It doesn’t matter how common neck and head pain is, you should never take it for granted. You can always do something about that neck pain before it radiates to your head causing you headaches. When you experience pain in your neck, it usually radiates to the back of your head. These kinds of head pains are medically referred to cervicogenic headaches. That sort of pain is often called referred pain. It is a pain that moves away from its source of origin. In this case, the source of origin is in your neck.
The Relationship Between Neck and Head Pain
The neck vertebrae also known as the cervical spine support your head with all its motions. If your neck bones are not correctly positioned, you may experience tightening of the muscles and may get irritations of the nerve that connects to your head.
Stress is the number one cause of neck and head pain. Emotionally or mentally stress over finances or deadlines at work, mourning the loss of a loved one or frustration over your love life, may unconsciously make you clench or even tighten your muscles especially those in the neck region.
You may not be aware of the tensed muscles until you start having that throbbing headache or you may not even be able to turn your head. Physical stress can also cause neck and head pain. Working on your computer for long hours, sleeping in an awkward position, slouching while reading or watching the television, may lead to tension in your neck muscles from time to time. Trauma or accidents can also contribute to neck problems that may eventually result in cervicogenic headaches.
The muscles are usually attached to the base of your skull hence your head is bound to hurt when your neck hurts.
Common symptoms of neck and head pain
Symptoms vary from patient to patient, but the most common symptoms experienced by patients with this condition are:
- Throbbing pain.
- Sensitivity to light.
- Discomfort in your neck.
- Shoulder pain.
- Stiffness in your neck.
Head and neck pain are not a good combination and the earlier you act on eliminating the discomforts, the better. One sure way of dealing with these illnesses is by correctly diagnosing the underlying causes of the condition.
Diagnosis of head and neck pain
Determining the real source and cause of your headache may be difficult because most headaches usually have the same symptoms. Many people normally misdiagnose neck and head pain as migraines or cluster headaches, but that’s far from the truth. You and your doctor will have to be patient and do all the necessary diagnostic blocks to come up with an accurate diagnosis.
These are some of the things your doctor will do to come up with a diagnosis:
- Physical examination the patient’s history is necessary.
- He may do an open mouth view of the skull.
- A lateral skull x ray may be required.
- He will perform spine x-rays.
- He may perform several diagnostic nerve blocks.
- A CT scan or MRI may also be necessary in severe cases.
The kind of therapy initiated will depend on the kind o headache you have. You should only begin treatment after the correct diagnosis. This will ensure uttermost success and save on the unnecessary cost of erroneous treatment.
Your doctor may prescribe pain medication such as non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs, anti-seizure agents like gabapentin tricyclic antidepressants or migraine prescriptions. If your condition is severe and oral medication fails, then you may consider injections. You can also relieve neck and head pain the natural way. Although there has been recorded success in the natural healing remedy, it’s not a guarantee that it may work for everybody. Natural healing is for those who want to correct their situation without using drugs.
Identify areas of misalignment in your neck and upper back then gently restore proper alignment through posture exercises. You will realize that the tension and irritation on your neck muscles will slowly and naturally ease. Another natural remedy is to be happy. Always be happy and stay positive. Avoid stressors and things that make you upset.
Neck and head pain is a serious condition that may cause lots of discomforts. Ensure you take corrective action on any neck pain before it radiates to your head and eventually causing you severe headaches. Avoid stress that may cause your muscles to tense up leading to pain in the neck region. Let your doctor suggest the best therapy and treatment option that may help alleviate the discomforts once a diagnosis of your condition is established. Posture exercises are also good for your neck, and they also assist in keeping your spine healthy. Let your doctor suggest what works for you depending on the kind of head and its severity.
Read More: Stiff Neck: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment