Headache is a nuisance on its own, and think about it being coupled with neck pain; how bad would that be! Usually, these two do not co-occur; however, certain health conditions might cause neck pain and headache together. Let’s dig deeper into this issue.
Neck Pain and Headache – The Connection
There are medical conditions of the neck that may lead to pain in the head and neck, two of which are:
A cervical headache usually starts off as a dull ache from the neck area and moves upward along the back of the head, almost always affecting just one side. Pain may radiate towards the forehead, temple area, or around the eyes or ears. The cause of CGH is an underlying disc, muscle, joint, or nerve disorder of the neck.
Occipital neuralgia shows up with sharp, stinging electric shock on the back of the head, neck, along with ears. You feel pain on one side, which begins from the upper neck area and fans out to the head. Occipital neuralgia is a result of irritation or injury to the occipital nerve.
This condition is quite rare. Also, the symptoms are somewhat like that of migraine headaches, and confusion between the two is quite common.
Can Headaches Cause Pain In The Neck?
First, we have discussed neck pain causing headaches; here, we are talking about the flip side. Yes, headaches can cause neck pain too. Here are some types:
Tension headaches are fairly common. It feels like a rubber band squeezing around the forehead, exerting pressure on the temple and surroundings. The pain felt is all over and not just a side.
It is usual for some people to feel pain in the back of the neck as well as their shoulders at the time of headaches.
The exact reason for tension headaches is still unknown; however, they are related to stress. Individuals who have high stress levels, often suffer from tension headaches.
Migraines are next in line among the top types of a headache associated with neck pain. It is estimated to hit around 12% of the population in the U.S.
The pain is different, tension headaches are dull, and migraines, on the other hand, cause throbbing or stabbing pain. The location is one side of the head and sometimes radiates to the neck too.>
How To Get Rid Of Neck pain and associated Headaches
Chronic headaches and neck pain indicate high levels of stress in life. Taking measures to cut your stress levels can improve your pain with time. Relaxation techniques, like deep breathing, regular massage, and light exercise, can help calm you down.
Heat and Cold On The Neck and Head
Both heat and cold can help ease headaches due to neck pain. For migraines, either a cold compress or ice pack help provides instant relief. Apply the pack for about 15 minutes, take a break for a few minutes and repeat. The same goes for a heating pad.
Schedule a Massage
Massages can ease the neck area muscles contributing to your headache pain. It relieves muscle strain and tension smoothly. You should research before booking a massage to make sure the therapist has prior experience with people who have head and neck pain.
With these management tips, you can easily get rid of the stabbing pain in the head almost immediately. If your condition does not get better, talk to professionals from San Ramon Urgent Care for help.