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The Ultimate Back Pain Relief Tips Blog

Neck Pain and Stress Causing Headaches

Posted by Dr. Jeff Winternheimer D.C. on Tue, Jan 08, 2013 @ 02:34 PM

Often when you are experiencing neck pain and a headaches the two are usually related. These headaches due to neck problems are called neck related or cervicogenic headaches.                       

neck pain and headaches

The necks joints, muscles, discs, and ligaments contain nerves that are sensitive to neck injuries or strains that can cause headaches. The base of the skull is usually where the headaches are most severe when related to neck pain. This pain might spread to the temples, face, forehead, eyes and shoulders.

Likely Causes for Headaches Related To Neck Pain

  • STRESS! Stress can be a huge factor into why you suffer from headaches and neck pain. The tension that stress can cause can lead to tense muscles in your neck. This is called a tension headache or a muscle-contraction headache. Usually the result is stiffness and contracted muscles in or around the head. Headaches, neck pain and pressure are common symptoms of tension headaches.
  • Degenerated Disc Disease. Most frequently felt as “stiff neck”. A fall or twisting injury to the disc can cause degeneration and collect wear and tear on the disc over time, which can lead to neck pain.
      • Symptoms include low-grade pain of stiff neck, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the neck, arms, or shoulders.
  • Poor posture. Moving your neck or holding your neck in one position for long periods of time may bring pain. For example balancing you’re phone between your ear and shoulder, this position can strain your neck causing back pain. Neck muscles can become strained and stiff.
  • Gum chewing. This might sound crazy but gum chewing can strain the muscles in your head and neck, which can cause tension causing a headache or neck pain.
  • Lighting. Say you are working or reading and there is no light or not enough light this can strain your neck and even strain your eyes causing stiffness in your scalp and forehead muscles leading to a tension headache and neck pain.
  • Muscle spasms. Or muscle cramps that occur suddenly causing the muscle to contract and or tighten often-causing pain. They are caused by an injury that is not treated.
  • Cluster headaches. Cluster headaches are often accompanied by soreness in the neck. These are headaches that typically happen on the side of the head and happen in clusters around the same time of the day for weeks or even months.
  • Migraine headache. Neck pain and stiffness are often signs of an approaching migraine headache. This is a headache that’s is related to the irritation of blood vessels in the brain.
  • Arthritis. There are two types that lead to neck pain: cervical spondylosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Both of these lead to joint damage that causes pain and discomfort in your neck.
  • Jaw Clenching or Poor Jaw Alignment. This is also known as temporomandibular joint disorders or TMJ disorders. Excessive jaw clenching or poor jaw alignment can often lead to both headaches and neck pain.
  • Whiplash. This is caused by trauma or an injury to the head or neck during a car accident. This can lead to lasting headaches, shoulder pain and neck pain.
  • Meningitis. This is a potentially life-threatening infection and symptoms often include neck pain/stiffness, headaches, and fever.

Many doctors often misdiagnose or undiagnosed those suffering with neck pain for headaches or migraines. If you are suffering often from headaches then your upper spine, shoulder or most importantly the neck, could cause it. Neck and headache pain often worsen if you keep you neck in the same position for a long period of time or by twisting and moving your neck in specific movements. Headaches and neck pain can really affect your everyday life. Click here to learn different tips to avoiding neck pain “Reduce Neck Pain – Tips Here!”

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