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The Connection Between Neck Pain and Headaches

Many people struggle with chronic neck pain and headaches, but the symptoms often go unnoticed. Essentially a headache is an intense type of pain in your head that lasts from several minutes to one hour at a time and can result in sensitivity to light, sound, or even touch. It can be caused by various factors, including stress or injury, but it is typically brought on by an inflammatory reaction within the head and brain. The severity of the headache depends on which part of the head is affected by an injury or condition.

About Neck Pain and Headaches

Neck pain and headache could be related. Neck pain is when the neck or shoulders are painful and stiff. Symptoms include throbbing, radiating, or aching pain in the neck and shoulder region and sharp pain in the neck or shoulders when moving. Headaches occur anywhere from the base of the skull to one inch above your brow ridge but can also affect any part of your head, from the temple to the scalp. A headache can be described by various symptoms, including pressure, throbbing, pulsing in one area or all over your head, a feeling like someone is pressing on your head, stabbing pains that last several minutes to hours at a time which may prevent you from working or performing your day to day tasks.

How Neck Pain Can Lead to Headaches and Migraines

Neck pain and migraines are caused by several factors, including stress, hormonal changes, tension or muscle contractions in the neck and shoulder area, and injury or inflammation to the head. Specific nerves can cause migraines near the brain stem that send pain signals directly to the brain. Fourteen significant arteries branch out from your carotid artery, which is located in your neck. The carotid artery controls blood pressure in your entire body and supplies enough blood to your brain cells. With the onset of migraine pain and pressure, the blood vessels in your neck constrict, which causes them to narrow. It can obstruct blood flow, which is what causes headaches. Migraine pain also can stretch or press against other nerves or blood vessels in the head. Migraine occurs when an artery that carries blood away from the brain becomes blocked by something causing the arteries to constrict. Neck pain and migraines can happen when other arteries causing headaches, rather than being blocked, become dissection or dilated. The vessels dilate and become over-stretched due to constriction. It is called arteriovenous malformation (AVM).

How can this be prevented and relieved?

Neck pain and headaches are preventable by making sure you get plenty of sleep, doing your exercises regularly, and if you feel pain or have symptoms such as headache, neck pain, and arm pain that can be related to headaches and migraines seek some help.

Exercise can help prevent neck pain by strengthening the muscles, which prevents strains, pulls, or sprains. Performing daily exercises can also lead to increased flexibility in your muscle groups. The neck area is an integral part of the body that you should take good care of and exercise to decrease the risk of pain, headaches, or migraines.

Neck pain and headaches are related to each other because they are both caused by similar factors. The leading cause of neck pain and headaches is muscle tension, adhesions or injury. 

Our chiropractors are dedicated to examining and treating the root causes of your pain. IF you have any questions about yourneck pain or chronic headaches, book your appointment with our experts!

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