Thursday, August 11, 2022

Is Neck Pain Causing Headache

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The Backup Of Cerebrospinal Fluid In Perimenopausal Or In Menopause The Cause Of The Pressure Is The Pressure Headache

What causes neck pain with headache? – Dr. Sanjay Panicker

A 2018 paper in the Journal of Womens Health titled: A New Subtype of Chronic Daily Headache Presenting in Older Women, found a new classification for perimenopausal or menopausal women suffering from headache suspected of being caused by intracranial pressure. While this research suggests that obesity or weight may play a role, of the eight patients they examined, two were not overweight, reflecting 25% of the study group. Lets look at the research:

  • The majority of the patients had a history of episodic migraine, but the migraines were either very well controlled or had ceased by the time the new headache arose. The bulk of the patients were either overweight or obese, although two patients were of normal body mass index . Neuroimaging showed no abnormalities. All patients responded to cerebrospinal fluid pressure-/volume-lowering medications , but only one patient was able to completely taper off treatment without headache recurrence.
  • The conclusion of this study:This newly defined subtype of chronic daily headache appears to be caused by a state of elevated CSF pressure. It is hypothesized that a combination of an elevated BMI and the presence of cerebral venous insufficiency leads to this form of daily headache. Elevated CSF pressure is also characteristic in cervical instability patients.

    When Should I See My Doctor

    You should see a doctor if:

    • the pain is getting worse
    • the pain doesnt ease up in a week or so
    • you have numbness, tingling or pins and needles in your arms or legs
    • you start having difficulties with your bladder or bowel
    • you have a fever as well as neck pain

    What Is Causing My Neck Pain And Headache

    See Understanding Neck Pain and Dizziness

    Several conditions can cause neck pain and headache. Some conditions may start as a neck problem and then send symptoms up to the head, whereas other conditions begin in the head and send pain down to the neck. Getting an accurate diagnosis is important in order to create a treatment program to successfully manage the condition and reduce pain.

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    Understanding The Physiology Of Pain:

    Pain is basically a sensation that is felt when nerves carry pain signals to the brain. The brain interprets the signals and you feel pain in the area from which the nerves initially originated. Speaking of cervicogenic headaches, the nerves in the neck are referred to as cervical spinal nerves and are abbreviated as C1, C2, and C3.

    However, the natural arrangement of cervical nerves is such that is crosses tract with the fifth cranial nerve, also referred to as the trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve functions as a sensory pathway that carries sensation from the facial area to the brain. Because of this crossing over of nerves and sharing of the tracts, pain originating in the neck often travels through both the cervical and the trigeminal nerve hence its felt both in the head and neck.

    Why Do Neck Pain And Headaches Occur Together

    Understanding Cervicogenic Headaches &  Neck Pain ...

    There is no one special reason for headaches and neck pain to go together. Few conditions may begin as neck problems and then shoot these problems up to the head, while few problems triggered in the head are sent back to the neck. This is the reason why they both occur together.

    Trigeminocervical nucleus, Dura Mater of the brain, brain tissues, and blood vessels in the head and immune system also have their role for the occurrence of these pains together. Besides, the posture of the body can also lead to both the pains at a time.

    To explain it further, a combination of 1 or multiple pain mechanisms and pathways is most responsible for the cause of neck pain and headache together.

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    Treatment Of Neck Pain And Headache On Right Side

    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.
  • 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.

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    Gentle Massage To Get Rid Of Neck Pain And Headache

    Gently massaging the back of your neck and base of your skull can help to relax your neck muscles, release pressure from a pinched nerve, and give relief from headache pain.

    Dr. William H. Blahd on WebMD recommends massaging the painful area between your shoulders, top of your neck, and back of your head for quick pain relief. This helps to increase blood circulation to the affected area and relieve pain naturally without using medication.15

    You can also use essential oils in a massage oil to quickly get rid of that neck headache. Essential oils like peppermint, lavender oil, and eucalyptus oil are especially effective for neck pain and migraines.

    How to use essential oils for neck pain and headache relief:

  • Mix 4 drops of peppermint oil, 5 drops lavender oil, and 3 drops eucalyptus with 1 oz. olive oil or sweet almond oil .
  • Gently massage the oil onto the back of your neck, shoulders, and base of your skull.
  • Continue massaging for a few minutes to help alleviate pain from your head and neck and relieve a stiff neck.
  • For other essential oils that you can use in the pain-relief massage blend, please read my article on the best essential oils for severe headaches.

