What Causes Intense Head Pressure When You Bend Over?

Have you ever had an intense head pressure and/or pain while trying to bend over? It looks like your head is going to explode. It is kind of terrifying, even though the pressure goes away when standing up or sitting down. What does this mean and what could be causing it? Seek medical help anytime you have repeated headaches which have no reasonable explanation. Serious medical conditions need to be ruled out.

Intense Pressure and/or Pain in Head When Bending Over

Various reasons can lead to a sensation of intense pressure in head when bending over, often accompanied with a headache as well. It could be a symptom of cold, neuropsychiatric problems or even disorders of the cardiovascular system. The most common causes are as follows:

1. Sinus Headache

A sinus headache is usually worse in the morning, located only on one side of the head around the eyes, forehead or cheeks, which tends to get better during the day. A sinus headache tends to get worse when moving the head, especially when bending down. Intense pressure in head is often felt.

Besides, other signs and symptoms of sinusitis include high fever, green or yellowish mucus discharged from the nose, a swollen face, a tenderness of the face to the touch, etc. Sometimes, the headache can even radiate into the teeth, upper jaw as well as other parts of the head.


You already know sinus headache could be causing intense pressure in head when bending over, a sensation like your head is going to explode. How is sinus headache treated?

In mild to moderate cases of sinus headaches, you don’t need to go and visit a doctor. You can treat it at home with over-the-counter painkillers such as acetaminophen or paracetamol. Other effective remedies include drinking plenty of fluids during the day, bed resting, nasal sprays with decongestant effect, applying a warm cloth directly over the affected sinuses a couple times during the day, etc.

However, if your headache is not getting better with all that at-home treatments even after a week, you should seek professional medical help. Your doctor will recommend you antibiotics to treat the infection, corticosteroid nasal sprays to reduce the sinus swelling, as well as antihistamines if an allergy is the cause of your symptoms.

In severe cases, even a surgical treatment might be recommended in order to help the drainage of the sinuses.

2. Brain Tumor

Another possible cause is brain tumor. The common symptoms include repetitive headaches, a change in the headaches pattern, presence of a motor weakness, presence of visual or sensory symptoms, memory or thinking difficulties, personality changes, repetitive and prolonged vomiting, coughing, sneezing, a headache and intense pressure in head when bending over, etc.

However, it is good to know that the above-mentioned signs and symptoms can occur in cases of benign brain tumors as well, not just malign brain tumors. So, there is no need to think about the worst first. However, you will need to get the right diagnosis and treatment rightaway.


Once diagnosed with a brain tumor, surgery is the first treatment recommended whenever it is possible to completely remove it. However, not all brain tumors can be surgically removed due to their location in the human brain. When surgery is not an option, chemotherapy and radiation therapy might help.

These treatment options will help kill or shrink the tumor as much as possible. In certain cases, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are used as well after a surgical removal of the brain tumor, in order to kill any remaining cancer cells.

A Gamma Knife therapy is another treatment option which consists in using highly focused radiation therapy. This kind of therapy is recommended in cases when the brain tumor is located deep into the brain or in specific locations which can’t be reached with other treatments.

Just like any other treatment options, the above-mentioned treatments for brain tumors have possible side effects as healthy brain tissue can get damaged as well. It is important to consult with your doctor about any questions you have regarding these possible long-term side effects.

Rehabilitation therapy is often an important part of the brain tumor treatment, which consists of a physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, etc.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Whenever you have a headache and/or an intense pressure in head when bending over, you should seek medical help. Seek immediate medical help in the following cases:

  • Your headache is so severe that it interferes with your ability to perform normal daily activities.
  • Your headache starts suddenly and is very intense.
  • Your headache is worse than all your previous headaches.
  • Your headache continues to get worse even after 24 hours.
  • Your headache started after a head injury.
  • Your headache is accompanied by vision problems, weight loss or painful chewing.
  • Your headache is only on one side of the head, accompanied with eye redness.
  • Your headache is accompanied by high fever, neck stiffness, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Your headache is accompanied by speech difficulties, confusion, memory loss, loss of balance, difficulties moving upper and lower extremities,
  • You started having headaches after your 50s.
  • You have been diagnosed with cancer or HIV/AIDS in the past, etc. 
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