The occipital arteries run up the back of the head, and are often affected in temporal arteritis. As the occipital arteries lie right next to the greater occipital nerve, temporal arteritis can cause a "headache back of head".
This may present with a sudden severe back of head headache.
Vertebral artery dissection is a cause of a stroke. The best way to distinguish vertebral artery dissection from cervicogenic headache is to listen to the onset of pain.
In dissection it is usually much more rapid - onset over seconds.
In cervicogenic there will usually have been a smaller amount of pain in the preceding months or years.
If your doctor considers a diagnosis of Vertebral Artery Dissection this is ruled out using an MRI scan.
The classic cervicogenic headache causes a pain in the back of the head -
Most people with cervicogenic headache will have previously injured their neck (a whiplash injury is typical).
Other people will have had minor injuries (often forgotten) or adopt postures or habits that contribute to poor posture, which can predispose to pain.