Why Does My Head Feel Heavy? 10 Reasons

Published on April 8th, 2023

Last updated on April 8th, 2023

head feels heavy

Do you agree that at least once in our lives, we have experienced an unpleasant feeling of heaviness in our head? As a rule, it occurs due to stress, traumas, or other diseases. Most people do not attach importance to this symptom. Because almost all diseases of the body occur with:

  • weakness;
  • malaise;
  • disability.

But, in some cases, this head condition is the first alarming symptom. It is a signal when it is not too late to do something, examine and treat. “Severe” headaches can occur with a variety of pathologies. They can be both non-dangerous and life-threatening.

Thus, you should not leave it without attention. And it is better to consult a therapist. Only a complete examination will help to determine the disease and avoid complications.

Let’s deal with the question: “Why does your head feel heavy?” In the article, you can read more about it and possible treatments.

What Are The Causes Of Heavy Feelings In The Head?

But, the very discomfort in the head is always due to a lack of oxygen to the brain or stagnant venous blood. Also, you can experience it due to the following:

  • Tension headaches. These are the most common types of headaches;
  • Migraine. Migraines are a type of headache that can cause intense pain and sensitivity to light and sound;
  • Meniere’s disease. This inner ear disease can cause dizziness and a feeling of heaviness in the head. You can also experience ringing in the ears and hearing loss;
  • Anxiety and depression. These mental illnesses can cause physical symptoms, such as when your head is heavy. It can also cause other symptoms, such as:
    • fatigue;
    • insomnia;
    • difficulty concentrating.
  • Increased intracranial pressure, etc.

The brain is the most energy-consuming organ in the human body. During active thought processes, it consumes half of all energy in the body. Thus, it needs a good blood supply. If it is altered, it affects the nervous system and health. It is why the sensation of heaviness in the head is due to:

  • the blood vessels;
  • the blood supply to the brain;
  • the synthesis of biologically active substances in the brain – neurotransmitters. 

Read more below if you wonder why your head feels heavy and dizzy.

1. Head And Cervical Spine Injuries

One of the most common causes of headaches is whiplash. It occurs in car accidents. A sharp jolt during braking causes trauma to the neck’s soft tissues. 

This can cause sprains and subluxations of the cervical spine. Headache and impaired cerebral circulation are a consequence of this.

2. Degenerative-dystrophic Diseases Of The Spine

Problems in the cervical spine, particularly osteochondrosis, have many consequences. Among them, you can distinguish: 

  • constant heavy feeling in the head, which clogs the ears;
  • dizziness;
  • lethargy of the person.

Pathological changes in the spine structures in these diseases often lead to:

  • irritation of nerve roots;
  • compression of the vertebral arteries.

So, the blood supply worsens, complicating venous outflow. You can also experience increased intracranial pressure. It leads to reduced blood flow and a limited oxygen supply to the brain. A person also experiences constant strain on the neck and shoulder girdle muscles.

Pathologies of the cervical spine can cause headaches throughout the day. It can increase with bending, sudden movements, and turning of the neck.

3. Infectious Processes

We can also relate the heaviness in the head to acute infectious diseases. Intoxication syndrome develops in:

  • colds;
  • pyelonephritis;
  • inflammation of the female appendages due to viruses and bacteria.

It can manifest as:

  • high body temperature;
  • weakness, drowsiness, increased fatigue;
  • muscle and joint pains;
  • loss of appetite.

These symptoms usually last for 2-3 days. And then, they decrease or disappear under the influence of treatment.

The heaviness in the frontal or occipital area can be due to a brain infection or meningitis. The disease begins with a runny nose and does not look like a cold in its early stages. But if you don’t treat the disease, it seriously damages the brain, heart, and kidneys.

4. Increased Intracranial Pressure

High intracranial pressure can manifest itself as a crushing and heavy feeling in the head. You can also have a feeling of heaviness in your head. The patient can also experience nausea and vomiting.

5. Tension Headache

A pressing, squeezing headache can go with a feeling when the head is heavy. This condition usually occurs after stress, emotional strain, or prolonged uncomfortable posture.

Doctors believe that the main cause of pain is a reflex spasm of the occipital and cervical muscles. It can:

  • irritate certain types of neurons;
  • cause pain;
  • alter the synthesis of neurotransmitters in the brain.

This disease can appear at any age. But most often, it affects women between 20-40. Tension headache is not characterized by exacerbation at:

  • physical exertion;
  • exposure to loud sounds or light. 

It can be in contrast to a migraine when you think, “Why does my head feel heavy and dizzy?”. Sometimes the disease progresses to the chronic stage, leading to complications:

  • difficulty falling asleep;
  • sweating;
  • abdominal discomfort and tachycardia.

6. Arterial Hypertension

High blood pressure increases the measurement result above 140/90 mm Hg. Doctors call this condition- “arterial hypertension.” And it is life-threatening because of the gradual development of cardiac pathology.

