Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Can Migraines Cause Neck And Shoulder Pain

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Relieve Neck Pain And Headaches With Tennis Ball

How Your Shoulder Causes Neck Pain & Headaches

You can also use a tennis ball to relieve various types of nerve pain, including headache pain that starts at the back of the neck.

This is what you should do to help alleviate neck pain and headaches quickly:

  • Put 2 tennis balls in a sock and tie securely.
  • Lie on your back and place the tennis balls where your neck joins the back of your head.
  • Let the weight of your head press down on the tennis ball sock.
  • Gently move your head from side to side and back and forth to help release tension from pinched nerves or tense neck muscles.
  • Continue the gentle motion for a few minutes.
  • Repeat a few times daily to help get rid of knots in the neck at the base of your skull and release headache pain.
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    How Are Migraines Treated

    Migraines that are severe, frequent or accompanied by neurological symptoms are best treated preventively, usually with a combination of dietary modification, lifestyle changes, vitamins and daily prescription medications. Most of our best preventive medications are often used for other medical purposes as well the majority are blood pressure drugs, antidepressants or epilepsy medications. Individual headache attacks are best treated early, often with one or more of the following types of medications: triptans, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , anti-emetics , and sometimes narcotics or steroids.

    Migraines typically last a few hours to a couple of days and respond well to specific treatments. However, in some patients, the migraine is particularly severe and long-lasting and may even become chronic, occurring continuously for weeks, months or even years. If improperly managed or left untreated, intermittent migraines may essentially transform into a chronic daily headache, with continuous and smoldering symptoms that periodically erupt into a “full-blown” migraine. This condition is extremely difficult to treat.

    At the Johns Hopkins Headache Center, located at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical center, we have expert physical therapists, nutritionists and psychologists who work closely with our neurologists to help manage patients with frequent migraines. Biofeedback and relaxation techniques are available to complement our standard medical treatments.

    Just A Stiff Neck Or Could There Be A Connection Between Headache Neck And Shoulder Pain

    When you wake up with a stiff neck, shoulder pain and a headache, its tempting to connect your symptoms and theres a good possibility they are related. But is your neck pain causing headaches, or is your headache and shoulder pain causing your neck to ache? Sometimes the causes of these aches and pains are non-specific, but conditions such as tension headaches can connect all three symptoms.

    Other possibilities include jaw problems and posture or ergonomic issues. Excedrin can help relieve headache, neck and shoulder pain, but identifying the cause will help with the selection of the right treatment.

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    Treating A Pinched Nerve In Your Neck

    Your doctor may recommend one or a combination of the following treatments:

    • Cervical collar. This is a soft, padded ring that limits motion. It allows the neck muscles to relax.
    • Physical therapy. Following a specific set of guided, physical therapy exercises can strengthen neck muscles, improve range of motion, and relieve pain.
    • Oral medication. Prescription and OTC medications your doctor might recommend to ease pain and reduce inflammation include aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen, and corticosteroids.
    • Injections. Steroid injections are used to lessen swelling and relieve pain for a long enough period for the nerve to recover.

    Surgery is an option if these less invasive treatments dont work.

    Why Your Diagnosis Matters

    Can Neck and Spine Misalignment Cause Migraines ...

    An accurate diagnosis is key to treating any condition, but its even more important when it involves migraines. This is because, as noted earlier, neck pain can be associated with other types of headaches, not just migraines.

    To diagnose your headache condition, we review your medical history, discuss your symptoms, and physically evaluate your spine and neck. In some cases, we may also rely on diagnostic imaging to pinpoint the precise origin of your headache pain.

    Based on our findings, we may recommend therapeutic injections or other treatments to manage your migraine and neck pain, such as:

    • Facet joint injections
    • Transforaminal epidural injections
    • Trigger point injections

    These targeted treatments can help address migraine and neck pain at the source. However, you may need treatment on a regular basis to successfully manage chronic migraines or other headache conditions.

    Its also important to note that we dont treat migraines with oral medications. This is because one of the most common reasons chronic migraine problems develop is due to the overuse of medications given to treat headaches.

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    Neck Pain And Migraines: What’s The Connection

      The old saying love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage, also applies to migraine headaches and neck pain, although with a lot less enjoyment!

      Given that the head and neck are so closely connected, it makes sense something affecting one so strongly is likely to affect the other. Whats the connection between neck pain and migraine, and how do you know whether you have a migraine or a neck headache?

      Migraine Vs Tension Headache

      Both of these conditions are primarily felt as pain in the head which is why many people are not able to make a clear distinction between a migraine and a headache. However, this difference might be very important because the treatment of respective conditions is different. A migraine usually affects the side of your head. Additionally, migraine is often followed by symptoms such as nausea, dizziness or seeing flashing or blind spots which, is not the case with tension headaches.

