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.