Can Neck Pain Cause Headaches

Taking over-the-counter (OTC) products for headaches will often provide temporary relief. If you have recurring headaches, you may even receive prescription medication for your discomfort. Unfortunately, taking pills on a regular basis to achieve a sense of normalcy can be as bad as chronic headaches themselves. That’s why many people choose to work with chiropractors when dealing with these issues. Chiropractors can leverage all-natural therapies that make recurring headaches a thing of the past.

More often than not, headaches that recur are connected to problems in the neck. Certain muscles at the top of your neck and at the base of your skull can create head pain when they become excessively stiff or tense. This is a frequent issue among people who work at desks, especially when their computer screens aren’t kept at eye level. With more people craning their necks over tablets and mobile phones, neck tension and recurring headaches are becoming increasingly common issues among people of all ages and across all occupations. Sometimes headaches resulting from neck pain can be attributed to whiplash or other jarring impact events.

Once the underlying cause of your recurring headaches are known, a chiropractor can devise a natural and multi-pronged treatment plan for relieving them. Best of all, you won’t have to rely on prescription or OTC medications, or deal with their uncomfortable side effects.

Why Does Neck Pain Cause Headaches?

There are many possible causes for headaches that result from neck pain. Some people have pinched nerves, joint dysfunction due to whiplash, or excess muscle tension. This discomfort can also be the result of arthritis, local infections, or overuse of the surrounding muscle groups.

When you visit a chiropractor, you’ll receive a full diagnostic exam of your upper spine and of your overall musculoskeletal health. Your chiropractor may find that you have subluxations at the upper spine, areas of inflammation, or nerves that have been compressed. Nerve compression can cause sharp, shooting, or radiating pains that make it difficult to turn or nod the head. Even when you aren’t experiencing sudden pangs that travel from your neck to your head, you may have a dull ache at the side of your face or at the base of your skull.

This type of pain can even be attributed to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD). Spinal manipulation can be performed over the course of several office visits to gradually reposition displaced discs, alleviate nerve pressure, or resolve joint dysfunction. Your treatment plan can additionally include:

  • Acupuncture or acupressure therapy
  • Inversion table therapy
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Hot and cold therapy

and more. Many of these same techniques can also be employed when head and neck pain are the result of excess muscle tension due to repetitive motion activities or poor posture. Not only is it is important to identify the structural issues in your neck that are causing your discomfort, but it’s also vital to determine which actions or life habits are ultimately responsible. If craning your neck while working at your desk is creating the problem, you may be advised to:

  • Reposition your computer screen
  • Limit your mobile phone use
  • Invest in ergonomic work equipment
  • Perform special stretching exercises to alleviate built-up tension

When neck pain is the cause of recurring headaches, many people eventually develop secondary issues. For instance, you may be using your arm, shoulder, or neck muscles differently to compensate for the problem that’s making your head ache. These changes in your posture and movement can place undue stress on other structures that results in tension, spasms, and limited mobility in these areas as well.

This is yet another reason why taking prescription or OTC medication as the sole solution to recurring headaches can be a bad idea. Unless the underlying problem is identified resolved, it will invariably begin to affect other parts of your body. People who work with chiropractors to obtain natural relief for their headaches often experience noticeable improvements in their well-being within just a single office visit.

Chiropractic care is designed to affect gradual changes in a person’s health by slowly and safely restoring spinal alignment. Alleviating pressure on pinched nerves and repositioning slipped or herniated discs can additionally foster improvements in the nerve to brain communication that occurs across the spine. As a result, you may even notice improvements in your digestion, your immune functioning, your sleep patterns, and more. If you’ve been dealing with recurring headaches and are tired of using pain pills to obtain short-term relief, we may be able to help. Call us at 205-637-1363 today to set up a consultation appointment.

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