Why Does My Head Hurt When I Stand Up

Why Does My Head Hurt When I Stand Up

Why Does My Head Hurt When I Stand Up

Mai Delacruz

Mai Delacruz
Personal Fitness Trainer & Health Coach

Updated on 1/30/2023

Why does my head hurt when I stand up? Headaches are a symptom that various ailments may cause, and the intensity of these headaches can range from being a slight annoyance to being a significant problem with one's health. Headaches are most commonly produced by tension in the head and neck muscles. If you wake up one morning with a throbbing headache that worsens as you go about your day, you should pay close attention to your symptoms to determine the origin of your headache. 

Headaches can be caused by several different causes, including this may be accomplished by paying attention to how your headache changes during the day. That might be the initial indication of a low-pressure headache, also known as a positional headache that occurs when the head is in an awkward posture. That is a specific kind of headache that, in the vast majority of cases, has to be treated by a trained and experienced medical expert.

headache

headache

Pay special attention to these two significant symptoms to have a more profound knowledge of the sort of headache you are currently experiencing so that you may more effectively treat it. These signals include the actions that result in the discomfort and the acts that, if any, serve to alleviate it. Also included are the activities that result in pain. It's conceivable that this may provide you with a wealth of information regarding the nature of your headache as well as the method that will be most efficient in treating it.

If you have a headache that is throbbing or pounding when you are standing or sitting up, bending over, or working out, but the pain goes away when you lie down, it is very likely a positional headache. Positional headaches can be caused by bending over, working out, or standing for long periods. Various activities can bring positive headaches, including turning over, working out, or standing for extended periods. You can bring on positional headaches by bending over, doing physical activity, or doing all three of these things at the same time.

If you have a positional headache, the intensity of the pain is primarily determined by how your body is positioned. Changing your posture can either make the headache worse or make it go away entirely. If you have a positional headache, how your body is mainly positioned determines the severity of the pain. Lying down, as opposed to standing or sitting in an upright position, which has a propensity to bring on the hurting sensation, tends to relieve the aching sensation or get rid of it.

What Exactly Is A Positional Headache?

headache

headache

When a patient experiences pain at the back of their head when standing up or sitting, but the discomfort begins to reduce or vanish when the patient lies down, it is said that the patient suffers from a positional headache. People who work in postures that impose pressure on the back of their head are more likely to suffer from positional headaches than other workers (typically within 30 minutes or less).

There are a variety of different words that you may use to refer to a positional headache, including the following:

  • Headache is brought on by being in one position for an extended period, whether standing or sitting.
  • The result of improper posture causes tension in the head and neck.
  • Headaches caused by having low blood pressure can be pretty uncomfortable.

If you lie down for at least half an hour and continue to suffer from headache discomfort, it is unlikely that the headache you are experiencing is caused by how your body is positioned. A chance that the headache you're having is caused by tension, but you're also likely suffering from a migraine or one of the other frequent types of headaches.

What Is the Cause Of A Positional Headache?

headache

headache

Most of the time, an orthostatic headache is brought on by a leak of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). And a condition is known as postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. Most orthostatic headaches can be attributed to one of these causes (POTS). Rarely, a positional headache may also result from several diseases affecting the neurological system, connective tissue, or bones. These diseases can manifest themselves in various ways, and there are several ways in which these issues may present themselves. Several conditions might be to blame for the pain felt in the bones.

CSF leak

Cerebrospinal fluid usually referred to as CSF, may be found around the brain and spinal cord in many different areas. When you move, this fluid works as a cushion and a buffer, keeping the brain and spinal cord from touching any of the body's bones. That keeps the brain and spinal cord from being damaged. Cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF, is another name for this fluid. CSF is an abbreviation that can be used to refer to cerebrospinal fluid. Membranes surround the central nervous system called the meninges, preventing cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from escaping into the body. On the other hand, cerebrospinal fluid might enter the body if the meninges are injured in any manner.

