Headaches are never a pleasant experience. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a dull ache, throbbing, or it feels like your head is going to explode, a headache will affect your ability to perform normal tasks and is likely to leave you feeling drained.
The good news is that you are not alone. Everyone experiences headaches at some point and nearly 5 million Australians suffer from migraines.
Unfortunately, in many cases, the cause of the headache is not revealed and you can do little to prevent it from happening again. But, if you have a headache that is hurting your neck it is likely you can work out what is causing it and perhaps even rectify the situation.
Certain types of headaches, known as tension headaches, can cause neck pain due to muscle spasms. The pain in your head is likely to be an ache, not a throb. It will be moderate to severely painful and cause tension in the muscles of your head and neck. This tightens and releases the muscles, effectively spasming them and causing you pain and stiffness in the neck.
A good physio Hamilton can help ease the muscle issue and prevent the pain from traveling into your neck.
It’s not clear exactly why but migraines are known to cause neck pain. Of course, as a migraine is very severe you are likely to know you are suffering from one and that this is the cause of your neck pain. At the moment research simply suggests that neck pain is a side effect of the migraine, as it nausea, light sensitivity, and issues with loud noises.
In this instance it is very important you get yourself checked by a doctor as soon as possible. When the muscles in the Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) are degenerating they will suffer from weakness and fatigue. This will cause the neck pain.
In this instance, the headache is likely to start around the temples and you may involuntarily grind your teeth. This increases the fatigue of the TMJ muscles and your face is also likely to feel sore.
You should note that sometimes the headache is a result of the neck pain and not the other way around.
Cervicogenic Headaches (CGH)
This type of headache starts as a dull ache in the neck and travels up. It usually goes across just one side of your face and is more toward the back of the head. As well as pain in the neck there will be a pain in your temple, forehead, and possibly around your eyes.
The pain is usually caused by a back issue, such as a herniated disc or back muscle spasms.
If the pain in your neck feels more like an electric shock and then travels through the back of the head and into your ears you are likely to have this condition. It means your occipital nerve has been irritated or injured. You’ll need medical help to resolve the issue.