Aa
A
A
Close
Avatar universal
Headaches from laying down
I am a 51 year old male who has had daily headaches for the past 5 years. The headaches are in the back of my head, and seem to be caused by laying down. I awake each morning with a headache. Most mornings they are mild to moderate, and a few days are stronger. I can be feeling fine with no headache, and then go lie down and within 30 minutes will have a headache - usually worse if I lay on my back. Does not matter where I lay down - bed, couch, floor. I recently had a complete physical and everything is fine. Have been seeing a chiropractor for the last 6 weeks for therapy on my neck muscles but this does not seem to be helping. I am experiencing no other symptoms. I would love to hear from anyone with similar headaches.
Thanks !
Cancel
23 Answers
Page 1 of 1
Avatar universal
Hi,
You should get your blood pressure and blood sugar checked. These could be tha cause of your headaches.
Have you tried OTC pain relief medication and have they helped?
Has an MRI been done?
Discuss all this with your doctor and ask himif a neurologist consultation would be required.
Hope this helps.
Good luck.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
If you don't have answers, don't talk.  FFS nobody asks on the internet to be told "ask your doctor."  Either they did and got nothing, they're waiting to do so, or they can't afford to do so.  Christ people love to hear themselves talk.
Comment
Cancel
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Headaches upon laying down can be connected to your cerebral spinal fluid build up.  The fact the the headache is in the back of your head is also a tell-tale sign, also the laying on your back.  Have you ever been to a neurologist and had an MRI?  Your neck muscles are tight because with pain at the base of the skull, your neck muscles clench in an attempt to protect your head.  You need to get to a neurologist and get an MRI and full exam.  

You can research cerebral spinal fluid headache, intracranial pressure, psuedotumor celebri.  You may not have any of this but 45 year old male with onset of headache upon laying down.  It is classic.  Don't worry about what you read, if this is your problem you may just need medicine to decrease the production of cerebral spinal fluid.  I am not a doctor but I research alot and by the way, I have not been able to lay flat for 6-7 years now.  I hear the pulse in my ear, my right pupil is actually so large in the morning you can't see the brown of my iris.  The other pupil is fine.   I actually hear the liquid squirting in the back of my neck and when I take that CSF pill - mine is DIAMOX, its only a water pill.  I feel the tingle all through my head.  So welcome to my world - my first suggestions - TONS OF PILLOWS.  You have to keep that CSF down.  But like I said, I am not a doctor and cannot say this is your problem.  But really think hard - can you give more symptoms????
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
If it causes so much pressure that you both have headaches even when sitting against your back, Then I doubt a water pill is going to help the both of you. Do both of you feel burning pain in the upper back, on both sides, like a cape like pattern?
Comment
Cancel
Avatar universal
If it causes so much pressure that you both have headaches even when sitting against your back, Then I doubt a water pill is going to help the both of you. Do both of you feel burning pain in the upper back, on both sides, like a cape like pattern? Are both of you feeling numb in your arms and legs? Being that this original post is extremely outdated, I'm wanting to say,  look into syringomyelia or Chiari related symptoms as well as raynauds disease. Tethered spine syndrome  (TCS) hope some of this may help.
Comment
Cancel
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
My blood pressure & blood sugar are fine. I take Excedrin for the headaches and that helps most of the time. I have not had an MRI. How good are the chances that an MRI will give some answers? The only other symptom that I can think of is that I usually hear a noise in my left ear during these headaches.
You mention TONS OF PILLOWS.........do you mean use a lot of pillows under my head during sleep?
Thanks.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Yes, that is exactly what I mean.  and hearing a noise in your left ear is important.  Is it like the pulse of a heartbeat or is like ringing (tinnitis)?  The MRI will give answers and rule out certain conditions.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Hi,
You need to get a neurologist consultation at the earliest and also get an MRI done. The MRI report would clarify as to what the possible diagnosis could be, and if the neurologist thinks it necessary he might advise a lumbar puncture for CSF examination to come to a definite diagnosis.
Do let us know how you are doing and what has the neurologist advised.
Hope this helps.
Good luck.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
hi, I'm still looking for a diagnosis,my neurologist is not sure if  I have posuedotumor cerebri because I'm not obese and I'm also hearing water squirting all around my head sometimes . It all started in the back of my head . head pressure came all of a sudden out of nowhere from theback of my head with water dripping out of my nose and a little bit from my ears . I haven't had any headaches. just pressure in the head that shifts everywhere.feeling like my brain is being squeezed. there are times when my ears get clogged feeling like if your under water type of noise .
some times I also get neck pain or neck pain that radiates down on the left of my chest. opthalmologist says that psuedotumor cerebri can cause pressing of the sinus artery. The artery that connects from your brain to the heart. I had to spinal tap so far one with pressure 25 and the second one with pressure 35. Also had MRI with gadalinium normal. Four previous ct scan normal. Tested for swollen discs in the eyes normal. That's another reason why neurologist does'nt think I have the condition. also because my head pressure is constant non stop since january 24th 2008 now we are in april still going non stop 24/7.what do you think?:)
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
You might want to get an x-ray of your lower back I know it sounds silly but 20% of the population have a form of spina bifida that goes undetected. If this is true you could possibly have something like chiari malformation.  Sometimes it is easy for them to miss on an MRI if they are no really looking for it.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Kenny, I struggle with the same problem, so do my mom and my sister.  However, two years ago, my sister went to a chiropractor down near Ft Worth who after probing her head asked my sister specifically whether she got headaches from sleeping on the back of her head.  My sister had two adjustments with this dr and has had no headaches of this nature since.  

