Head Feel Heavy? Read This

If your head feels heavy, then it can be due to a variety of things. It’s estimated that nearly 90% of people will experience this symptom at some point in their life.

People often report barely being able to hold their head up. You might describe the feeling as a “tight band” around your head. In either case, it can make you feel helpless and ruin your quality of life.

What Are the Causes?

head feels heavy

There are many different causes for this symptom. One of the most common ones is fatigue.

If you’re physically exhausted, then it may decrease your ability to keep your head up.

It’s estimated that nearly one million people in the United States suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

If you’re currently pushing yourself too hard, then you’ll need to take a break. People with CFS can also experience the following:

  • Reduced ability to concentrate
  • Lack of energy
  • No motivation
  • Depression

These symptoms can be constant if you’re not giving your body a break. If your head feels heavy, then it’s your body’s way of saying, “Slow down! I need a break!”.

Get more sleep, start exercising, and eat better. These simple lifestyle changes can go a long way towards making your symptom disappear.

Bottom Line: Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is something that affects 1+ million people in the United States. Give yourself a break and allow your body to recover.

Anemia Can Cause Your Head to Feel Heavy

Anemia is when your red blood cells can’t efficiently deliver oxygen throughout the body. This can be due to several things.

The most common is lack of dietary iron. Hemoglobin is the primary component of red blood cells, and is made up of four iron atoms.

If you don’t get enough dietary iron, then you’re essentially killing off the hemoglobin in your red blood cells. If your head feels heavy, start by eating more eating more beans- they’re loaded with iron.

Other symptoms of anemia include weakness, increased heart rate, and an inability to concentrate. The good news is that anemia is treatable through lifestyle intervention.

Bottom Line: Anemia is characterized by red blood cells becoming less efficient at delivering oxygen. It can be treated with lifestyle changes- specifically, by getting more iron.


Don’t freak out, but this is a possibility for having a heavy feeling in the head. As brain tumors grow within the brain, they can increase intracranial pressure.

Keep in mind that brain tumors aren’t the most common cause of headaches. In fact, there are many more things that can cause temple pressure- most of which have nothing to do with cancer.

If you’re worried, then talk to your doctor. They’ll be able to rule out a brain tumor by giving you an MRI or CT scan.

Bottom Line: The first thought people get after head pressure is “Cancer!”. But realize that this isn’t the most common cause of your symptom, so try not to worry.


When your head feels heavy, it could very well be due to a migraine. A migraine is basically a very severe headache that can last for many hours.

It’s estimated that about 5 million people in the United States experience at least one migraine per month. Take notice of these additional symptoms that are also associated with migraines:

While migraines can be quite severe, and cause a lot of pain, they won’t kill you. Scientists aren’t exactly sure why people get migraines.

They believe that it’s partly genetic, and partly due to lifestyle. People who get stressed easily are more likely to suffer from migraines compared to laid back people.

Also, changes in sleep patterns and/or hormonal changes can make you more susceptible to getting a migraine.

Bottom Line: Migraines come and go without warning. Not only can they lead to heaviness in the head, but they can also cause nausea, blurry vision, and more.

Diagnosing Head Heaviness

Is head heaviness something that you deal with on a regular basis? If so, it’s recommended that you see a doctor. They’ll have all the tools and knowledge needed to diagnose you.

Depending on the severity of your symptom, they may order an MRI. This is a painless procedure that allows doctors to view inside your body in a noninvasive way.

A CT scan can also be just as effective. In more extreme cases, the doctor might do a spinal tap. Be sure to tell you doctor exactly when you’re getting the symptom, as well as what you think might be triggering it.

The more information you give them, the better your chances of getting a correct diagnosis.

Bottom Line: A CT scan and MRI are two noninvasive ways to look inside the body to see what’s going on. A spinal tap is more invasive and generally reserved for extreme cases.


If the doctor can’t find the cause of your symptom, they may simply recommend pain medication to alleviate your pain and heaviness. If your head feels heavy all the time, try some of the following medicines:

  • Naproxen
  • Ibuprofen
  • Acetaminophen
  • Aspirin

Be sure to ask your doctor before getting on these. Also, mention any medications that you’re currently on as they could have adverse reactions with these drugs.

If the doctor concludes that it’s due to anxiety, then they may prescribe an anti-anxiety medication.

Bottom Line: Drugs like Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, Aspirin, and Naproxen can be used to help alleviate your symptoms.

When Should You See a Doctor?

As a rule of thumb, if your head feels heavy for several days in a row, go see a doctor. You don’t want to risk it being something serious.

It could be an isolated incident, but it could also be something else that requires medical intervention. In the meantime, try to take it easy, lessen your stress, eat better, and get more exercise.

You’ll be surprised by just how effective these things are at alleviating head pain, pressure, and heaviness.

Ask a Question: If you want to ask a medical doctor a question that hasn't been answered in one of our articles go to: Ask a Medical Doctor About your Symptoms

Did you find the information in this article helpful?

Leave a Comment