    A Brief Explanation Of Cervical Ligament Injury And Headaches

    What Causes Upper Neck Pain? (And Headaches!)

    In this video, Ross Hauser, MD, explains the mechanisms of cervical ligament injury and headaches.

    Transcript summary:

    • Chronic headaches are caused by ligament injury. Because of our modern lifestyle, were all hunched over computers and smartphones, when we are hunched over we are getting the slow stretching of the cervical ligaments that connect the bones in the cervical spine. Whiplash injury also causes ligament injury. When these ligaments are injured they can no longer do their intended job, keep the cervical spine stable.
    • Ligament injury can cause headaches by multiple mechanisms. The most common mechanism of headache is muscle spasm. The muscle spasms try to limit the extra motion of bones so the vertebrae wont compress nerves or pinch nerves or block cerebral spinal fluid. The person with chronic muscle tension headaches actually has an underlying cervical ligament injury.
    • Cervical ligament injury can also cause activation of nerves and ligaments that can refer pain into the forehead and other parts of the head to give headaches

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    Can The Neck Cause A Headache

    When the upper neck joints arent functioning at their best, they can actually refer pain up into your head. Referred pain simply means that you feel pain in a different location than the actual problem area. So in this case, even though the upper neck needs some work, you end up feeling pain in the head instead of, or in addition to, the neck. This is called cervicogenic headache .

    One thing that differentiates CGH from other headaches is that it typically starts after having your neck in the same position for a long time . This type of headache is usually one-sided and starts at the back of the head, working its way up and around the ear to the forehead and behind the eye. You might even have some pain into your shoulder and arm. Youll also likely notice some stiffness and neck pain with turning your head or looking up and down.

    Does any of this sound familiar?

    If so, youre in luck! It turns out that physical therapy is wildly successful in treating these types of headaches.

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    Are There Treatments To Help With Migraine Neck Pain

    Trigger point injections could be helpful to improve migraine neck pain, says Kumar. Trigger points are what we often think of as knots in our muscles. In a trigger point injection, a healthcare provider injects a mixture of anesthetic and steroid into the affected area, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

    For people who experience headache and migraine that involve more significant neck pain, including people with chronic migraine, occipital nerve blocks are also used, says Kumar. Occipital nerve blocks, which are injected into the back of the head, just above the neck, often contain a long-acting local anesthetic and a steroid anti-inflammatory drug, according to the American Migraine Foundation. The pain-relieving benefits from this procedure can last anywhere from a day to weeks or even months.

    Injections of Botox into the neck muscles is another option for treating neck pain related to migraine.

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    Treating Neck And Shoulder Pain

    Treatment of neck and shoulder pain depends on the underlying cause.

    Heart attack, stroke, and other serious conditions often include emergency treatment. For most other situations, home remedies, physical therapy, and massage will bring improvement.

    Some of the more serious situations that may require surgical treatment include:

    How Can You Know For Sure

    Can Neck Pain Cause Headaches?

    Of course, there are a number of different types of headaches, each with their own specific causes. When cervicogenic headaches are suspected, X-rays of the three cervical spinal segments at the base of your skull may confirm the diagnosis. Your doctor may also block each of the three nerves to see if cutting off sensation helps reduce head pain.

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    Why Does Neck Pain Cause Headaches

    There are many possible causes for headaches that result from neck pain. Some people have pinched nerves, joint dysfunction due to whiplash, or excess muscle tension. This discomfort can also be the result of arthritis, local infections, or overuse of the surrounding muscle groups.

    When you visit a chiropractor, youll receive a full diagnostic exam of your upper spine and of your overall musculoskeletal health. Your chiropractor may find that you have subluxations at the upper spine, areas of inflammation, or nerves that have been compressed. Nerve compression can cause sharp, shooting, or radiating pains that make it difficult to turn or nod the head. Even when you arent experiencing sudden pangs that travel from your neck to your head, you may have a dull ache at the side of your face or at the base of your skull.