Two key concerns arise as a direct consequence of the scene whenever there is a leak in the CSF. When you have a leak in your cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), standing or sitting upright might induce more CSF volume loss, resulting in a headache. That is because the cerebrospinal fluid, also CSF, generally covers the spinal cord in acceptable proportions. That helps to reduce the amount of pressure placed on the spinal cord, which in turn helps to lessen the discomfort caused by the condition. Lying in a flat position helps retain more cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the spinal cord, which helps reduce the amount of pressure placed on the spinal cord.

headache

headache


In addition, the shift in pressure brought on by a CSF leak causes the posture of the brain to alter, which raises the danger that sensitive areas of the head and spine may come into touch with the brain.

The degree of damage done to the meninges is directly connected to the volume of cerebrospinal fluid leaking out of the spinal column. The degree of the leak can range from a light case to a severe case, the latter of which causes the patient to experience continual agony.

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)

POTS is a disorder that affects the autonomic nervous system (ANS), which stops the ANS from doing its typical task, precisely controlling cardiac activity and maintaining the right balance of fluids inside the body. This condition is known as postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (commonly known as POTS) is another name for POTS.

When a person with POTS changes position, such as when they move from lying down or sitting down to standing up, it is usual for them to experience an increase in their heart rate. That can also occur when they go from standing up to sitting down. You could experience dizziness, sudden weariness, or a headache when standing up from a seated or laying posture.

headache

headache

In addition to these additional symptoms, likely, you will also be experiencing this:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Discomfort is caused by breathing that is shallower than usual or more superficial overall.
  • Having nausea, feeling sick to one's stomach, and being sick enough to throw up are all symptoms of having an upset stomach.
  • Diarrhea
  • Foot and lower leg puffiness are two instances of the symptoms that you might experience.

It is not known for sure what causes POTS; nevertheless, the vast majority of cases documented have been shown to occur in females between the ages of 15 and 50.

The following are some more probable reasons for headaches that might be brought on by low pressure:

  • Even though the conditions mentioned above are responsible for the vast majority of positional headaches, the health problems listed below are also capable of causing the beginning of this kind of headache in specific individuals, and they are listed in this order for convenience.
  • Cervicogenic headaches are a type of positional headache that anatomical anomalies can bring to the neck. They are a subset of the more general category of positional headaches. One of the most prevalent kinds of headaches is a form called a positional headache. This type of positional headache can be brought on by disorders that influence the skeletal muscles, intervertebral discs, joints, nerves, blood vessels, or connective tissue in the neck skeletal muscles. It can also be brought on by sleeping in an awkward posture.

headache

headache

  • Dehydration: A very dehydrated person may have a sharp fall in their blood pressure when they stand up, particularly if they are dehydrated to such a degree that they are severely dehydrated (due to a lack of bodily fluids). When the person stands or sits upright, their blood pressure drops, and as a result, they may get headaches.
  • Anemia: Any considerable loss of blood, including anemia, implies that less blood is getting to the brain, creating a headache that may worsen upon standing up. That can happen for several reasons, including anemia. There are several possible explanations for why this would occur, and many other causes may explain why anything like this would occur.
  • Brain tumors: Brain tumors can obstruct the passage of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to the brain, which can result in significant shifts in the pressure of the CSF within the brain when a person changes postures, such as going from lying down to standing up. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a clear, colorless, and odorless fluid that circulates through the spinal column. The cerebrospinal fluid, often known as CSF, is a fluid that travels throughout the body and is transparent, odorless, and colorless.
  • Trauma to the head or neck, specific spinal surgical procedures, or performing a lumbar puncture in a region that has been surgically modified can all cause cerebrospinal fluid to leak out of its regular channels, which can have serious consequences. Performing a lumbar puncture in a region that has been surgically modified can also cause cerebrospinal fluid to leak out of its normal channels (spinal tap).

Positional Headache Symptoms

headache

headache

The discomfort at the back of the head, which may extend into the neck, and significant relief from this pain after lying down on the affected side for twenty to thirty minutes are the most prominent symptoms of a low-pressure headache. A change in blood pressure can also cause a low-pressure headache. One of the telltale signs of a positional headache is extreme discomfort, which people who get them may describe as throbbing, pounding, stabbing, or aching. That is one characteristic that distinguishes it from other types of headaches. In the great majority of instances, the discomfort that the patient is experiencing can be traced back to the patient's posture.

