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What causes burning head pain?

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Quick Answer

Conditions such as cluster headaches and occipital neuralgia cause burning head pain, according to WebMD. Injured or inflamed occipital nerves, which run up the scalp from the top of the spinal cord, cause occipital neuralgia, a neurological condition.

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Full Answer

Sometimes confused with a migraine headache, occipital neuralgia pain can present as sharp, stabbing shocks to the back of the neck and head, notes WebMD. Additional symptoms include sensitivity to light and a tender scalp. Pain behind the eye on one or both sides of the head and when moving the neck are common as well.

The burning pain of a cluster headache is usually located in the eye region or behind one eye, advises WebMD. Cluster headaches do not normally change sides and occur up to three times a day. Such headache periods can last up to three months.

Short-lasting, unilateral, neuralgiform headache attacks with conjunctival injection and tearing, or SUNCT, also cause burning in the head, explains the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. An individual with a SUNCT headache experiences recurrent but brief episodes of moderate to severe burning. The pain typically occurs on one side of the head and the temple or eye. Additional symptoms include a runny nose and red, watery eyes.

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