What Causes Headaches When Bending Over? What Causes Headaches When Bending Over?

What Causes Headaches When Bending Over?


It can be alarming to experience a sudden headache when bending over or changing positions, but it is usually nothing to worry about. Headaches are painful and unpleasant, but they are also widespread. According to the World Health Organization, around half the adult population suffers from headaches yearly.

There are two kinds of headaches: primary headaches, where head pain is the primary problem, and secondary headaches, where an underlying condition, such as the common cold, causes head pain. It is essential to know what kind of headache you are having and what may be causing it to find a solution.


Why Does My Head Ache When I Bend Over?


Primary headaches and secondary headaches are two broad categories of headaches. Worldwide, primary and secondary headache disorders are among the most common ailments.

  • It is usually a primary headache when head pain is the primary or only complaint of the patient. There are three types of primary headaches: tension headaches, migraine headaches, and cluster headaches.

  • Secondary headaches are secondary to an underlying condition, disease, or structural issue. There are several secondary headaches, including positional headaches, sinus headaches, and cough headaches.


Regardless of the type, severe headaches can negatively impact your well-being. Changing body positions can trigger or exacerbate some symptoms. Patients who suffer from a headache when bending over usually suffer from one of a few types of headaches. We'll examine each type of headache and its symptoms in more detail.


Dehydration Headache

Dehydration headaches are secondary headaches caused by dehydration, in which you lose more fluid than you take in. You may experience head pain when you move your body, especially when you walk, bend over, or turn your head from side to side if you're dehydrated. Additionally, you may experience fatigue, dry mouth, irritability, lightheadedness when standing up, thirst, or infrequent urination.

Symptoms of mild dehydration should improve with time and increased water consumption. Seek medical attention if you experience fever, diarrhoea, or dark yellow/brown urine.



Over 38 million Americans yearly suffer from migraines, a recurrent primary headache disorder. Symptoms of migraine headaches include aching on one or both sides of the head, distorted vision, hypersensitivity to light, sound, or smell, seeing light spots, or vomiting.

In addition to genetic predisposition, migraines can also be caused by certain foods, drinks with alcohol or caffeine, loud noises or bright lights, sleep changes, stress, medications, and physical activity.

Physical activity may trigger migraine headaches if you have a history of getting headaches when standing up or bending over. If this is your first migraine due to bending over, you may want to speak with your doctor to rule out other conditions or factors.


Sinus Headache

Sinus headaches are secondary headaches caused by inflammation of the sinuses behind your forehead, cheekbones, and under your nose bridge due to a viral infection. Approximately 30 million Americans suffer from sinus infection symptoms each year.

A sinus headache is characterised by pain, fullness, or pressure in the face, nasal congestion or stuffiness, fatigue, and an achy feeling in your upper teeth. Bending over or lying down may exacerbate the pressure, pain, or headache.


Positional Headache

Postural headache, or orthostatic or low-pressure, is a secondary headache that can be exacerbated by body movement. Only five out of 100,000 patients suffer from positional headaches each year.

Your positional headache symptoms may worsen when you engage in activities or move your body from one position to another. When you cough or sneeze, exercise, strain to have a bowel movement or engage in sexual activity, you may feel more pain. When you move from sitting to standing, standing to sitting, or bend over, your pain can worsen.

Various underlying conditions can lead to positional headaches, such as anaemia, a spinal fluid leak, a colloid cyst, and a brain tumour. Schedule an appointment with your medical professional if you have a positional headache.


Cough Headache

Cough headaches are rare when you suddenly cough, sneeze, laugh, cry, strain to have a bowel movement, or blow your nose. There are two types of cough headaches: initial cough headaches, caused by unknown factors, and subsequent cough headaches, caused by structural issues in the brain. While primary cough headaches usually go away independently, secondary cough headaches may require surgical treatment.

A primary cough headache may feel like a severe stabbing or splitting sharp pain on the sides or back of the head. The pain usually begins immediately after coughing, sneezing, straining, or other body movements and lasts only briefly. The initial symptoms usually accompany a dull, aching pain that persists for several hours. Pain can often be relieved by drinking water.

Symptoms of a secondary cough headache may be the same, but the pain occurs more frequently and lasts longer. Additionally, you may experience blurred vision, dizziness, or unsteadiness on your feet. It's essential to see your doctor if you are experiencing any secondary cough headache symptoms to rule out any internal structural issues with your brain.

If you are experiencing headaches, coughs, high fevers, nausea, vomiting, or shortness of breath, contact your doctor or the ER. Coronavirus (COVID-19) or another medical condition may be causing your symptoms.

How Do I Relieve A Headache From Bending Over?

Treatment of headaches depends mainly on identifying the type of pain you are experiencing because different types require different therapies. The following at-home remedies and practices may help mitigate your pain and alleviate your suffering from an occasional or mild headache.


  • Take some time to rest in a dark, quiet place.

  • Make sure you drink enough water.

  • Apply a heating pad or cold compress to your head and neck.

  • Coffee or tea is a hot, caffeinated beverage.

  • Use a moderate dose of an over-the-counter pain reliever like aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen.


You can also make lifestyle improvements to reduce your chances of developing a headache.

  • Sleep at least eight hours a night.

  • Regular exercise is essential.

  • Utilise stress-reduction techniques such as acupuncture and massage.

  • Maintain a good posture.

  • Regularly check your vision to avoid eye strain.


You may be suffering from an acute medical condition that requires treatment if your pain worsens despite at-home treatments, if you have a headache following a head injury, or if you have a headache accompanied by any of the following:

  • High fever

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhoea

  • Vision problems

  • Weakness in your muscles

  • Confusion

  • A change in your mental state

  • Seizures

Risks And Related Conditions

Headaches are more common in certain people than in others. Certain conditions may increase your risk of developing certain types of headaches:


  • Migraines: If you come from a family history of migraines, are a woman, are younger than 40, smoke, or suffer from depression or anxiety, you may be at risk

  • Sinus headache: You have allergies, are prone to upper respiratory infection and ear infections, have cystic fibrosis or nasal polyps, or have had nasal surgery in the past.

  • Positional headache: Following spinal surgery, having Chiari malformations, polycystic kidney disease, or having tumours or cysts in the brain, neck, or spine

  • Primary cough headache: You are over 40 and male

  • Secondary cough headache: If you are younger than 40 or have a defect in the skull

  • Dehydration headache: Your body is dehydrated

When To See A Doctor

It is uncomfortable to suffer from headaches, but they are not life-threatening. Most will subside on their own with over-the-counter medications or home remedies. Headaches can indicate an underlying medical condition that needs treatment for some people. Consult your doctor if your headache is new or unusual, lasts longer than usual, or does not improve with pain medication.

Symptoms such as high fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, vision problems, muscle weakness, confusion, a change in your mental state, seizures, or no explanation may indicate an acute medical condition that needs immediate attention. If this happens, please seek medical attention as soon as possible.

How Mobi Doctor Can Help

Mobi Doctor offers online urgent care. 


Write a Comment