The following are examples of activities that might be to blame for the beginning of the pain or the worsening of its symptoms:

  • Standing
  • Sitting up
  • Moving
  • Physical activity in the form of working out.
  • Bending over
  • Efforts are made to get something by stretching and extending further than is comfortable to get closer.
  • A hacking cough or a sneezing fit that won't stop even when you take medication for it
  • An act of sexuality that demands a considerable amount of physical effort
  • To coerce oneself into having a bowel movement even though one is suffering straining to alleviate the discomfort of constipation.

The sensation of a slight headache upon waking up that gradually develops over the day is another common symptom of a CSF leak headache. This headache typically begins in the morning, indicating that the patient leaks their cerebrospinal fluid. Cerebrospinal fluid may be leaking out of the brain due to this symptom.

Even though the pain associated with an orthostatic headache usually begins at the back of the head, it is nevertheless possible for the discomfort to travel throughout the entire head or be confined to just one side of the head.

How Is A Positional Headache Diagnosed?

headache

headache

When attempting to diagnose the reasons behind an orthostatic headache, your doctor will probably first investigate the possibility of a CSF leak or POTS before exploring any other potential causes of your discomfort. These two conditions are likely the most common causes of orthostatic headaches. That is because of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome and cerebral spinal fluid leaks—the most prevalent causes of orthostatic headaches. You must tell your doctor about any positions or activities that assist in relieving the pain, as this information may prove to be very useful in establishing what is causing your issue. You must tell your doctor about any positions or activities that assist in relieving the pain.

The patient does not need to go through any invasive treatments to get the most accurate findings from the test, which is a brain's magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. An MRI scan of the brain is the test that provides the most accurate results; however, there are a few different tests that can be carried out to determine whether or not a CSF leak is present, as well as the location and severity of the leak. The test that provides the most accurate results is the MRI scan of the brain.

Suppose your physician is having trouble locating the precise location of the leak. In that case, they may want to do a further test on you, referred to as a CT. a spinal tap will need to be performed, and a contrast agent will be injected into the spinal fluid during this process. Afterward, you will analyze the results of the spinal tap. Following that, the doctor will perform a CT scan, which will allow them to pinpoint the exact location of the leak as well as the path that it takes to drain out.

headache

headache

If a CSF leak cannot be determined to be the origin of your symptoms, your doctor may decide to test for POTS instead. If your doctor has cause to assume that you suffer from this sickness, they may ask you to take a standing test or a tilt table test so that they can diagnose you more precisely. That will allow them to determine whether or not you have the condition. Tests will assist in deciding alterations bring on the symptoms of POTS in the position in which your body is placed, which is one of the potential causes of the disorder.

During the standing test, your doctor will monitor your heart rate and blood pressure while you are asked to stand for thirty minutes. The test is part of the vertical test, and you must maintain an upright position for this test component. You will be asked to lie on a horizontal exam table that tilts varying degrees while strapped to it for the tilt test. Throughout the whole of the exam, both your heart rate and blood pressure will be under observation at all times. To determine whether or not one of these readings has shown a significant increase since the last time you collected them, the purpose of this test is to determine whether or not all of them have.

Suppose your doctor has already ruled out the possibility of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and a CSF leak. In that case, they may look into other, less frequent reasons for the condition. These causes are more likely to manifest themselves in rare cases. Problems in the neck, anemia or a tumor on the brain are some of the potential reasons.

Positional Headache Treatment

headache

headache

The primary reason why an orthostatic headache develops in the first place will determine the type of therapy strategy that will be most effective in resolving the condition. That is because variations in blood pressure are the root cause of an orthostatic headache. There is a wide variety of treatment choices available, which can vary from making changes to one's lifestyle and engaging in treatments at home, all the way up to undergoing medical procedures and even surgery in more severe circumstances.