Symptoms can appear after physical exertion or severe emotional distress. The person complains of pain and heaviness in the head:

  • occipital area;
  • flickering in front of your eyes;
  • weakness and fatigue. 

In many people, the discomfort increases when lying down or doing housework. It is a dangerous signal if the symptoms of hypertension:

  • frequently recurring;
  • accompanied by swollen legs, shortness of breath;
  • palpitations.

A sudden rise in blood pressure can worsen cerebral circulation. And some people can develop a stroke. This condition is life-threatening and requires emergency medical care.

7. ENT Diseases

The ears, nasal cavity, and throat are closely linked. Thus, a runny nose can lead to complications in the hearing organ. The infection accumulates in the sinuses of the skull with nasal mucosal swelling.

Mucus accumulates in them, and pus-causing microorganisms multiply. But the bone can not stretch, and the fluid presses on the walls of the sinuses. This leads to severe:

  • heavy feelings in the head;
  • distension.

The person feels the symptoms worsen if they lean forward or changes the torso’s position.

Heavy sensations in the head, dizziness, and disorientation appear in Meniere’s disease.

The study has proven that this disease can lead to headaches and heavy feelings. The unpleasant sensations do not bother you all the time. They are more like attacks. This disease is due to a pathology of the inner ear, where you can find the vestibular apparatus.

8. Cervical Myositis

The pain usually extends to the back. Especially if it occurs as a result of:

  • inflammation of the neck muscles due to trauma;
  • cold stress;
  • prolonged exposure to an anti-physiological posture. 

9. Bad Bite

A head feeling heavy and pain in the back of the ears can occur due to shifting the head’s center of gravity.

They also distribute the load on the cervical spine incorrectly. With these disorders, symptoms are usually present for a long time. And they intensify in the evening.

10. Neurotic Disorders And Depression

A heaviness in the head can manifest neurosis. Especially when it is usually combined with the following:

  • increased irritability;
  • tearfulness;
  • anxiety;
  • dizziness;
  • sleep and vegetative disturbances;
  • pain in different parts of the body. 

How To Treat A Heavy Feeling In The Head?

feeling of heavy head

Regardless of the causes of ill health, doctors recommend:

  • give up alcohol;
  • limit the consumption of coffee and strong tea;
  • walk more often in the fresh air;
  • rest more.

While working at the computer it is useful to do physical exercises periodically. If you feel heaviness in the back of the head or forehead, it is better not to self-medicate but to see a doctor.

Otherwise, you can make a mistake with the diagnosis. So, you allow the appearance of complications. If you wonder why my head feels heavy and dizzy and what to do, read below:

  • If the heaviness in the head appears after a nervous strain, you should try to calm down. Try lying down or taking any comfortable position. A feeling of sleepiness can indicate overwork, you should not ignore it, and you can try to get enough sleep. Sometimes, you will need herbal sedatives based on motherwort and valerian. But you need to remember that tonics can cause drowsiness;
  • If the cause is a depressive state, however, psychotherapy can be the answer. With the right doctor, methadone supplements can work a miracle. Besides this, add supplements in a liquid form. They will help support, and enhance immunity and mental performance when the head is heavy;
  • If you have dizziness with a cold, runny nose, or increased body temperature, you must start with simple methods. It is possible to apply vasoconstrictor drops into the nose for no longer than 3-5 days. They can easily remove swelling of the mucous membranes. Also, they help prevent the development of sinusitis, speeding up recovery;
  • If you have a fever, you can improve the condition with antipyretics;
  • You can reduce neck pain with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. They can be in the form of:
    • pills;
    • creams, or ointments;
    • in the acute period, it can be injections.

Bottom Line

Therapeutic measures to eliminate the head’s heaviness should be supplemented by normalization of the regime and good immunity supplements.

Take advantage of our enjoythedrop products and experience their positive effects on your health. They contain many adaptogens. So they can easily increase your immunity and boost your mood.

Hypertension-causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology


When do doctors treat heaviness in the head with surgery?

Doctors perform surgery in rare cases. If the pressure in the head is due to Meniere’s disease, the doctor can suggest a special surgical intervention. It improves the outflow of endolymph from the inner ear.

How can doctors diagnose the heaviness in the head?

Encephalography, magnetic resonance imaging and computerized tomography (CT) scans are prescribed to determine the cause of the heaviness in the head, dizziness, weakness, and other similar symptoms. An electrocardiographic examination is also often necessary.

Can dehydration cause a heavy feeling in the head?

Yes, dehydration can cause a heavy feeling in the head. When the body is dehydrated, the brain can temporarily shrink or contract, causing headaches, dizziness, and a heavy feeling in the head.

Is a heavy feeling in the head always a sign of a serious health problem?

Not necessarily. While a heavy feeling in the head can sometimes be a symptom of a serious health problem, such as a concussion or a brain tumor, it can also be caused by less severe conditions, such as tension headaches, sinusitis, or dehydration.

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