External Compression Headache

External Compression Headache 

External compression headaches occur when something is worn on the head and puts continuous pressure on the scalp or forehead. These headaches occur in people that wear certain head wears, such as scarves, helmets, or goggles, in normal, for their work or any sports activities. Sometimes this external compression headache is known as 

  • “swim goggle headache” 
  • “football-helmet headache” 

or any other name that refers to the equipment that causes the headache.

People that are most likely to get external compression headaches are

  • Construction workers, 
  • Military officers, 
  • Police officers
  • Athletes. 
  • People who wear tight tied scarves, tight hats, or headbands also get this headache. 

The solution to an external compression headache is sample as the cause. Just remove the headwear that is causing the pressure. 


The pain of external compression headaches is described as moderate but constant pressure. The area which hurts the most is where the object is pressing on the head. The pain might worsen if the headwear is worn for a long time.


External compression headaches are caused by any tight headwear that puts pressure on the head. It includes tight hats, helmets, headbands, and swimming goggles.

The headaches result from pressure on pain receptors or pain fibers that are responsible to transmit signals from the face to the brain, that nerve is known as trigeminal nerve or the nerves in the back of the head called occipital nerves.


To end this headache, remove the tight headwear or lose it to release the tension that is causing the pressure. No further treatment is needed. If the person has a history of migraines, wearing tight headwear may trigger an attack that might need medication for migraine relief.

Scroll to Top