People may experience sore temples as a result of a throbbing headache or a condition known as temporal arteritis, which affects the arteries around the temples, according to MedlinePlus. The arteries often become swollen and inflamed, causing tender and sore temples.
With temporal arteritis, the vessels separate from the carotid artery in the neck, causing inflammation near the temples, explains MedlinePlus. Although the cause of this condition is unknown, medical researchers theorize that a faulty immune response contributes to the pain and soreness within the temples. Severe infections and continuous use of high dose antibiotics may also contribute to the condition.
When the temples are sore, scalp tenderness and headache pain on one side of the head or the back of the head may occur. Individuals with temporal arteritis may also experience flu-like symptoms such as fever, excessive sweating and jaw pain in addition to sore temples. Pain and stiffness in the shoulders, upper arms and neck often accompanies tender temples with temporal arteritis. When soreness in the temples persists, a physician often tests for temporal arteritis by examining the scalp, testing liver function and hemoglobin or hematocrit levels, notes MedlinePlus. Additional tests, such as an MRI, ultrasound or PET scan may help determine the cause of sore temples.