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Can Your Neck Cause Migraines

Can A Pinched Nerve In The Neck Cause Headaches

What causes neck pain with headache? – Dr. Sanjay Panicker

    Headaches can be the result of a number of medical conditions. The type of pain, frequency, location, and severity of the headaches provide the first key to understanding what is causing the headache. Any other symptoms youre experiencing with the headaches provide other vital pieces of information. By identifying the root cause of the headaches, doctors can identify a treatment plan that will ultimately provide relief.

    Common Symptoms Of A Migraine

    The main symptom of a migraine is usually an intense headache on 1 side of the head.

    The pain is usually a moderate or severe throbbing sensation that gets worse when you move and prevents you carrying out normal activities.

    In some cases, the pain can occur on both sides of your head and may affect your face or neck.

    It Doesnt Feel Like Other Headaches

    Cervicogenic headaches have some unique traits that may clue you in. Cervicogenic headaches usually hurt on one side of the head, Dr. Estemalik says. They start around the base of your skull and radiate up one side.

    Your neck may also give you some hints. A hallmark of a cervicogenic headache is a limited ability to move your neck or head, Dr. Estemalik explains. Your headache may get worse when you move your neck.

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    Upper Cervical Chiropractic And Migraines

    If the word chiropractor makes you nervous, we want to assure you that upper cervical chiropractic care is very different. Adjustments are precise, gentle , and only focus on the C1 and C2. Gentle adjustments may also last longer, which can make this a cost-effective form of care.

    To learn more about upper cervical chiropractic care, contact a practitioner in your area. You may find that a gentle adjustment or two can have significant benefits for your health, including helping with migraines.

    to schedule a consultation today.

    What Is A Cervicogenic Headache

    What Causes Headaches and Migraines? Can the Neck Cause ...

    Have you ever woken up with a headache and a nasty crick in the neck? The two symptoms are probably related! A neck ache combined with a headache could indicate a cervicogenic headache.

    Cervicogenic comes from “cervico,” meaning “neck,” and “genic,” meaning “relating to.” These headaches originate from the neck and by some definitions the spine.

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    What Does It Mean If Your Neck Hurts And You Have A Headache

    It makes sense that neck pain would be involved in migraine, because of the disease process in the body, says Kumar. The trigeminal nerve complex is involved in most migraines, and the nucleus of the trigeminal nerve is actually located high in the back of the neck, in what we call the c1, c2, and c3 vertebrae, the highest vertebrae in the spine, she says.

    The trigeminal nerve is responsible for sensations in the face and for functions like chewing and biting.

    In migraine, those areas get sensitized the muscles in the neck can become tense and tight, she says.

    Can Arthritis Give You Headaches

    Are you experiencing headaches and wondering if your arthritis could be the culprit? Sadly yes, arthritis can cause headaches in addition to its other symptoms. But depending on what type of arthritis you have, the exact cause can vary. Its essential to know the root cause of the headache, so you and your doctor can choose the proper treatment.

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    When To Contact A Medical Professional

    • You are experiencing the worst headache of your life.
    • You have speech, vision, or movement problems or loss of balance, especially if you have not had these symptoms with a headache before.
    • The headache starts very suddenly.
    • The headache occurs with repeated vomiting.
    • You have a high fever.

    Also, call your provider if:

    • Your headache patterns or pain change.
    • Treatments that once worked are no longer helpful.
    • You have side effects from medicines, including irregular heartbeat, pale or blue skin, extreme sleepiness, persistent cough, depression, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain, cramps, dry mouth, or extreme thirst.
    • You are pregnant or could become pregnant. Some medicines should not be taken when pregnant.

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    How Are Cervicogenic Headaches Diagnosed & Treated

    6 Steps to Relieve a Headaches & Fix Neck Pain | Migraines, Stiff Neck

    Diagnosing CH can present a challenge however, the primary indication is proof of musculoskeletal involvement. The orthopedic spine specialist will take an extensive medical history, looking for patterns of pain and headache and any history of trauma or degeneration in the neck. Diagnosis may also require imaging tests, or in some cases, neural blocks to isolate the source of pain.

    The approach to treating CH varies, depending on the origin of the problem. However, pain management alone is not sufficient for most patients. Your orthopedic specialist will develop an individualized treatment plan that may involve physical therapy, manipulative therapy, pain medication, and strength and range-of-motion training.

    For many patients, guided injections, including radiofrequency ablation or regenerative treatments, can provide significant improvement especially as an alternative to invasive surgical procedures.

    Seeking early cervicogenic headache diagnosis and treatment can help prevent further degeneration of the cervical spine and improve your prognosis for recovery.

