What Can Cause Head Pain When Bending Over?

Headache is one of the most common complaint patients present with in clinical practice of a physician. Everyone sometime or the other may have experienced headache in their entire life. Headache can be mild or severe. Whatever may be the intensity, headache can be frustrating as it affects the regular life. Headache can be primary or secondary. Primary headache does not involve an underlying pathology whereas secondary headache is triggered due to an underlying medical condition. Headache while bending is not uncommon. A person may feel pressure in his head while bending but as he stands upright, the pain is relieved.

Together with heaviness in head, there may be accompanying symptoms such as blurred vision, loss of balance, etc. There are various reasons for head pain when bending. Let us know them and find the remedial measures.

Here are some causes for headache while bending:

Sinus Headache: A person can suffer from headache due to sinusitis. Sinusitis is inflammation and infection in the sinus. Sinuses are hollow spaces in upper cheeks, around the eyes and in frontal part of the head. When too much mucus and secretions block the passage, person may suffer from sinusitis infection.

When a person bends the headache due to sinusitis becomes worse because of movement of the mucus in the sinus space. Sinus headache becomes worse on moving the head especially while bending. Patient often feels severe pressure and pain in the frontal part of the head or in the cheeks. Aside from head pain, there may be other signs and symptoms of sinusitis such as yellow colored mucus discharge from nose, tenderness over the front of head and maxilla, fever, cough, stuffy nose, pain in upper teeth etc.

Cough Headache: Pain in the back of head and in the sides when bending is often felt when person has cough and cold. This type of pain lasts for few minutes.

Tension headache: Tension headache is felt as if there is a tight band wrapped around the forehead. Pain is also experienced in back of the neck and especially when the patient lowers his head or bends. Constant stress is one of the main causes for tension headache.

Brain Tumor: Headache is common symptom of brain tumor. Patient may experience exacerbation in heaviness and pain in head if he bends down. This is related with increased pressure from the tumor in the brain while bending. Along with headache, patient may also complain of vision problems, memory problems, weakness in extremities, vomiting, etc.


In many cases patient may not require any specific treatment as headache is temporary and of mild intensity. However, if it occurs persistently and for long period of time hampering daily activities, patient needs to be treated. Treatment mainly will depend on the resolving the underlying disease triggering headache. For example patient with sinusitis will need antibiotics and pain killers. Inhalation of steam is also beneficial. Person must drink more water, and use medicated nasal spray having decongestant effect.

In case of tension headache, patient must take all measures to reduce stress.  Meditation and yoga are beneficial to reduce stress.

Brain tumor requires proper medical attention. Patient may need surgery as well as chemotherapy or radiation as suggested by the treating physician.

Cough and cold needs to be treated with medications. Natural remedy such as a teaspoon of turmeric and honey mixture is useful in curing cough and cold.