5 signs that neck tightness are causing your headaches

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Headaches are a common health issue that may hit you anyday without a warning. These can range from a slight pain on forehead to an acute episode that lasts for a few hours.

Tension Headaches

Among all the well known causes of headaches, there is one condition that affects many adults around the world- tension headaches. It is a very complex condition that is caused due to

Pinched nerves in the spine
Neck tissue inflammation

The headaches caused out of neck tissues spasms can result in pain. The neck muscles become tender. The main reasons associated with this are excessive eye strain, slouching posture, grinding of teeth and unhealthy habits.

There can be two broad conditions that define that neck tightness is causing headache

Occipital Neuralgia– The main neck tissues, called the suboccipital muscles, become weak due to injury. These can lead to compression of nerves and ultimately cause pain. The pain is sharp and electrical. It is one sided pain with runs around the head and neck

Cervogenic headache– Cervogenic headache is a dull pain that is due to an underlying nerve disorder. Similar to the above condition but can cause pain around eyes, arms, shoulders.

If you have the following conditions you should immediately consult a doctor

1. Pain while coughing, sneezing
If you are suffering from a severe headache and neck pain,then you might feel pain with certain neck movements. For instance you might feel throbs while coughing or sneezing or walking. This may be a sign that your headache neck pain is the result of your unhealthy neck tissues.

2. Neck stiffness
Check whether you have a stiff neck. Lack of movement and flexibility in the neck can hamper your daily work. This could be a symptom of a cervicogenic headache.

3. Pain around eyes
You may feel pain around eyes, neck, arm, shoulder, this indicates that certain medical attention is required to treat your headache. Painkillers and OTC medications can provide instant but short lived relief. Medical advice from your physician would be the best way to treat the headache.

4. Pain on one side of the head
You may experience pain in one side of the head. This tension headache caused due to neck tightness is different from other headaches. You may not experience a throbbing pain.but a constant steady pain that stays in one spot for a long time.

5. Sensitivity to light and noise
Too much light or noise can make you uncomfortable. It may strain your mind and in some cases worsen your headache. Note that this is a sign that you are suffering from a
Cervicogenic headache.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, you need to change your methodology for dealing with the pain. Certain headaches can be treated by stretching exercises, medications and changes in physical habits. You can consult your doctor for medical advice that works best for you.

  1. Garripo, Gina. “10 Things Your Cardiologist Wants
  2. You to Know.” Healthgrades. 22 June, 2019.
  3.  3Things Your Cardiologist Wants You To Know.”
  4. Cardiovascular Associates. 6 March, 2020. 
  5. Gelman, Lauren, “25 Heart-Health Secrets Cardiologists Want You to Know.” Best Health Mag.
  6.  “8 Things a Leading Cardiologist Wishes You Knew About Heart Health.” Health Matters.
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