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    Treatment For Myofascial Pain Syndrome/office Syndrome

    The treatment typically involves reducing tightness and tension in the affected muscle group

    • Tension treatment by using oral or injectable drugs, including muscle relaxants, paracetamol, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and opioid pain relievers
    • Breaking up muscle tension in and around trigger points with dry needling or acupuncture
    • Trigger point injections directly into the affected muscle to reduce inflammation
    • Acupressure massage to release tension in tight muscles or trigger points
    • Heat pack compression to help relieve tension and reduce pain
    • Ultrasound using sound waves to increase blood circulation and warmth and to break up trigger points
    • Shockwave therapy to release tension in tight muscles
    • Magnetic stimulation therapyone of the newest technologies available for treatment of myofascial pain

    The Treatment Process

    How To Prevent Or Manage The Pain

    A successful diagnosis pinpoints possible causes of headaches. For instance, the doctor can tell whether a bad posture while working is straining the neck muscles and advise better sitting and sleeping postures. Through the imaging tests, nerve and muscle degeneration may be detected and the appropriate cause of action recommended. These may include relaxation techniques such as meditation, exercise, and yoga. Relaxation increases blood flow to the muscles and nerves, which escalates the healing process.

    Cold and hot treatments on the specific pain areas may help manage the pain and promote blood flow. Wrap ice cubes with a towel, then place on the neck as you gently massage the area for 20 minutes, then replace with a hot wrap for another 20 minutes. Repeat the process several times daily. Professional massage may also help, especially after a long day at work. When the pain results from degeneration of neck and spinal cord muscles, apart from taking pain medication, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle may help stop or slow down the process. Also, drink more water, eat more fruits and vegetables, and avoid unhealthy habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Excessive alcohol consumption numbs or destroys spinal nerves which speed up the degeneration process. Osteoarthritis and muscle degeneration may not be preventable, but the pain is manageable through physical therapy and pain medication.

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    That Chronic Headache Could Be The Result Of A Back Or Neck Injury

      Are you constantly dealing with chronic headaches? Simple things can trigger headaches, like a small dietary change or lack of sleep. But chronic headaches are usually a sign that something isnt right.

      Back and neck injuries are normally associated with headaches patients often report that they experience headaches even after recovering from a back injury. Dr. Hui Kang, and his team at Houston Pain Specialists are here to explain how back or neck injuries can cause headaches.

      A Physiological Problem Or A Forward Head Posture Problem

      Headaches and Migraines

      Because you are reading this article, it will be assumed that you know what forward head posture is, it is likely that if you been to a chiropractor or other health care provider and this problem may have been explained to you as a potential cause of your problem.

      In December 2019, a randomized control trials results were published in the journal Medical Science Monitor examined the impact of Forward Head Posture on patients with tension headaches. Here are the summary learning points:

      • Tension-type headache decreases the ability to concentrate and function during daily activities in affected patients.
      • Most patients with Tension-type headache exhibit forward head posture.
      • Various interventions have been proposed to resolve Tension-type headaches. However, research regarding the efficacy of these interventions remains lacking.

      To address this concern, the researchers aimed to investigate the association between forward head posture and Tension-type headache and to evaluate the efficacy of various intervention methods on headache symptoms and other clinical variables in patients with Tension-type headache induced by forward head posture.

      Three different treatments:

      Interventions were conducted 3 times per week for 4 weeks.

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      Relieve Neck Pain And Headaches With Tennis Ball

      You can also use a tennis ball to relieve various types of nerve pain, including headache pain that starts at the back of the neck.

      This is what you should do to help alleviate neck pain and headaches quickly:

    • Put 2 tennis balls in a sock and tie securely.
    • Lie on your back and place the tennis balls where your neck joins the back of your head.
    • Let the weight of your head press down on the tennis ball sock.
    • Gently move your head from side to side and back and forth to help release tension from pinched nerves or tense neck muscles.
    • Continue the gentle motion for a few minutes.
    • Repeat a few times daily to help get rid of knots in the neck at the base of your skull and release headache pain.
    • Neck Pain Can Be Associated With Tension Headaches

      Tension-type headaches can be the result of neck and scalp muscles tensing or contracting, according to MedlinePlus. Stress, depression, head injury, anxiety, and any activity where you hold your head in one position without moving can cause the muscle contractions.

      In addition to having different causes, there are key differences between tension headache and migraine symptoms: Tension headache pain is a dull, pressure-like pain thats typically on both sides of the head, whereas migraine pain is often described as throbbing pain on one side of the head.

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      Treatment Options For Tension

      Over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and paracetamol are commonly used to treat tension-type headache. It shouldnt be necessary to take stronger medications.

      Its important to discuss use of any drugs with your doctor if you are pregnant. Using painkillers more than twice a week can increase the risk of tension-type developing into chronic daily headache, and you should also speak to your doctor if you are regularly getting headaches.

      As stress is a cause of tension-type headache, you may find it helpful to learn relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, avoid stressful situations as much as possible, and consider speaking to a counsellor or therapist.

      Can A Neck Strain Cause Headaches And Other Pain Issues

      How Your Shoulder Causes Neck Pain & Headaches

      Headaches can be caused for a wide variety of reasons. Things like sinus pressure, hormonal changes, direct head injuries, the common cold, and even stress are all well known reasons for why a person might develop a headache. For people who suffer from chronic or frequent headaches finding the cause is the first step in finding a solution to the problem. Sometimes the cause is not clear, or it might be something that people often do not associate with headaches. Neck problems are one of the most common undiagnosed culprits out there for causing this issue, we can call it a neck strain headache, but there is a term called a cervicogenic headache.

