Can neck pain cause and trigger migraine headaches

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Neck pain and migraine are very common conditions found in about 12% of the United states population. Migraine headaches are so prevalent in the world’s population due to increased changes in the environment, increased levels of stress, and high competition in the professional world and sometimes living conditions including altitudes etc.

What is the relation between headache and neck pain?

It is a debatable topic whether neck pain causes migraine headaches. Scientists around the world have done research and carried on studies to prove whether or not the neck pain experienced before or after neck pain is the trigger to it.

There have been many studies and reports of these studies have found that neck pain is a symptom of migraine. If you are suffering from migraine you might experience a pain in the lower neck, shoulder before a migraine attack. These studies deny the fact that neck pain triggers your migraine headaches.

What have scientific studies found?

Neck pain before or along with migraine headache does not imply that there is a muscle dysfunction in the neck. It is merely a symptom of migraine. Neck pain and migraine are related to the extent that the headache runs down to the neck.

Conclusion of studies

It is now wrong to say that the neck muscle gets tensed during a migraine headache, a stressful activity or a physical activity. But that does not contribute to the onset of a pain episode.
Studies show that there is an activity in the trapezius muscle of the neck before or during a neck pain. This muscle turns and twists during a headache that causes a neck pain. Such muscle pain is a sign of a headache.

How can you get relief at home?

You can get relief from your head and neck pain with OTC painkillers. But these only cause instant relief and do not work on the root cause of the pain. You can treat your migraine head pain with a few simple tips. This may also help to get some relief from the neck pain.

1. Rest can help you relax and reduce the pain the head and neck
2. Medications can help reduce severe pain and provide quick relief.
3. Don’t use too hard pillows or too many pillows. This can tense the neck even more. Soft pillows and flatter pillows align the neck and head with the body.
4. Apply lavender oil can soothe your head and reduce the pain naturally
5. Avoid junk food and have a healthy diet. A healthy and balanced diet is required by your head and body. This helps reduce pain episodes and less reaction to triggers.
Studies are going on to identify the role of other neck muscles and their reaction to the migraine headache. With increased study and research work going on, we can wait for science to get some more answers.

  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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