The chiropractor asked if anyone else in her family had this issue and informed my sister about what she termed a "hereditary dysfunction of the suboccipital muscles."  All of us began to be effected by this in our mid-thirties.  

As for me, my "lying down" headaches degenerated so badly that I could only lay on about a 2 in. section of my left check to sleep, and I use the word sleep loosely.  

I've not had as good of luck w/ my chiropractor, but two months ago I became so desparate that I drove to Texas and had that chiropractor adjust me twice.  I'm also in rehab for unrelated shoulder issues and my rehab guy's been instructing me on exercises that help.  

At this point I can sort of sleep on the back of my head.  Not at all on the right side, and sort of on the left side.  I have to see the chiropractor regularly and also go and have deep tissue massages on my neck and head only (and I'm very directive during these massages knowing exactly what I need for relief).  My husband's been taught specifically how to relieve my headaches by both mine and my sister's chiropractors, but frankly he's not good at all and can't even give decent back rubs.  If he can get the pressure points right, he is much more effective than any pain reliever.  I worry about taking too much ibuprofin, Tylenol, and aspirin...


I have one question for you.  If you press deeply on your jaw joints right in front of your ears does it cause any pain?
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
If you had a spinal tap they may have punctured your Dura and you could have a CSF Leak. This really sounds like it. Pain in the neck feels like you are at the bottom of a pool. If it is alleviated by laying down it is definitely it. You can have a blood patch done to fix the puncture if that is it. I just had back surgery followed by dural tear - I am well read!
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
5734471 tn?1373378311
This is also my life. Although, I have not tried a chiropractor regularly, just occasionally. I've always had bad headaches, but the "caused by what I thought was laying down" started this past year. I realized recently though, that it's any physical contact with almost any part of head...i.e., leaning head back on head cushion in car. OTC meds almost never work anymore. Ibuprofen 800 doesn't work. I'm on generic for Maxalt and it works about 50-75% of the time; but I only get 8/month. So, the rest of the days I try to sit up all day and struggle with going to emergency at night.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
I cut out all artificial sweeteners. You MUST do this. Then I realized that my mouthwash contained a variant of saccharin(worst of all the fake sugars) in it. I stopped using it and all symptoms stopped.
Comment
Cancel
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
My neurologist / migraine specialist has since diagnosed me with occipital neuralgia.  Press with your fingers upon the occipital region of your skull.  Check for an internet diagram if needed.  In my 20's I stopped being able to wear my hair up, pony tails, or hats.  Absolutely nothing can touch my head.  Really struggle with dental hygiene appointments!  Of late, Gralise 2400mgs (that's a lot) has worked, but left me in a haze, and Topamax is pretty good.

I'll also be seeing a dental specialist for my jaw in September.

Best wishes to you, sorry!
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
I cut out all artificial sweeteners. You MUST do this. Then I realized that my mouthwash contained a variant of saccharin(worst of all the fake sugars) in it. I stopped using it and all symptoms stopped.
Comment
Cancel
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
I've had headaches since Sept. I had Lyme Disease and was treated - thought it was gone. Who knows. My headaches feel like they pounds and pound with tinnitus and I can only lye on my right or left side without it pounding all the time. I have difficulty studying/ reading - I've become truly dyslexic on what I read/interpret and be able to restate. I am dizzy most of the time, have GI issues of 2 ft long feces to tarry stools to all mucous in the same day. I am scheduled for "botox" treatment for the migraines since I have tried Topomax, Propanolol, 2 tricyclides, as well as a back and head message that regrettably caused more pounding once they finished and I had to stand up. I am having most difficulty filling in the bubbles to match my choice of questions and to compute exactly what is being read as I have a foggy head. I am going to ask for the MRI of the neck and shoulders this next week and going to see an Arthritis doctor - I was told by my heart doctor that they are really intelligent. Any idea's - I would appreciate. Thanks Nursingstudent53
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
OMG I cannot you took the words right out of my mouth I have been experiencing the same thing since I can remember and now 43 and cannot tolerate it anymore. Never told my Dr. cause I thought he would think I am crazy but now I will tell him. I never have been able to lean head against headboard wear ponytail or up at all and having severe headaches when I lay my head on pillow and can hear my pulse in head when I raise back up the pulse eventually stops but headache stays a long time. Thank you for sharing.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
I cut out all artificial sweeteners. You MUST do this. Then I realized that my mouthwash contained a variant of saccharin(worst of all the fake sugars) in it. I stopped using it and all symptoms stopped.
Comment
Cancel
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Headaches when lying down and that are worse in the mornings is always a warning flag for high pressure in the skull. Not blood pressure but "in the skull pressure", called intracranial pressure. This can on the other hand cause higher blood pressure because the blood pressure must rise to be able to squeeze the blood into the brain if the pressure in the brain is elevated. That is a reason why the doctor always should check the blood pressure when somebody has headaches.