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      Preventing Stiff Necks And Headaches

      To prevent headaches related to neck pain, there are things you can do to avoid a stiff neck at home. Consider the following:

      • Practice good posture. When standing or sitting, your shoulders should be in a straight line over your hips with your ears directly over your shoulders. Forward head posture, which is common when using electronics, could be a culprit. Here are 12 exercises to improve your posture.
      • Adjust your sleep position. Try to sleep with your head and neck aligned with your body. Some chiropractors recommend sleeping on your back with a pillow under your thighs to flatten your spinal muscles.
      • Customize your workspace. Adjust your chair so your knees are a bit lower than your hips. Place your computer monitor at eye level.
      • Take breaks. Whether youre working at your computer for long periods of time or driving long distances, frequently stand up and move. Stretch your shoulders and neck.
      • If you smoke, consider quitting. Among other problems it can cause, smoking can

      Treatment For Cervicogenic Headaches

      Treatment for cervicogenic headache should target the cause of the pain in the neck and varies depending on what works best for the individual patient. Treatments include nerve blocks, medications and physical therapy and exercise. Physical therapy and an ongoing exercise regimen often produce the best outcomes. Other providers that may need to be involved in management of cervicogenic headache include physical therapists, pain specialists and sometimes neurosurgeons or orthopedic surgeons.

      Please refer to the International Classification of Headache Disorders 3rd edition website for more information on the criteria used to diagnosis cervicogneic headaches.

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      How Does It Cause So Much Pain

      The base of the skull is a very dense and complex region filled with joints, nerves, blood vessels, and a multitude of muscles, both large and small. All of this to support your head, and most importantly, your brain! With so much going on, it’s easy to see why a misalignment can cause problemslike a truck tipped over in Manhattan traffic.

      When the vertebrae aren’t in position, they can directly or indirectly rub up against the nerves, especially the occipital nerve . According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the pain caused by occipital nerve irritation starts at the base of the neck and spreads up to the scalp. Sometimes, the pain can be felt at the scalp, forehead, and behind the eyes.

      What Does Cervicogenic Headache Feel Like

      Determining if the Neck is the Cause In Headache and Migraine

      A cervicogenic headache is when the pain is occurring from a source in the neck, Kumar explains.

      Its different from a migraine with neck pain, because unlike migraine, which is a primary headache, cervicogenic headaches are secondary headaches, according to the American Migraine Foundation.

      In a primary headache, the headache itself is the main issue and not a symptom of another underlying disease or disorder. In cervicogenic headaches, the pain is caused by an underlying disorder or injury of the neck, such as a tumor, fracture, infection, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis of the cervical spine, or muscle tightness or strain in the neck muscles.

      This type of headache can mimic a migraine headache because they are usually on one side of the head and the pain can go from back of the neck and head to the front of the head, says Kumar.

      There are key differences between the two types of headache, however: Migraine headaches often have other symptoms, such as visual symptoms and nausea it gets worse with activity, and migraine pain can have a pulsating quality, she says.

      Cervicogenic headaches, on the other hand, are often accompanied by reduced range of motion of the neck, according to StatPearls.

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      Neck Pain And Migraine Headache

      Migraine headache, or migraine is a common disabling episodic headache characterized by throbbing or pulsating pain on one side of the head. More than half of the migraine population experience neck pain before and/or during a migraine attack.12 While in most cases neck pain in migraine is limited to the upper neck region, sometimes the pain may radiate to the lower neck and/or shoulder.

      A migraine is a recurring headache that causes moderate to severe throbbing and pulsating pain on one side of the head. Other symptoms may include nausea and sensitivity to light and/or sound.

      Migraine is believed to be caused due to genetically modified hypersensitive neurons in the brain. These neurons are triggered by environmental changes , hormones, food, or smell and in turn trigger adjacent neurons to induce pain pathways and cause migraine symptoms.

      Symptoms Of Migraine Headaches

      • A headache on one side/both sides/alternating sides of the head
      • Severe throbbing or pulsating pain
      • Pain lasting for 472 hours
      • nausea and vomiting
      • Aura symptoms in addition to headache, the onset of which may be experienced either before or after the headache. These aura symptoms include blurred vision/flashing lights/dark spots, numbness , weakness, and dizziness.
      • Symptoms are often associated with clear, specific triggers.

      When diagnosing migraine headaches, one should first rule out more serious causes and diseases associated with headaches, such as ischemic stroke, hemorrhage, etc. Once your doctor is certain that these more serious diseases can safely be ruled out, treatment planning depends on the frequency and severity of your pain.

      Treatment is divided into two main categories:

      • Acute treatment: this can be administered as either oral or injectable pain relievers
      • Preventative treatment: Patients experiencing frequent headaches, severe pain with each episode, long-lasting pain or pain accompanied by neurological symptoms such as blurred vision, dizziness, numbness, weakness, etc., can be treated using oral or injectable pain prevention medications

      Additionally, factors triggering migraines should be avoided in order to prevent the onset of the headaches. Treatment of other possible causes, such as muscle stiffness and office syndrome, should also be carried out.

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