The Correlation Between Head and Neck Pain

For those who frequently suffer from both headaches and neck pain simultaneously, it may not be surprising to learn that these symptoms are often interlinked. In 1983 a Norwegian physician, Dr. Ottar Sjaastad, documented a sub-group of headache patients with head pain that originated within the cervical spine. He dubbed this discovery the “cervicogenic headache”.

Cervicogenic Headaches – Likely Causes:

Pain can spread. A problem within the neck can stimulate a nerve that leads to the scalp and subsequently cause a headache. Unfortunately, the duality of this problem can make it difficult to find the root and therefore define a suitable treatment. The majority of cervicogenic headaches are due to tightness in the posterior neck muscles, which can be found at the back of the neck. As a result, anything that can strain the neck muscles can also cause a cervicogenic headache. Below is a list of the main causes:

Stress Induced: Stress can cause the muscles around the neck to tighten, which can lead to tension headaches, neck pain and a feeling of pressure.

Bad Posture: From a pillow with inadequate support to a poor driving position, there are a thousand and one ways to cause neck pain.

Injury or Trauma: An injury to the neck of shoulders can create tension and strain within the muscles around the neck, shoulders and head.

Poor lighting: If you’re straining to read due to insufficient light, it can lead to eyestrain and stiffness in your scalp and forehead muscles.

Gum chewing: Vigorous chewing can strain the muscles in your head and neck.

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders: Excessive jaw clenching or poor jaw alignment can lead to both headaches and neck pain.

Meningitis: Symptoms of meningitis often include head pain, neck stiffness and fever.

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