If you frequently get a headache with neck pain you may be suffering from muscle problems. Muscles can refer pain to the head. There is one particular region of the neck that is commonly involved in headaches
Most likely, the headache is caused by neck problems like poor posture, overuse, or stress. There is pain on motion which may also be in the shoulder of the same side. The headache pain is mild to severe with no throbbing sensation and may change when pressure is applied to the muscles. The headaches may last from a few hours to a few days or even weeks.
Other structures in the neck can cause headaches. The discs and joints may also refer pain to the head in a similar manner. Degenerative neck arthritis can produce these types of headaches. Neck related headaches are the cause in as high as 20% of patients with chronic headaches and is four times more prevalent in women.
Neck related headaches must have at least one of the following:
1. The head pain must be preceded by:
• Neck movement
• Prolonged awkward head position
• Pressure over the upper half of the neck or base of the skull on the headache side
2. Restricted motion of the neck
3. Neck, shoulder or arm pain
If all three are present, it’s most likely that the neck related headache as the cause is most likely the same.
Characteristics of Neck Related Headache:
• Often, a history of neck trauma (whiplash, sprain, strain)
• One sided headache that does not change sides
• Occasionally, the pain may be on both sides
• Pain located at base of skull, front of head, sides of head or around the eyes
• Pain may last hours or days
• The headache usually begins in the neck
• The headache is moderate to severe in intensity
• The headache is not throbbing
• The pain is not sharp
Other features which may be noted:
• Sensitivity to sound
• Sensitivity to light
• Difficulty swallowing
• Blurred vision on the side of the headache
• Tearing on the side of the headache
• Swelling around the eye on the side of headache
Headaches related to the neck as described in this article often respond well to Chiropractic adjustments so you may want to seek the advice of a practitioner in your area.
Remember there are many causes for headaches and neck pain. Always see your health care provider to determine the exact cause. Headaches can be very complicated and may indicate serious problems like meningitis with headache, neck pain and fever so don’t delay proper attention with serious symptoms.