If you’re experiencing frequent headaches in conjunction with neck pain, the two are most likely connected. Headaches caused by neck injuries are known as cervicogenic headaches. The pain can be dull and radiating pain or sharp and shooting pain. By gaining a better understanding of how neck pain causes headaches, you’ll be better able to determine the source of your discomfort and seek the appropriate chiropractic care services to alleviate the symptoms.
How Neck Pain Causes Headaches
1. Overworked Neck Muscles
Your neck muscles work hard to protect surrounding joints, especially after an injury. When some muscles are working in overdrive, others that are not getting as much use can become weak. Ideally, your neck muscles should have regular resting periods. When there is an imbalance, it can cause the muscles to knot or spasm, resulting in neck pain. The tension surrounding your neck muscles and shoulder blades can radiate to the base of your skull and cause an increase in headache frequency.
2. Stiff Neck Joints
Three major neck joints can play a role in your headaches: atlanto-occipital joint, atlantoaxial joint, and the cervical spine joints. If these joints are too stiff or tender for a prolonged period, it locks them into an abnormal position that triggers pain signals to your head. Visiting an experienced chiropractor will give you the adjustments needed to correct the dysfunctional joints and, in turn, alleviate both your neck pain and headaches.
3. Pinched Nerves
A herniated disc or swelling in your upper neck can pinch nerves and result in pain when you move your head. Some of the most common causes of pinched nerves are sleeping habits, such as your mattress or pillow, poor posture, and injuries such as those sustained after a car accident. It’s important to remember that it’s possible your headaches can be attributed to your neck even if your neck isn’t sore. Muscles may be tense or sensitive to touch, even if you don’t feel the pain. The best way to determine the cause of your neck pain is to visit a chiropractor for an assessment.
Dr. Brian Augustine of Augustine Chiropractic in Wesley Chapel, FL, has over 31 years of experience treating patients for their neck pain and other ailments through personalized chiropractic care treatments. The locally owned and operated chiropractic clinic offers both in-office treatments and at-home therapy regimens to help people recover and heal from auto injuries and other conditions. The staff is dedicated to providing alternative and therapeutic solutions for better overall health. Give them a call today at (813) 994-6008 to schedule an appointment or visit their website to learn more about their services!