Treating A CSF leak

In certain instances, You will naturally repair a small CSF leak without needing any intervention from the attending physician, and that occurs when the body's natural healing processes take over. A person is experiencing moderate CSF leaking and also suffering from orthostatic headaches. Can treat themselves at home with one or more of the following therapies to lessen the symptoms of an orthostatic headache:

  • You should give yourself some more time to unwind, and while doing so, you should concentrate on keeping your body in as horizontal a posture as you can while lying down.
  • Be careful to keep yourself well hydrated during the day by consuming a lot of fluids in various forms.
  • Make every effort to keep yourself from placing unnecessary load on yourself at all costs (e.g., heavy lifting, strenuous exercise)
  • It would be best to reduce hacking and to cough up mucus to a reasonable degree. You should do this as much as is practically possible.

headache

headache

Consume caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea, or another beverage of a similar kind, such as an energy drink. Coffee and tea are two examples of liquids that contain caffeine.

Ginger is an effective remedy for nausea and motion sickness and is used to prepare a wide variety of foods and beverages.

Compression can also be achieved by the use of an abdominal binder, which is another alternative.

Every day, make time to engage in a mindful practice such as yoga, meditation, or another similar activity.

You can utilize a range of various treatments and management strategies to alleviate the signs and symptoms of headaches brought on by small CSF leaks. The following are some of them:

  • Because people with a CSF leak may lose more fluids than an average person, it is occasionally necessary to obtain fluid replacement through intravenous (IV) infusions. These infusions can be given at a hospital or another medical facility. That is because the leak has the potential to allow the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) to flow out. The installation of an intravenous line, often known as an IV line, is one of how a hospital might be able to assist in replacing these fluids. A line of this sort makes it feasible to inject fluids directly into the circulation at a higher, quicker rate than was previously possible.

headache

headache

  • Administration of caffeine by the intravenous route as treatment Caffeine can also be administered intravenously as a treatment for headaches in hospitals, particularly for patients who have just undergone surgical procedures and are more prone to acquiring headaches as a side effect of their treatment. There is a good chance that this will be successful given that previous study has shown that coffee can activate the body's central nervous system, which in turn influences and raises blood pressure. It is believed that caffeine can help ease some of the discomfort associated with a headache by narrowing the blood vessels that have become excessively dilated as a direct result of the headache itself. This process takes place when caffeine causes blood vessels to constrict.
  • Patients who experience headaches due to post-dural puncture surgery may find relief through the use of acupuncture, as this treatment is beneficial in reducing the amount of discomfort experienced by these patients. Patients who experience headaches as a result of a post-dural puncture surgery may find relief through the use of acupuncture. Acupuncture works by stimulating nerves, which causes them to produce hormones that may help alleviate pain. That is the intended effect of the treatment. Tiny needles are inserted into the body at specific pressure locations. When speaking of an acupuncturist, one is said to be a "practitioner" if they have a current license that allows them to engage in both the artistic and scientific components of the field. It has been shown that acupuncture can have opposite effects, and the professional medical community is divided on whether it is functional. CSF leaks can bring on headaches, and if you are considering acupuncture as a treatment for these headaches, you should first discuss your plans with your primary care physician. CSF leaks can induce headaches.

headache

headache

In the event of a CSF leak, that is more serious, particularly if the patient is experiencing positional headaches that are persistent or severe. A doctor may recommend a procedure known as an epidural blood patch (EBP) to provide the patient with momentary relief from their symptoms. This procedure is intended to provide relief from the patient's symptoms. If the patient were having positional headaches that were severe or chronic, then this would be the appropriate course of action to take.

It is not usual practice to turn to this therapy unless all other strategies have been explored and shown to be unsuccessful. In this case, one should consider turning to this form of treatment. In the circumstances like these, only then should one think about going through this form of therapy. That is because the surgical procedure must be performed in a hospital, and there is a possibility that it may have adverse side effects, such as discomfort in the back. As a direct consequence, the operation has to occur inside a medical facility.

