us know what the results are and so forth, I am interested...thanks and I'll definitely keep init in prayer...

Hi A.,

You've received a lot of good advice here with a lot to think about.

I would have a cat scan done or MRI just to rule out anything more serious. Once the possibility of anything really serious is ruled out, I would look at his diet, food allergies, stress levels and all the other possibilites mentioned.

Do you allow your son to drink anything with caffiene on occasion? That can cause serious head-aches. So can stress.

Good Luck, Keep us updated!

D.

Sphenoid sinus generally causes pain in the back or top of the head, or Knape of the neck. Since it has been going on for one month. Lastly, instead of treating the symptoms with pain killers, try eliminating dairy, sugar, and gluten based products from his diet. This will get at the underlying root cause.

I am a chiropractor that works with children. Many times when kids (or adults) present with headaches in the back of their head it is from sub occipital muscle tension that is secondary to misalignments in the cervical spine/neck. These misalignments or subluxations, as we call them, are a result of physical stress (playing hard, sleeping wrong, sports injuries...etc,), or from emotional stress (type A child who is a worrier) or from imbalanced body chemistry (perhaps too many bad things in the things he is eating or not enough of the good things he should eat. If your pediatrician is not concerned about more serious issues and has ruled them out then this is a likely scenario for your son. Headaches usually respond quickly to chiropractic care. I wish you well in finding someone to work with.
A.

Get him a CAT Scan or MRI immediately. My dermatologist's son had the same problem and the DR.'s kept telling her that it was nothing and made her feel stupid. one day her son projectile vomitted and she rushed him to the hospital. they found a cancerous tumor in the back of his head! i pray this is not the case for you but it's better to be safe then sorry. this is the worst case scenario of course...but the tests will tell you more than you know now.

Hi Angela,
My name is D. McKee and I am a massage therapist. It sounds like you son has got some trigger points, stress headaches happening here. It is very common in young kids as they start to carry heavier and heavier back packs. There is a trigger point between the shoulder blades that refers pain to the back of the head and that is one thing that can be causing the pain. These trigger points can get so strong they can cause migraine strength headaches. The motrin helps and ice but it is a temporary fix. Sometimes it doesn't help if the pain is so strong... It doesn't sound like it has anything to do with his sight as that would normally cause headaches behind the eye or around that area, however it would not be a bad thing to get it checked. The once a month headache could also lead me to believe it is hormonal which is increasing the strength of the trigger points. I would recommend sending him for a massage to someone that knows NMT (Nueromuscular Therapy) and see if his symptoms are releived. IF that doesn't work, accupunture works wonders. Just an idea, I hope this helps
D.

Hi! I would suggest that you keep a log of how often, date, time it started, how long it lasted and intensity. Have him describe the pain without giving any word helps. For example, "How does your head feel?" rather than "Is the pain sharp?". When he gets the headaches try to remember everything he did, ate, went, etc. for that day. Write down a detailed list of the day that he has the headache. You may find there is a "trigger" event for the problem. My daughter has certain foods we MUST avoid due to the effects they have on her. It will be work for you but it may prove the thing that figures out the problem. Then when you do see the doctor take that journal with you so you can give him and and all the information possible. Good Luck! A.

I suffer from migranes/headaches and so do my 3 boys . They started having them when they turned 6. We saw a neurologist and they had MRIS- nothing was found. it is worth taking him to a neuro - to be on the safe side. Can't hurt!. They take advil and use the ice packs too!!

Poor little man, sounds like he is suffering. Couple of things; but, first and foremost he may have allergies. Please mention this to your ped. Both of my boys suffer in spring and fall. sounds silly but the barometric pressure changes outside effects us too, and there are alot of nerves in the head and neck and the nerves of the sinuses are connected. try children's motrin b/c it is an ant-inflamatory. No milk before bed or dairy products b/c that will make him mucus-y and make the sinuses swell even more. another thing is tension headaches. try gently massaging his neck and shoulders and the motrin ..The only other thought is eye strain. a pediatric optometrist is able to tell you alot about what is going on inside his head. Poor little guy. i hope he is better soon..keeping the diary can tell you alot, good idea- for example, does it come before it rains, during rain or sunny times? Make sure to note the weather in your diary, not just time of day...but in any case switch to motrin. keep us posted.
Best!

