Singing pitch is mainly controlled by the tension on the vocal folds. Higher pitch, higher tension. You failed to mention your age: the vocal folds (basically peripheral parts of muscles) and other movable parts of the larynx are fixed to cartilage. This cartilage construct gets a growth spurt (like a calving glacier) when your voice changes in puberty and hardens out (ossifies) again over the course of a number of years. As a result, the voice is both more malleable and damageable in young years: the tension on vocal folds has to come somewhere.
Now the key to singing painless is control of registers: the larynx has more than one mode of operation. The common speaking mode is "chest voice". In that mode, the larynx is in a fixed position and the pitch is controlled by tensing the vocal fold muscles themselves. Since this leads to a rather firm closure of vocal folds interrupted by regular puffs of air, this production of sound generates a sizable number of overtones that can be shaped by the vocal tract into "formants" carrying the vowel information of speech.
That voice type is what you are usually working with as a starting singer. However, there is more than one register. A counterpart is "falsetto" where one actually relaxes the vocal fold muscles and pulls them tight using a lever mechanism in the larynx. Without the self-curdling of the vocal folds, closure is less, so people tend to start out with a wheezy kind of falsetto where considerable air is escaping. With practice, closure gets better, as does pitch control (which works through a separate muscle group, remember?).
Once one has good control of both pure chest voice and pure falsetto (the main work area is extending the falsetto downwards), one can start bringing aspects of one register into the other, with the ultimate goal of being able to smoothly transition from one type to the other without an audible "flip" of the larynx configuration.
Imagine this like closing a door with balking latch quietly: you do that by pushing with one hand and pulling with the other, resulting in a controlled change from unlatched to latched rather than the latch giving in and the door smashing closed.
But even when you don't have the transition fully under control yet, you can still take pressure of the door.
So my basic advice is practising your falsetto and working on making it sound more robust, extend its range downwards and get good pitch control and quality into it.
That does not mean that you will actually want to use it when singing (its quality still may vary a lot and it may not fit your singing style, particularly when you cannot yet use it deftly and confidently) but you want to learn controlling the door's other side and develop a feeling for how far it is from flapping open and what effort you actually need to keep it where you want. Because the default approach can be likened to leaning on it strong enough "just in case", and doing that for hours on time is strenuous.