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Headaches caused by lying down
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Headaches caused by lying down

When my headaches started a year ago, it was when I  layed on the left side of my head. Just the left side of my head just past my ear would start hurting within 10 minutes. Now, there is pain all over the left side and back of my head no matter what part I lay on.  When I lay on the left side the is an anoying twitching on the right cheek and if I turn over to my right side it stops. After I'm up for a while the headache gets better but now it does not completely go away. I have not been to the doctor yet. What could be causing these headaches?  I have tried stacking several pillows up to an almost sitting position but this did not help. Any suggestions?
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Avatar dr f tn
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with your doctor.

Without the ability to examine you and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the cause of your headache is however I will try to provide you with some useful information.

There are several causes of headaches. Headaches can be divided into primary and secondary. Primary headache disorders are headaches without a direct cause. The most common primary headache disorders and tension headaches and migraine.

Secondary headache disorders are due to an underlying problem, such as a tumor, medication side effects, central nervous system infections, clots in the veins in the brain etc.

If someone has never had headaches in the past and starts to experience headaches, a secondary cause needs to be ruled out. If all the investigations do not reveal a cause, then the headache can be said to be primary, and treatment is initiated. One concerning feature of your headache is that occurs when you lie down. This may be nothing serious, however one cause of headache when lying down with improvement after getting up is a high pressure in the head, what is medically termed increased intracranial pressure. This can have many causes but obviously the most worrisome is tumor. Please understand I am not at all suggesting I believe you have a tumor though.

Another possibility is that the position you sleep in leads to muscle strain that causes the headache. This is suggested by the fact your headache used to hurt only when you lied on one side. Cervicogenic headache is a headache that is "referred" to the head from bony structures, muscles, and other soft tissue in the neck and shoulders. Symptoms are usually one-sided and include: precipitation of head pain by neck movement or awkward neck positions, head pain when external pressure is applied to the neck or occipital region, restricted range of motion of the neck, and neck, shoulder and arm pain. Treatment for cervicogenic headache includes physical therapy, medications, behavioral therapy, and other modalities.

I suggest that you discuss your headache symptoms with your primary doctor/family physician. After he/she examines you, further investigations or referral to a specialist may or may not be warranted depending on the findings.

Thank you for using the forum I hope you find this information useful good luck
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