Have you ever thought of taking him to a chiropractor. I sometimes gets headaches at the back of my head, at the top of the spine and after an adjustment I feel a lot better. If the thought is a little scary to you, see if you can go in and talk to the chiropractor and ask him questions or have him show you how they actually adjust children. It doesn't mean you have to have him adjusted if you're still uncomfortable with the situation. Good luck.

Is it recent - as the dandelions have sprung. Although, it is my belief that no one is really allergic to nature (I've agreed with my teachers), we do react to it. This time of year forces lots of mucos out of the system (toxins) by sheer force causing sinus headaches and sneezing. (Sinus are in the back of the head as well as over, under and on the sides of the eyes.)

I wouldn't play with too much tylenol, but go to the doctor instead to confirm the child's health.

Never can be too sure and the head can be serious.

Other alternative: Did the child have a bad fall? Spinal and skeletal misalignment is also a possibility.

Love and light,
C.

Has your doc suggested a neurologist? I'd just bring him into a specialist - they have specifically headache specialists at the neurology doctor group in our area. Look into that if you haven't found another answer. And Good Luck!

My daughter is eight and is complaining of a similiar head pain and stomachaches. We have done blood work, an MRI, and increased water intake by request from the pediatrician. Everything came back normal and the headaches continue. The only thing that seems to work is the chiropractor. My daughter seems to fell like the head pain changes and is not as intense. If you get any answers keep us in mind. Thanks T. G.

Have you ever tried chiropractic? Headaches in children or adults, often times can be the result of spinal bone (also called vertebra) misalignement.This misalignement will then lead to muscle tension and pain; thus a headache. There is a muscle called the upper trapezius, that attaches from the top of the shoulders, up into the back of the head. If your son is asking for ice, then there possibly can be an upper trapezius muscle or vertebral imbalance.
Chiropractic is a drugless , and very safe healing therapeutic; it addresses the cause of the problem, not just the sympton. Children are very susceptible to spinal misalignements; they can occur from normal 'rough and tumble" playing, as well as be the result of slips or falls or even sleeping on your stomach.
Ask someone you know for the name of their chiropractor, or call up one in your neighborhood and ask them if they adjust kids.
I am a chiropractor, and parent. I adjust children all the time for headaches, ear aches, stomach distress allergies and even back pain. Kids respond well and love to get adjusted!

I don't know if you have tried this but set up a chiropractor appoinment for him. My neice started going to one back when she was 1 year old because of chronic ear aches. It turned out to be her back was out of allingment. A couple of visits and she hasn't had an ear ache since. I have what I thought were migrains, they are migrains but they are because i have TMJ ( jaw problems), so headaches can happen because of ANYTHING that is out of line in your body. Sounds to me like his is due to his back area if they are in the back part of his head. A regular physician is not going to referr to a chiropractor because they don't "belive" in their practice of medicine, but they do work, and depending on where you live, because a lot of insurance companies do not cover for their visit's, chiropractor's have a cash fee that they base on the childs age ( if the child is 7 for example the cost of the visit is 7.00, so it's worth checking out). Good luck and I hope he feels better, headaches can be rough so my heart goes out to him!!

Cranial adjustment can also be helpful.
Has he had any dental work done recently?

C.

Hello A., I am the mother of two boys with headache conditions, one migraine and one cluster headaches. I'm also a cluster headache sufferer and the Vice President of OUCH. The Organisation for the Understanding of Cluster Headaches as well as being OUCH's ambassador to the World Headache Alliance. Thankfully, your sons' headaches do not sound like C H!

I would strongly urge you to both keep a headache diary and press to see a headache specialist neurologist. I can help with a list of those in your area if you need. Neurology is a large field and you don't need to see a neuro who's primary interest isn't the subject you need. There are over 600 headache types so diagnosing is a finely tuned thing.

Within the headache diary please note time of day, duration, build up, any other physical signs, (droopy eye, raised temp, aversion to light) It would also help to note sleep patterns and foods so you can use a process of elimination for all of the common factors. I can give you examples of headache diary formats if that helps.

No reoccurring head pain, particularly in children should go undiagnosed and in all probability an MRI should be ordered too. If you would like any more advice or links to useful sites please contact me, I'll help in any way I can

Regards
H.

