How Does Shoulder Arthritis Develop
Shoulder arthritis usually results from gradual wear and tear of the cartilage. Cartilage is present in every joint in the body it covers the surface of the bones inside the joints similar to Teflon on a ball bearing. Cartilage is a living tissue 2 millimeters to 3 millimeters thick about the thickness of one or two layers of cardboard. This makes the contact between bones softer. If the cartilage is intact, it can take multiple rotations with no wear of the surface because its smooth.
Shoulder arthritis typically develops in stages. First the cartilage gets soft , then it develops cracks in the surface , then it begins to fibrillate , and finally it wears away to expose the surface of the bone . As a result, it loses its ability to act as a smooth, gliding surface.
The cartilage doesnt wear away all at once over the entire surface of the bone in a joint. Instead, it wears at different rates in different parts. So if you consider the surface of a ball bearing that was covered with Teflon, this type of wear would be as if the Teflon had pits and the surface would now be irregular .
Once the surface becomes irregular, the cartilage may undergo further damage. It may begin to thin out, eventually leading to the bones of the shoulder rubbing against each other . Many people think that arthritis is bone-on-bone traction in the joint, but in reality arthritis is the process that can lead to the bone-on-bone traction.
Also Check: Painful Arthritis
Cervicogenic Headaches Start In The Neck
A cervicogenic headache starts in the cervical spineyour neck. Sometimes these headaches mimic migraine headache symptoms. Initially, pain may begin intermittently, spread to one side of the patient’s head, and become almost continuous. Furthermore, pain can be exacerbated by neck movement or a particular neck position .Cervicogenic headache pain may be felt behind the brow and forehead, even though the problem originates from the cervical spine. Photo Source: 123RF.com.
What Are The Common Types And Causes Of Neck Pain And Headaches
There are many reasons why you might be suffering from a headache or neck pain or both.
3 Cervicogenic Headaches
This is a neurological condition that can cause multiple symptoms. Migraines are identified by throbbing headaches often followed by nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine headaches are often hereditary and affect women more frequently than men.
According to Spine-Health, out of the 12% of the population experiencing migraines headaches, nearly half complain about neck pain before and/ or during the episode of migraine.
These are the most common types of headaches. Tension headaches are often described as mild to severe pain behind the eyes and in the head and neck. They are closely associated with the tightness of the neck and head muscles.
Emotional stress, poor posture, and sedentary lifestyle are huge contributors to tension headaches.
They are secondary headaches. Secondary means that they are caused by underlying conditions. According to Medical News Today, conditions include neck injuries, structural problems in the neck, or constant strain on the neck due to the nature of one’s job, for example, office workers, hairstylists, or manual labor.
The cervicogenic headaches originate in the neck and radiate towards the head. These headaches are often associated with pain on one side of the head and stiffness in the neck.
Read Also: Pregnancy Stomach Symptoms
A New Study Offers A Better Understanding Of Neck Pain Associated With Migraine Distinguishing It From Cervicogenic Headache And Other Neck Issues
Many people with migraine also experience neck pain and stiffness. But they often wonder which one causes the other. Is their neck pain a symptom? Or is it a separate condition causing their migraine symptoms? New research sheds light on the link between the two. It indicates neck pain is a symptom of migraine instead of a cause.
What Causes Back And Neck Pain
Even with todayâs technology, the exact cause of back and neck pain is difficult to determine. In most cases, back and neck pain may have many different causes, including any of the following:
Overuse, strenuous activity, or improper use, such as repetitive or heavy lifting
Trauma, injury, or fractures
Degeneration of vertebrae, often caused by stresses on the muscles and ligaments that support your spine, or the effects of aging
Congenital abnormalities of your vertebrae and bones
Abdominal problems, such as an aortic aneurysm
Also Check: People Cutting Their Wrist
Preventing Stiff Necks And Headaches
To prevent headaches related to neck pain, there are things you can do to avoid a stiff neck at home. Consider the following:
- Practice good posture. When standing or sitting, your shoulders should be in a straight line over your hips with your ears directly over your shoulders. Forward head posture, which is common when using electronics, could be a culprit. Here are 12 exercises to improve your posture.
- Adjust your sleep position. Try to sleep with your head and neck aligned with your body. Some chiropractors recommend sleeping on your back with a pillow under your thighs to flatten your spinal muscles.
- Customize your workspace. Adjust your chair so your knees are a bit lower than your hips. Place your computer monitor at eye level.
- Take breaks. Whether youre working at your computer for long periods of time or driving long distances, frequently stand up and move. Stretch your shoulders and neck.
- If you smoke, consider quitting. Among other problems it can cause, smoking can
How Can You Relieve Tension Headache Pain
Here are some tips to help you manage the cause of your tension headaches:
- Get an eye exam. If youre straining to read, or keep tilting your head up and down to use those off-the-shelf glasses, you may need a new pair of glasses.
- Redesign your workstation. Simply raising your computer monitor or getting a document stand can help reduce repeated head tilting that can strain the occipital muscles.