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      How Common Is Neck Pain With Migraine

      In the 2018 Migraine In America survey, we asked, What symptoms do you typically experience with your migraine attacks? Out of the 4,356 respondents, 69 percent reported experiencing neck pain as part of a migraine symptom.

      Warning: A stiff neck can be a sign of a more serious or potentially life-threatening condition. Seek immediate medical assistance if you experience a stiff neck, along with fever and headache.

      Why Does Neck Pain Occur With Migraine

      Headaches, Migraine, Neck and Shoulder Pain

      The neck pain of migraine is not associated with increased trapezius activity, but more research is needed to look at other neck muscles and their activity during a migraine attack.1 The trapezius muscle is used to tilt and turn the head and shrug the shoulders. It also helps move and rotate the shoulder blades. It is not clear why or how neck pain occurs with migraine, and sometimes somatic pain syndromes are associated with migraine.2

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      What You Can Do To Relieve Tension Headaches:

      • Proper posture Having good posture with sitting, typing at a computer, standing and working all play a part in how you use your neck and shoulder muscles throughout the day. Take time to examine and make sure your posture is what it should be.
      • Vary your tasks If you sit for hours each day at a computer, make sure to give your muscles frequent breaks. You can do other productive tasks in standing or moving around the office.
      • Exercise Strengthen the muscles of the mid back and shoulder blade areas. Exercises such as rows and pull downs can help strengthen weakened postural muscles. Exercise also helps release endorphins, which can counteract stress.
      • Handle your stress Handle tasks and obligations one at a time and get them completed. Piling up tasks, even small ones, draws your attention on them and creates stress.
      • Watch what you eat avoid foods, which can affect your bodys acidity level such as processed foods, excessive sugars, and high fat meals. Eat a little better and drink more water. Your blood chemistry will be more balanced throughout the day. In fact, a big cause of headaches is chronic dehydration, so keep a glass of water by your desk during the day and constantly drink.

      What Are The Symptoms Of A Migraine

      Individual migraines are moderate to severe in intensity, often characterized by a throbbing or pounding feeling. Although they are frequently one-sided, they may occur anywhere on the head, neck and face or all over. At their worst, they are typically associated with sensitivity to light, noise and/or smells. Nausea is one of the most common symptoms and it worsens with activity, which often results in patient disability. In many respects, migraines are much like alcohol-related hangovers.

      Migraine pain can be felt in the face, where it may be mistaken for sinus headache or in the neck, where it may be mistaken for arthritis or muscle spasm. Complicating the diagnosis of migraine is that the headaches may be accompanied by other “sinus like” symptoms, including watering eyes, nasal congestion and a sense of facial pressure. Most patients who think they have sinus headache in fact have migraines.

      In up to 25 percent of patients, the migraine headache pain may be preceded by an aura, a temporary neurological syndrome that slowly progresses and then typically resolves just as the pain begins. While the most common type of migraine aura involves visual disturbances , many people experience numbness, confusion, trouble speaking, vertigo and other strokelike neurological symptoms. Some patients may experience auras without headaches.

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      Does Neck And Shoulder Pain Cause Headaches

      Neck and shoulder pain often co-exist with headaches and may even cause or aggravate them.

      Studies show that tension-type headaches often occur alongside an increase in tenderness in the neck and shoulder muscles. Tender spots in the muscles or connective tissues of the body are often referred to as trigger points and are painful when touched. Trigger points can be felt as nodules, or knots, in tight muscles.6 7

      Tension or stress headache sufferers may be more sensitive to the pain caused by tenderness in the neck and shoulders. This could either bring on or worsen a headache.2

      In tension-type headaches, the pain is described as a band tightening around the head or a feeling of pressure in or around both sides of the head. Its estimated that up to 80 percent of adults experience this type of neck pain and headaches in the back of the head.

      What To Expect At Your Office Visit

      How To Help A Headache

      Your provider will take a medical history and will examine your head, eyes, ears, nose, throat, neck, and nervous system.

      Your provider will ask many questions to learn about your headaches. Diagnosis is usually based on your history of symptoms.

      Tests may include:

      • Blood tests or a lumbar puncture if you may have an infection
      • Head CT scan or MRI if you have any danger signs or you have been having headaches for a while

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      Whos Most Likely To Get A Tension Headache

      As a tension headache doesnt have a unique cause it doesnt have a single target either. Young people leading life on a fast lane can suffer from this as well as older people. Even teens can experience tension headaches as they are under a lot of pressure that meeting different deadlines and transition to college can cause.

      Neck Pain With Headache Treatment

      There are many treatments for this condition and the foremost thing a doctor does is diagnosing the root cause. Based on the reason he may treat with various medicines and therapies that may include OTC drugs, prescribed medicine, muscle relaxers, cortisone injections, and posture adjustments. They may also recommend physiotherapy if needed.

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      Physical Therapy Exercise And Other Strategies To Improve Neck Pain

      Physical therapy is recommended for people with migraine and neck pain, says Kumar. Physical therapy can help in strengthening the neck muscles and promote overall relaxation. There are physical therapists who specialize in targeting those particular areas of the neck involved in migraine, she says.