    This type of pain can even be attributed to temporomandibular joint disorder . Spinal manipulation can be performed over the course of several office visits to gradually reposition displaced discs, alleviate nerve pressure, or resolve joint dysfunction. Your treatment plan can additionally include:

    • Acupuncture or acupressure therapy
    • Therapeutic massage
    • Hot and cold therapy
    • Reposition your computer screen

    Exercise Can Help You Tolerate Pain Better

    Again, the researchers point to symptom suppression, at least in these papers attempts are made to get away from pharmaceutical management of chronic headaches and do seek to find the problems of headaches routed in neck pain and instability, and muscle spasm.

    In this study from doctors at the University of São Paulo in Brazil,, 50 women diagnosed with migraine were randomized into 2 groups: a control group and a physiotherapy plus medication group .

    The researchers concluded: We cannot assume that physical therapy promotes additional improvement in migraine treatment however, it can increase the cervical pressure pain threshold, anticipate clinically relevant changes, and enhance patient satisfaction.

    • Quick summary: Why increase the pain threshold? Why not get rid of headache pain?

    Doctors examined the 4th phase of a migraine cycle The migraine postdrome that is the physical aftermath after the migraine episode has dissipated. In this study of 120 patients, 81% reported at least one non-headache symptom in the postdrome.

    Postdrome symptoms, in order of frequency, included feeling tired/weary and having difficulty concentrating, and stiff neck. Many patients also reported mild residual head discomfort.

    One notable characteristic of the patients was noted by the doctors:

    There is a striking underestimation of the frequency of neck stiffness and sensitivity to light and noise.

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    How Is Neck Pain Diagnosed

    Your doctor will examine you and discuss what makes the pain worse or better. If they think there may be a more serious cause of your neck pain, they may order tests like a blood test, x-ray, CT scan or an MRI.

    However, usually these tests arent recommended because they wont change how your neck pain is treated.

    How Neck Pain May Feel With Cgh

    How to Get Rid of “Neck” Headaches (Proven Therapy Techniques)

    CGH pain starts in the neck and is commonly felt as a steady dull ache that may be aggravated by certain activities or postures. While CGH is typically a one-sided pain, both sides of the neck may be painful depending on the severity. In mild CGH, the neck pain is usually present only on the affected side but in severe cases both sides of the neck may be painful. However, pain on the affected side is more dominant in severe cases. 1 CGH may also be accompanied by some neck stiffness and reduced range of motion.

    Watch: Cervicogenic Headache Video

    Headache without neck pain can also occur in CGH. In these cases, the source of CGH may not cause neck pain, but may be tender to touch. Abnormal head movements or applying pressure on the back of the neck may trigger CGH.

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    The Link Between Neck Pain And Migraines

    Chronic migraines affect around 2% of people across the world, according to The Migraine Trust, and a high number of those affected deal with significant impairment during migraine attacks. More recent studies have shown that many individuals who deal with migraines also experience neck pain. The neck and head are obviously closely connected, but whats the link between neck pain and migraines? Do migraines result in neck pain, or is neck pain causing your migraines?

    How Common is Neck Pain Among Migraine Sufferers?

    The 2018 Migraine in America survey uncovered the fact that 69% of migraine sufferers surveyed reported dealing with neck pain when they have migraines. Another study published in the Headache journal discovered that among the 113 individuals evaluated, neck pain was more common for migraine patients than nausea. Many people report that the neck pain begins before a migraine, although for many, this precursor goes on to last through the migraine attack, as well.

    Migraine Neck-Related Symptoms

    With some studies showing that neck pain may be even more common than nausea in migraine sufferers, its important to be aware of some of the symptoms of migraine that are related to pain and discomfort in the neck. These include:

    While many people write off the above symptoms as related to neck pain, in many cases they could actually be a sign of a migraine attack.

    Causes of Migraine and Neck Pain

    Keeping Track of Neck Pain and Other Migraine Symptoms

    In Conclusion:

    When Does A Headache Indicate A Serious Health Problem

    Most headaches are painful but not dangerous. However, headache pain can be a warning sign of a more serious health problem. Learn when you should contact your health care provider to find out if your headaches are a sign of a more serious problem like a brain tumor.

    Thomas P. Mecke is a chiropractor in the Osher Clinical Center for Integrative Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

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