- Avoid slouching and practice good posture. Consider trying yoga, Pilates or Tai Chi. All of these disciplines are great forms of exercise and all can help to improve posture. Also, you may want to consult a physical therapist, chiropractor, or movement therapist for exercises that are tailored to your need.
- Get a 30-minute massage that concentrates on the neck and upper back. This can help relax your muscles and relieve your headache pain.
- Try applying a hot pack to the base of the head. Do this for 15-20 minute intervals.
- Stuff two tennis balls into a sock and tie it off tightly. Lie on your back on the floor. Place the tennis balls under the base of your skull and allow your head to compress against them. Gently rock your head back and forth and side to side for a few minutes.
Read Also: Do Blueberries Make You Gassy
How Sleep And Posture Can Affect Migraine And Neck Pain
The quality of your sleep and the amount of sleep can impact migraine, Kumar says. Sleep is important in headaches, especially migraine, and too little sleep and too much sleep can trigger a migraine attack, she says.
The position that you sleep in matters as well, especially if you have neck pain with your migraine, says Kumar. You may want to adjust your positioning, especially if you have an additional issue like arthritis of the neck sleeping with a cervical roll or pillow could help, too, she says. A cervical roll can improve your posture while you sleep by helping you maintain a normal cervical curve and prevent bending of the neck.
Posture absolutely matters when it comes to neck pain, says Kumar. If were sitting at a computer and get engrossed in our work, our posture may suffer, which can contribute to neck pain, she says.
A big contributor to poor posture comes from looking down at your phone or computer screen. A study published in Surgery Technology International that looked at text neck found that when a person holds their head upright and in line with their shoulders, the head weighs about 10 pounds. For every inch the head tilts forward the amount of weight it places on the spine almost doubles, which places a strain on the neck muscles.
Visit A Physical Therapist
If youre experiencing debilitating neck pain, a physical therapist can be of great help. In physical therapy, you will be taught how to activate, strengthen, and stretch the muscles around the painful areas. If the neck pain is caused by an underlying issue like a herniated disc or pinched nerve, physical therapy can bring you significant relief by exercising the affected muscles.
Also Check: Do Blueberries Cause Bloating
When You Should Consider Surgery
For most people with arthritis of the neck, time and nonsurgical measures will relieve the discomfort. But if you have a herniated disk that causes spinal nerve compression with symptoms like pain, weakness and numbness that dont go away, it may be time to consider surgery.
One way to surgically correct a pinched nerve is with a diskectomy. The surgeon removes part of the damaged disk to relieve pressure on the nerve. Then the vertebrae may be fused or welded together to stabilize the spine. Another surgical option is a posterior foraminotomy, which widens the opening of the spine where the nerve passes through, and removes any bone spurs that are pressing on the nerve.
Compression of the spinal cord can be treated several ways surgically. They all create more space for the nerves. Anterior decompression and fusion surgery is similar to the treatment of a pinched nerve. Cord compression can also be addressed by removing a part of the vertebra called the lamina or a procedure called a laminoplasty.
The vast majority of people with a pinched nerve will improve following surgery. People with spinal cord compression also improve, but the extent of improvement depends on the severity of neurological dysfunction before the surgery, says Dr. Mroz.
This article originally appeared in Cleveland Clinic Arthritis Advisor.
Chiropractor Or Physical Therapist
Sometimes, in the case of chronic neck pain that causes frequent headaches, a chiropractor or physical therapist can help get relief from back of the head pain.
According to the Journal of Prolotherapy, physical therapy or spinal manipulation can help to get rid of agonizing neck pain and stop the pain spreading to your head. Chiropractors or physical therapists can help release pressure on the root of cervical nerves to get rid of the pain. This can also alleviate accompanying symptoms of neck pain and headaches like tingling in the arms or a burning sensation in the shoulder blades.17
You May Like: Does Pineapple Make Your Stomach Hurt
Medication And Painkiller Headaches
Some headaches are a side effect of taking a particular medication. Frequent headaches can also be caused by taking too many painkillers. This is known as a painkiller or medication-overuse headache.
A medication-overuse headache will usually get better within a few weeks once you stop taking the painkillers that are causing it. But, pain may get worse for a few days before it starts to improve.
What Is Cervicogenic Headache
To better understand this research, its helpful to know more about a type of headache that involves neck and head pain called cervicogenic headache. This type of headache starts in the cervical spine . This means head pain arises from problems in the structures of the neck, including the bones, disks and nerves. Its these areas that cause the pain that goes from the neck to the head. Though some mistake it as migraine, cervicogenic headache is something different.
Cervicogenic headache causes pain that affects one side of the head. Occipital neuralgia, which causes pain due to irritation of the occipital nerve, may also cause one-sided head pain, and sometimes these conditions occur together.
The occipital nerve is located in the back of the head and is connected to the cervical spine. The greater occipital nerve runs up the back of the head, and the lesser occipital nerve runs towards the ear.