      A review published in the July 2016 issue of European Spine Journal found that exercises that focused on the neck and spine were helpful for managing headaches with neck pain.

      Anything that relieves stress can be helpful, including yoga, meditation, and relaxation exercises, says Kumar.

      Many of the same exercises that help with migraine and neck pain can improve other types of headache-related head and neck pain, including cervicogenic headaches. A study published in the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine found that a yearlong program of isometric, dynamic, and stretching exercises helped decrease headache in women with cervicogenic headache.

      The Feldenkrais method can help relieve different types of pain and discomfort, including neck pain, through the practice of gentle exercises and directed attention. This helps retrain the brain and results in people moving with greater ease and less pain. Additional benefits include improved posture, reduced stress, and better flexibility.

      What Does It Mean If Your Neck Hurts And You Have A Headache

      Why Do You Have Headaches, Neck and Shoulder Pain?

      It makes sense that neck pain would be involved in migraine, because of the disease process in the body, says Kumar. The trigeminal nerve complex is involved in most migraines, and the nucleus of the trigeminal nerve is actually located high in the back of the neck, in what we call the c1, c2, and c3 vertebrae, the highest vertebrae in the spine, she says.

      The trigeminal nerve is responsible for sensations in the face and for functions like chewing and biting.

      In migraine, those areas get sensitized the muscles in the neck can become tense and tight, she says.

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      Light Noise Or Smells Trigger Or Worsen Pain

      In the throes of a migraine attack, the migraine sufferer tends to seek refuge in a dark, quiet place. Bright lights and loud noises can trigger a migraine or intensify the pain. The same is true of certain odors.

      “Once you’ve already got a migraine, smells can seem more intense and make it worse,” Dr. Calhoun says. “But a smell can also trigger a migraine in someone who didn’t have one before walked past the perfume counter.”

      Neck Pain Can Be Associated With Tension Headaches

      Tension-type headaches can be the result of neck and scalp muscles tensing or contracting, according to MedlinePlus. Stress, depression, head injury, anxiety, and any activity where you hold your head in one position without moving can cause the muscle contractions.

      In addition to having different causes, there are key differences between tension headache and migraine symptoms: Tension headache pain is a dull, pressure-like pain thats typically on both sides of the head, whereas migraine pain is often described as throbbing pain on one side of the head.

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      How To Prevent The Pain

      Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help prevent the type of neck, shoulder and back pain that can lead to vision problems. Identifying the causes of headache can help, as can examining the ways in which you sit when working.

      If, for instance, you spend many hours a day sitting at a computer, try making a conscious effort to evaluate the way you work and the manner in which you sit. You can ask yourself these questions to evaluate yourself:

      • Are you hunched over your keyboard?
      • Are you sitting too close to your screen?
      • Is your monitor placed at the correct height?
      • Is your keyboard in a position where you can reach it comfortably?

      There are also simple things you can do to reduce eye-related pain in your body.

      • Ideally, you want your monitor to be at eye level or just below, with the screen being no closer to your eyes than 20 inches .
      • If you have a bigger monitor, you will need to adjust your position so youre sitting even further away from the screen.
      • If you wear bifocal glasses, you should lower your monitor, so you dont have to tip your head upwards to see it properly. You can also switch to multifocal or progressive lenses like Varilux for the same effect.
      • Make sure youre not straining to reach the keys on your keyboard or hunching over to type both of these positions can result in back and neck pain, which in turn can trigger headaches or migraines.

      Treatment Of Neck Pain And Headache On Right Side

      Headaches &  Neck Pain Relief Prospect Park &  Secaucus, NJ

      Fortunately, there are treatments for all types of headaches that you may have. Therefore, when you start experiencing strange pain in your head or neck area, it would be wise for you to visit your doctor.

      1. Physical therapy

      First of all, a good physiotherapist will assess your headache and make sure it is safe for you to proceed to treatment. If any of the red spots mentioned above appear then we will work with your doctor to make sure that the headache is not the worst.

      If it is safe then your physical therapist will check your posture, neck and shoulder range of motion, neck and shoulder strength and any type of movement that produces your headaches. We use this information to treat any obstructions we experience that may contribute to your pain.

      Normally, your physical therapist will experience a combination of poor posture, poor neck stability, bad head movement in the neck and excess shoulder muscles. All of these effects can put increased pressure on the structures surrounding the suboccipital and larger ovarian arteries.

      2. Improve posture and reduce pain

      Do you hang your shoulders for hours when you are using equipment, using a seat that does not have adequate support, or are you using a computer that is too low? If so and you are experiencing frequent headaches and neck pain try these simple changes to correct the wrong posture.

    • Lying on your back, bend your knees so as not to put pressure on your lower back.
    • Look up with your nose perpendicular to the ceiling.
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