An epidural blood patch, often referred to as an EBP, is a type of medical operation in which 10–100 milliliters of the patient's blood are injected into the epidural area of the spinal canal. This technique is also known as an epidural blood patch. The outermost layer of the meninges is patched, which minimizes the quantity of cerebrospinal fluid lost through the membrane. The doctor will do the EBP on either the middle area of the spine or the lower portion of the spine, and this will depend on whether you can determine the leak's specific position. If it can be established, the doctor will perform the EBP on the middle region of the spine. In the case that You cannot determine the specific location of the leak, the EBP will be performed in the area that is immediately next to the location of the leak.

headache

headache

However, the patch's effectiveness may diminish with time, and as a consequence, it may be necessary to undergo many treatments to have long-term relief from the pain. The majority of patients who have an EBP procedure get almost immediate pain relief as a result of the procedure. Following an EBP, patients are advised to avoid participating in any activity that creates pressure on their muscles for a period ranging from four to six weeks. This recommendation is made because recovery following an EBP can take up to two months. That includes stooping down and engaging in a variety of other tasks.

If a CSF leak is persistent or severe, a physician may suggest a variety of various surgical therapies to fix structural faults or remove abnormal growths in the spinal area. These treatments may include removing abnormal growths or correcting structural problems. These procedures can end up being essential. It is conceivable that treating the issue with these therapies will be necessary to solve the problem.

Treating POTS

Patients who make changes to their lifestyle and get medical treatment may, in the vast majority of cases, see an improvement in the symptoms of the illness. Even though no known drug may cure POTS at this time, patients who make these changes may see an improvement in their condition.

Medication and self-care behaviors are commonly shown to effectively reduce the severity of the symptoms treated by various treatment regimens. A person may likely need to experiment with multiple treatment methods before discovering the one most suited to fit the requirements of their unique body. That is because the symptoms of this ailment express themselves in a unique way to the patient experiencing them.

headache

headache

In the case that your primary care physician diagnoses you with POTS, they may recommend that you take one or more of the drugs listed below:

  • A corticosteroid goes by the name fludrocortisone, and that corticosteroid's alternative name is fludrocortisone. It achieves this by assisting the body in retaining salt and water, which are necessary to carry out its ordinary duties in the way intended for the body to function correctly. People who suffer from POTS often have a disturbance in the standard mechanism that the body uses to keep the homeostasis of its physiological fluids. That can cause symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, and headaches. These people might not usually be able to retain sufficient amounts of salt and water due to the disturbance caused by the condition.
  • The name "midodrine" refers to a pharmaceutical product that falls into the category of medications known as alpha-adrenergic agonists. This medication's therapeutic action is achieved by constricting the blood vessels, which causes an increase in the individual's blood pressure when it is taken. Patients diagnosed with POTS could be offered the choice to take this medicine daily, or you might urge them to take it just when they know they will be standing for an extended time. Either option might end up being recommended.
  • Drugs known as beta-blockers can slow the heart rate and lower blood pressure by preventing adrenaline from reaching the body's beta receptors. That results in a slowed heart rate and lower blood pressure. In certain circles, beta-blockers and alpha-blockers are used interchangeably. As an immediate and unavoidable consequence, the body's reaction to the hormone will become less intense. This drug may be helpful for some individuals who suffer from POTS because it avoids the unjustified spikes in heart rate that occur when an individual with POTS stands or sits up after lying down. That effect occurs when an individual with POTS stands or sits up after lying down.

headache

headache

  • Antidepressants categorized as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, lead to an increase in the total amount of serotonin maintained in the circulation of the brain. That can help those who suffer from depression. Because of this, certain of the body's functions may experience a calming impact, and it may become simpler to maintain a heart rate and blood pressure that are within acceptable levels.
  • Salt tablets are an extra option that you may consume to assist the body in maintaining an adequate level of salt, which is one of how you can use them, and this is one of the ways you can use them.

Patients' encouragement to adjust to their way of life is the primary focus of treatment for postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). You can make these changes regarding how patients live their lives and how they approach living those lives. Your doctor may suggest that you increase the amount of water and salt that you take the body, and the amount of salt that is included in the food you consume, to raise the volume of blood that is found inside your body. That is because persons who struggle with POTS have an abnormally low blood volume, which is the primary reason for this observation.

