Neck Pain and Headaches

It’s the end of the day and your head is pounding and your neck is aching. Was it the work you were doing, the stress you were feeling, or the way you were sitting at your desk or car?

Your neck is an intricate structure with many different muscles and nerves. The joints in your neck provide movement while the discs in between the vertebra give support and shock absorption. When these structures are working well, it’s a well oiled machine that can do almost anything. In today’s world of technology, sitting for long periods of time at work, on computers, while driving or while watching TV,  your neck muscles, joints and nerves can become weakened, tightened, strained and irritated.

The fact is that even the simplest movements can cause short periods of neck pain. Some of us may actually be experiencing chronic neck pain. Simple, repetitive movements can lead to prolonged muscle tightness, which can take time to show symptoms. In comparison, muscle strains happen with quick jolts such as an injury or lifting something too heavy.

How Neck Pain can go to your Head

Headaches can stem from tightness in the neck muscles at the back of the neck, which is brought on by a forward-head posture and rounded back as seen with prolonged, static postures. This static positions can cause the muscle to strain, tighten or mal-align. When then radiates to your head, thus, causing a headache.

A forward head posture can also affect blood flow to the scalp, resulting in a headache, or eye pain. Pounding headaches at the back of the head can be related to neck muscle tightness and limited joint movement.

How do I Know if I Need to See a Physical Therapist About my Neck Pain?

Since many headaches stem from problems with neck movement and posture, try to stand up against a wall with your back and see if you can get your head back against the wall without looking upward. How far away from the wall is the back of your head? If you have a forward head posture, your head will be quite far from the wall and is a sign you need some help with your posture. At this point, it’s wise that you call us to set up an appointment to see one of our Physical Therapists.