Cervicogenic headache often involves a reduced range of motion of the neck. As a result, the headache is made a lot worse through certain movements. As people get older, cervicogenic headache becomes more common because we experience changes in the cervical spine with age. Some people may have arthritis in their cervical spine or other neck problems that cause irritation of the occipital nerve.
Also Check: Cutting Ur Wrist
Ways To Treat Headaches Caused By Neck Pain
Headaches are a nuisance no matter what they are caused by. However, stabbing neck pain paired with a nasty headache is sure to knock you off your feet for the rest of the day.
In this article
What causes neck pain and headache? Sometimes neck pain is caused by sleeping in an incorrect position, other times it might be caused by a pinched nerve. Other factors that can cause neck pain include physical and mental stress, herniated discs, osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and many other conditions.
Ultimately, the most effective way to treat headaches caused by neck pain is to target the cause of the neck pain, itself. If youre plagued by nagging headaches and aching neck pains, youve come across the right article. Keep reading to learn how to ease the aches and pains caused by neck pain.
Tips To Relieve Headaches From Neck Pain
After youve figured out the cause of your neck pain and headaches, there are things you can do at home to help ease the pain and start to feel better. Heres how to relieve headaches caused by neck pain:
1. Improve Workplace Ergonomics
Adjusting how you work is good for preventing headaches caused by pain in the neck. How you sit at work can put strain and pressure on your neck. If possible, adjust the height of your monitor so you are looking directly at it rather than up or down.
If you sit, choose a chair that is the appropriate height for you. Your feet should rest flat on the floor when you sit, and your knees should be a few inches from the edge of the chair. If you have to look down at paperwork while on the job, consider getting a stand to hold the documents at eye level so you arent constantly bending your neck.
2. Improve Your Posture
Your posture has a significant effect on how your neck feels. If you regularly slouch, you put a lot of extra weight on the head and neck, leading to pain and discomfort.
The first step toward improving your posture is becoming aware of it. When you stand, notice the angle of your back, neck and shoulders. Try to stand up as tall and straight as possible. That means pulling in your stomach and pushing your shoulders back slightly. Your head should be level as if you are balancing a book on it.
3. Improve Your Sleep
4. Exercise More
5. Schedule a Massage
6. Manage Your Stress
7. Try Heat and Cold
Also Check: Can Lidocaine Patches Get You High
Acupuncture For Neck Pain
Like dry needling, acupuncture can wake up muscles and improve circulation. However, acupuncture focuses on natural healing by waking up the body through acupressure points that as a result, encourage healing throughout the entire body. Acupuncture is especially helpful in relieving mental and physical stress, which can be a subsequent cause of neck pain and headaches.
Pinched Nerve From A Herniated Disc
Injury to the disc may occur when neck motion puts too much pressure on thedisc. One of the most painful injuries that can occur is a herniated disc. Inthis injury, the tear in the annulus is so bad that part of the nucleus pulposussqueezes out of the center of the disc. The annulus can tear or rupture anywherearound the disc. If it tears on the side next to the spinal canal, then whenthe nucleus pulposus squeezes out, it can press against the spinal nerves. Pressureon the nerve root from a herniated disc can cause pain, numbness, and weaknessalong the nerve. There is also evidence that the chemicals released from theruptured disc may irritate the nerve root, leading to some of the symptoms ofa herniated disc â especially pain.
Herniated discs are more common in early, middle-aged adults. This conditionmay occur when too much force is exerted on an otherwise healthy intervertebraldisc. An example would be a car accident where your head hit the windshield.The force on the neck is simply too much for even a healthy disc to absorb andinjury is the result. A herniated disc may also occur in a disc that has beenweakened by the degenerative process. Once weakened, less force is needed tocause the disc to tear or rupture. However, not everyone with a ruptured dischas degenerative disc disease. Likewise, not everyone with degenerative discdisease will suffer a ruptured disc.
Don’t Miss: Does Cutting Your Wrists Hurt
How To Stop Neck Pain Causing Headaches
Neck Pain Causing Headaches
Have you ever been a victim of an irresistible pain in your head that youve always attributed as a migraine or a cluster headache? Well, interestingly, headaches are not always caused by physiological dysfunction in the head. Youd be surprised to know that many anomalies elsewhere in the body can indirectly affect the nerves in your head, thus resulting in a headache.
Todays discussion relates to a very common symptom that accompanies a headache most of the time. Yes, I am referring to neck pain causing headaches. Have you ever wondered what causes unbearable neck pain causing headaches that often manifests as pain in the head as well?
It Doesnt Feel Like Other Headaches
Cervicogenic headaches have some unique traits that may clue you in. Cervicogenic headaches usually hurt on one side of the head, Dr. Estemalik says. They start around the base of your skull and radiate up one side.
Your neck may also give you some hints. A hallmark of a cervicogenic headache is a limited ability to move your neck or head, Dr. Estemalik explains. Your headache may get worse when you move your neck.
Read Also: Stomach Pain Symptoms Of Pregnancy