I know that this sounds scary but if he is having cronic headaches I would get an MRI. It is probably not anything serious but I would feel better knowing for sure.
One of my daughters classmates was diagnosed with brain cancer and his only symptom was cronic headaches.
Many prayers, K.

I've never heard of anything like that, and even though it's only once a month, I wouldn't let it go. I would demand a MRI of his head. It's better to be safe than sorry. If the headaches are that bad that they are waking him up in the middle of the night, I would be worried. Listen, I'm a little bit of a worry wart by nature, but if something is wrong and you delayed getting him tested, you are going to feel aweful. Approach your doctor with your concerns, if he isn't supportive, find another doctor! I have two friends that have had sick children. With one, the doctor acted quickly, and she is healthy today. The other, the doctor dismissed my friend's concerns, and her son died from an infection. Neither example resemble your son's, but I'm trying to make a point. Trust your motherly insticts. If you think it may be serious, do something!

Hi
I have found out the hard way to take things to the next level. You should not wait..the next time your son is having one of these headaches call the doctor. If he will not see you and your son is in bad pain go to the ER. Do not wait!
I have no idea what kind of insurance you have but if it is a good policy or money is ok make an appointment with a neurologist preerrably with a pediatric neurologist.
Boys play hard and it might just be nothing but please do not continue to medicate your son without finding why they are happening. I would also like to ask you to do the same for yourself.
I found out that after 2 years of suffering I had brain tumors. My life would be so much better tosay if I had gotten the right care early.
No I am not saying your son has brain tumors, I am saying that repetitive headaches in the same area come for a reason. Find a quality professional that can diagnose and treat both of you properly. If you are seeing a docotr that refuses to help you RUN!!! Find another doctor ASAP!
Boston saved my life!
Better to hear that nothing is wrong , and he is just having headaches than to find something that has been let go too long later on.
Proactive care is a must in todays medical system. You are in charge of your care.
Remember...the greatest fear is that of the unknown!
K.

Hello A.,
My name is Dr. C. Jo Christian and I am a chiropractor. Headaches can be caused by many different things, and the pain can end up in different places in the head. My advice is to bring him to a chiropractor. We have had so many fantastic results with headaches. For where the pain is located it sounds like he would just need a few atlas (c1 vertebrae) adjustments to release the tension. The birthing process is a very traumatic event and this problem could have started then. I would research chiropractors in your area, there will be many that adjust children as well as adults. Some chiropractors specialize in Pediatrics. I hope this information helps!

Best wishes,
Dr. Christian (mother of 2)

He could possibly be getting migraines. I suffer from migraines and either feel them across my eye and temples, or in the back of my head. You could always go to a neurologist if you are really concerned. That is who diagnosed me. I used to get them when I was in 5th grade and would even lose feelings in my hands. So little kids can get them too. Hope he is feeling better and good luck to you.

Hi A.,

My mom who works in a school and seems to come down with whatever the kids get had something like this recently. It is a virus that affects mostly children and causes pain specifically in the back of the head. However, the pain was for about two weeks, not monthly like your son. What she had was in the same family as meningitis, but is NOT any form of meningitis. She was prescribed medication and was fine after that. I would definitely follow up with your pediatrican for some blood work, and also ask to see a neurologist just to be safe. Good luck.. I hope they pinpoint what it is.

My 7 yr old daughter has been complaining of pain in the back of the head for a while now. I finally took her to the pedi and they sent us to a neurologist. We went yesterday and the have us going for an EEG and MRI. They don't think its migranes because of the location and other symtoms. I'm worried but hoping all is fine and they figure things out.

go to the doctor. do a lyme test!

Hello, pain in the back of the neck is one of the symptoms of meningitis -- I would definitely take your son in to the doctor to have him checked out, just in case. Good luck!

I have a 7-year old son who also gets headaches, the doctor said it is not uncommon and headaches run in families (I also get them). I am not sure it makes a difference where it hurts but you could inquire of your pediatrician. HOwever, he said so long as Tylenol or soemthing was working he was not worries. I would just double check with your own doctor, but I think given your own headaches it might just be part of his life and he will learn to deal with it like we do. Good luck.

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