It has been shown that making adjustments to a person's lifestyle in the following areas can be helpful in the treatment of POTS:

headache

headache

  • Before standing up, it is helpful to drink around 16 ounces of water, the same amount as two full glasses' worth. That will help prevent dizziness.
  • It is advised that a person take a more significant number of meals, each of which should be made of a lesser quantity, to maintain constant levels of hydration in their body.
  • Both were ensuring that you get the necessary quantity of sleep and maintaining a routine for your sleeping habits are vital components of a healthy lifestyle.
  • Activities like rowing and cycling, which you can do from a sitting position, are examples of effective aerobic routines. Also included in this category are walking and running.
  • Consuming foods that contain salt is something that you should avoid (speak with your doctor before doing so)
  • Monitoring your symptoms can assist you in determining what sets off your specific triggers, which can help you avoid those triggers. Monitoring your signs can benefit you.

How To Prevent Positional Headaches

headache

headache

Because the underlying reason for positional headaches is almost usually a medical issue that has not been adequately detected, there is no foolproof approach for avoiding positional headaches from occurring in the first place. That is because the underlying cause of these headaches is a position.

You can, however, lessen the likelihood of developing the conditions that lead to severe headaches by adopting healthy lifestyle practices, such as eating a diet that is well balanced and avoiding placing undue tension on your muscles. Other lifestyle choices that can help reduce the likelihood of developing the conditions that lead to severe headaches include exercising regularly and getting adequate sleep. There is a possibility that your chance of getting certain disorders is also affected by other variables, such as your genetic make-up.

On the list of potential risk factors that might result in the formation of a CSF leak, You may discover the following elements to be present:

  • One might harm themselves when engaging in physical activity by overworking their muscles or exerting undue tension on their strengths, both of which can lead to muscular strain.
  • Pronounced bouts of coughing or sneezing come on often and can last for several minutes; these episodes can also recur frequently.
  • Participating in physical pursuits results in the body being jolted or yanked about. Taking part in activities that result in the body being shocked or yanked about (e.g., roller coasters)

headache

headache

  • One example of this would be having a lumbar puncture or other medical treatment performed on one's body.
  • One example of an illness that has a high propensity to be handed down from one generation to the next and that can be connected to genes or ancestors is polycystic kidney disease (PKD).
  • Cysts or tumors that develop in the head, neck, or spine can potentially become malignant.

People who have one or more of the following characteristics have a markedly increased risk of developing POTS:

  • Experiencing symptoms of an autoimmune condition
  • Had only just been given a mono diagnosis, in addition to another severe illness or virus.
  • having only recently sustained a blow to the head of a significant severity
  • Are you pregnant or have a history of pregnancy during the past few months or both

When To See A Doctor

You need to make an appointment with your primary care physician as soon as possible if you get severe headaches, continue for an extended period, or cannot be explained. During this session, you and your doctor are going to speak about your symptoms and try to determine whether or not there is an underlying ailment that might be potentially hazardous.

headache

headache

Suppose you have a headache with low pressure accompanied by any of the following symptoms. In that case, you should go to the hospital or seek emergency medical treatment as soon as possible because these symptoms may be warning markers of a CSF leak. POTS: If you have a headache with low pressure accompanied by any of the following symptoms, you should go to the hospital or seek emergency medical treatment as soon as possible.

  • Having nausea, feeling sick to one's stomach, and being sick enough to throw up are all symptoms of having an upset stomach.
  • Discomfort in the neck
  • a diminished capacity to hear or see increased sensitivity to light or sound, or all three of these simultaneously
  • Imbalance
  • Having discomfort in the space that you can find in the middle of the shoulder blades
  • Dizziness, vertigo, or mental fog
  • Have you been experiencing problems with your arms, such as soreness or numbness?
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Nipple discharge
  • Postural orthostatic hypotension is a term that can be used to describe changes in a person's pulse or blood pressure that occur after they stand up.
  • Fainting

The Contribution That Can Make To The Process Of Your Healing.

headache

headache

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