Anyway, there are a lot of different causes of high intracranial pressure. The most scary one is brain tumor but also the least likely. The most likely is chiari malformation. But there are a lot of others.

If the pressure in the brain is too high it will eventually hurt different parts of the brain and it may be fatal. The first thing that dies is usually the optical nerve. This will make you go blind. So it is a serious condition and it needs to be treated.

A brain MRI is the best test. It will show signs of high pressure as well as the underlying cause, may it be chiari, subdural bleeding, dural sinus thrombosis or tumor cerebri etc.

The doctor can also look in your eye to check for papilla edema. This was the way it was done in the old days before the invention of ct scans and MRIs.

Of coarse it need not always be high intracranial pressure when you have morning headaches. Occipital neuralgia, neck-headaches and migraines are other suggestions.

But high intracranial pressure is what will strike most doctors first. Usually you also have other symptoms then, like vomiting, vision problems, nerve problems etc.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
I have these same back of head non stop throbbing pain. I have been told I have occipital neuralgia & Im taking lyricia, endep , nothing is helping.
I can not put my head down, the pain is there all day & only relief is drugged sleep & my glass of red wine a day. No Doctors, specialists I have seen have helped. I am told to learn to live with it.......not much fun is it
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Just read your post. I've been struggling with headaches 24/7 since February 2010.I've had every possible test ran. I had a lumbar puncture and my cerebral fluid pressure was within normal range.  I can't believe that a healthy person like myself can wake up with a headache from hell with no warning and know one can tell me why. I was considering going to Mayo, hoping to find an answer. Have you been?
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
I cut out all artificial sweeteners. You MUST do this. Then I realized that my mouthwash contained a variant of saccharin(worst of all the fake sugars) in it. I stopped using it and all symptoms stopped.
Comment
Cancel
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
I cut out all artificial sweeteners. You MUST do this. Then I realized that my mouthwash contained a variant of saccharin(worst of all the fake sugars) in it. I stopped using it and all symptoms stopped.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
I have this same problem excruciating headache. No relief .i had an epidural and they punctured my spinal sac but I had a blood patch done to fix it headaches stopped for a while but now they are back. Also it does hut me when I touch my jaw joints what could this be
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
I am 14 and have the same symptoms u talked about I was wondering if your headache ever got cured or anything bc these headaches are really annoying and painfull write back if u have anything to talk about.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Lol, why are people responding to a question from 8 years ago?!?!
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Hopefully, the issue is gone by now...
Comment
Cancel
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Late responding to the questions might help others who are in same boat.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Yeah, I am 26 years old and I've experienced these symptoms consistently for the past 4 years. I tried posting about it on a forum, but did not get good results. This thread helped greatly, bcuz I sound like a hypochondriac when I tell people about it.

Like most others, I didn't think it was a real issue, but it's slowly becoming a bigger issue every day. I saw a neurologist who said they probably wouldn't find anything from an MRI , but I could check for the reassurance. So I didn't do it. Definitely going to try to do that soon.

What people didn't mention, is that these symptoms effect your life daily. I do not have a TV in my bedroom anymore, because laying down for 15min will definitely keep me up all night with head pain in the back of my head. Switching to side causes pain to shift, making it impossible to sleep.

For another example, I'm currently up at 2am, but I've been up since midnight when I woke up from the pain. Reason it happened, was because I accidentally layed down on the couch with my gf earlier while watching a movie...

Anyways, I appreciate the other detailed accounts of this, because it helped me realize ita a real thing. I'll see if anything comes up from the MRI. Thanks
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
What I know of the headaches I get from sleeping on my back is the pressure on the sinus cavities located near the base of your skull
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Your Answer
Avatar universal
Answer
Do you know how to answer? Tap here to leave your answer...
Answer
Answer
Post Answer
A
A
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Migraines & Headaches Community Resources