Headaches and neck pain go hand-in-hand for many reasons, a stiff or strangled neck most of the time leads to neck pain with a headache. These headaches are commonly called cervicogenic headaches. Knowing how to take care of such headaches caused by the sensitivity of nerves in the neck can help you a long way in avoiding other complications especially in the head and the region near the neck.
Causes Of Neck Pain With Headache
As cervicogenic headaches shoot from troubles in the neck, varied conditions may trigger this kind of pain. These conditions consist of degenerative health problems such as osteoarthritis, a whiplash injury, or a troubled disc in the neck. Some kinds of sports and a fall can even lead to injuries of the neck and lead to such headaches.
Neck pain with headaches may even happen based on the position of how you stand or sit. A driver, hairstylist, carpenter, or someone who is seated at a table may unintentionally push the chin frontward which also moves the head out in front of the body and this forward movement is termed as cervical protraction. Standing or sitting in this stature for long durations can pressurize or lead to stress on the neck and skull’s base leading to a headache with neck pain.
Sleeping in a discomfited posture like with your head too far away to the back or front and off to one particular side can even trigger these kinds of headaches. It can also happen when one sleeps in a chair or sits in bed.
A pinched or compressed nerve near or in the neck is also one cause of this type of headache.
Will Neck Pain Cause Headache?
Yes, amongst many causes for headache neck pain is one and also the most common cause. Tension headaches and lower back pain and neck pain with headaches are generally rooted in the neck. However, the aches and stemming points within the neck vary a lot. Occipital neuralgia and cervicogenic headache (CGH) are two common types of headaches due to neck pain.
Why Do Neck Pain And Headaches Occur Together?
There is no one special reason for headaches and neck pain to go together. Few conditions may begin as neck problems and then shoot these problems up to the head, while few problems triggered in the head are sent back to the neck. This is the reason why they both occur together.
Trigeminocervical nucleus, Dura Mater of the brain, brain tissues, and blood vessels in the head and immune system also have their role for the occurrence of these pains together. Besides, the posture of the body can also lead to both the pains at a time.
To explain it further, a combination of 1 or multiple pain mechanisms and pathways is most responsible for the cause of neck pain and headache together.
Can Neck Pain Cause Headache And Dizziness?
Of course, yes, neck pain and dizziness may happen together in a few instances. This condition becomes worrisome when pain flares up. Causes of neck-related dizziness include;
- Whiplash, in this condition, joints and muscles in the neck affect proprioceptors and lead to dizziness.
- Cervical Spondylosis, in this condition, the intervertebral joints and discs break down leading to dizziness and compression of blood vessels.
- Vertebrobasilar insufficiency (VBI) leads to the compressed brain which in turn leads to dizziness.
- Bow hunter’s syndrome compresses the vertebral artery leading to dizziness. Cervical myofascial pain syndrome (CMPS) causes painful neck fascia and muscles leading to dizziness.
Can Neck Pain Cause A Headache On One Side?
Along with causing headache neck pain at times can be observed on only one side of the neck like right side neck pain or left side neck pain with a headache. This kind of pain on the particular side may be the offshoot of many underlying conditions like injuries, blood vessel problems, and inflammatory diseases. Tension headaches and migraines can also lead to pain on one side of the head.
When To Worry About Neck Pain With A Headache?
Usually, there’s nothing to worry but at times when you notice these conditions immediately consult your doctor.
- Having shoulder and neck pain with headache or pain that extends to the lower back.
- The presence of the condition for more than 2 weeks.
- When the condition is due to the result of an injury.
- Eye pain is a combination of headache and neck pain.
- Slurred speech and blur vision.
Neck Pain With Headache Treatment
There are many treatments for this condition and the foremost thing a doctor does is diagnosing the root cause. Based on the reason he may treat with various medicines and therapies that may include OTC drugs, prescribed medicine, muscle relaxers, cortisone injections, and posture adjustments. They may also recommend physiotherapy if needed.
When To See A Doctor?
The 2 major things to keep in mind even after following proper care is to seek immediate doctor attention when the pain persists for 2 weeks and spreads to other regions.
To conclude, although neck pain with headache is common, the underlying reason should be carefully analyzed to further stop the complications out of it.