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Can Back Pain Cause Migraine Headaches

How Does It Cause So Much Pain

7 Causes of Back Pain and Headache

The base of the skull is a very dense and complex region filled with joints, nerves, blood vessels, and a multitude of muscles, both large and small. All of this to support your head, and most importantly, your brain! With so much going on, its easy to see why a misalignment can cause problemslike a truck tipped over in Manhattan traffic.

When the vertebrae arent in position, they can directly or indirectly rub up against the nerves, especially the occipital nerve . According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the pain caused by occipital nerve irritation starts at the base of the neck and spreads up to the scalp. Sometimes, the pain can be felt at the scalp, forehead, and behind the eyes.

How To Treat Neck Pain That Causes Nausea And Dizziness

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

You may be surprised to know that most headaches, despite what you feel when experiencing them, do not originate from your skull or brain.

The cause is often rooted in areas like your neck muscles, and the nerves along the scalp may make it feel like the pain is inside your head.

This connection between your neck and your nerves means that certain cervical ailments can manifest with dizziness, headaches, or nausea as well as neck pain.

In This Article:

Why Does The Back Of My Head Hurt

If you have pain in the back of your head, youâd probably enjoy some relief. To find a long-lasting fix, you need to find the root of the problem. From poor posture to different types of specific headaches, the back of your head may hurt due to one of these causes.

Tension headache: This is the most common type of headache. It happens when the muscles in your scalp and neck tighten. This causes pain on the sides and back of your head. Usually itâs a dull pain that doesnât throb.

A tension headache isnât a sign of another medical issue. Still, it can be painful. Some people say that it feels like a vise is squeezing their head.

There are two types of tension headaches:

You can treat most tension headaches with over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe an antidepressant, which can also act as a painkiller.

Poor posture: If you tend to slouch when you sit or stand, that can strain the muscles in the back of your head, upper back, neck, and jaw. It also can put pressure on the nerves in those areas. As a result, poor posture can cause tension headaches and pain in the back of your head.

Standing or sitting up straight can help relieve headaches from poor posture. Over-the-counter pain relievers may help as well. In some cases, you may need physical therapy.

Talk to your doctor about treatments. Usually you can treat these headaches with anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxers, or both.

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Are Chronic Headaches And Back Pain Linked

It seems like some people just cant get a break. Researchers are discovering that people who have chronic headaches are also more likely to have chronic low back pain.

Research published in July in the Journal of Headache and Pain looked at 14 studies from around the worldstudies from Denmark, the United States, Germany, Iran, Tunisia, the UK and Qatarthat had examined a link between headache and low back pain.

Some of the studies were smalljust 88 participantswhile other were quite large. One international study included over 404,000 people. The ages of people in the various studies ranged from 9.8 to 102.

The researchers found a definite link between chronic headache and chronic low back pain: people with one of the disorders were twice as likely to have the other when compared with people who didnt have either chronic headaches or chronic back pain.

A consistent positive association between headache and low back pain was found, the researchers wrote. This is consistent across countries, populations, and study design but variable in magnitude.

For the study, chronic headache was having a headache at least 15 days a month for more than three months. Chronic low back pain was defined as pain that last more than 3 months and occurs between the bottom of the rib cage and the creases of the buttocks.

The researchers, from UK-based Warwick Medical School, arent sure why the two problems are more likely to occur together.

Can Neck Pain Cause Headache And Dizziness

SEE: Do you have a headache or a migraine?

Of course, yes, neck pain and dizziness may happen together in a few instances. This condition becomes worrisome when pain flares up. Causes of neck-related dizziness include

  • Whiplash, in this condition, joints and muscles in the neck affect proprioceptors and lead to dizziness.
  • Cervical Spondylosis, in this condition, the intervertebral joints and discs break down leading to dizziness and compression of blood vessels.
  • Vertebrobasilar insufficiency leads to the compressed brain which in turn leads to dizziness.
  • Bow hunters syndrome compresses the vertebral artery leading to dizziness. Cervical myofascial pain syndrome causes painful neck fascia and muscles leading to dizziness.

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Spine Injury And Headaches

Dr. Sabers points out that he treats primarily cervicogenic headaches those caused by a problem within the neck or cervical spine. The most common problem in the cervical spine that causes headaches is degeneration of the facet joints, he explains. Facet joints are the small paired joints on the back part of the bony spinal column. When upper facet joints cause pain, it is felt in the upper part of the neck and into the head. There are several different reasons for the facet joint damage that causes cervical spine-related headache pain.

  • In older patients, wear-and-tear arthritis or inflammation within one of the facet joints can cause muscle spasm and tightness that refers pain up into the base of the skull. This muscle tightness can also cause a headache that starts at the base of the skull and wraps up and over the head.
  • In younger people, joint injury is typically the result of trauma. That trauma could be a fall or, most commonly, a motor vehicle accident. Trauma may injure the cartilage within the joint or stretch the capsule to the joint either condition can lead to chronic pain with associated problems, including headache.

Phases Of A Migraine Attack

Often a migraine attack involves distinct phases, though people can experience them differently, says Roderick Spears, MD, a neurologist and headache specialist at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia.

Prodrome Phase This first phase of migraine can occur hours to days prior to the attack, says Dr. Spears. It typically involves a change in mood and energy certain cravings or excessive yawning can be a sign of prodrome, he says.

People sometimes confuse these prodrome, or premonitory, symptoms, with migraine triggers. Thats to say, a person who craves chocolate as a prodrome symptom may mistakenly believe that consuming chocolate triggered the migraine attack, according to MigraineAgain.

Aura About 25 to 35 percent of people with migraine have aura, says Spears. The most common aura is a visual change with a kaleidoscope-like phenomenon that can last anywhere from five minutes to an hour but usually much less than an hour, he says. Other aura symptoms may include tingling sensations, numbness, garbled speech, and clumsiness or weakness.

Headache Phase This stage can last 4 to 72 hours, and in most patients, its marked by a headache on one side of the head thats throbbing and pulsating in quality. Typically, the pain is described as moderate to severe, says Spears.

The headache phase is also associated with becoming sensitive to the environment, he adds. Light, sound, and odor sensitivity are common, as are nausea and vomiting, he says.

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Explaining The Correlation And Breaking Down The Best Migraine Treatments

The human body is a complex machine of bones, nerves, organs, and soft tissues. When one part fails, its highly likely that other parts of the body will be affected. For instance, a pinched nerve in your neck can resonate all the way throughout your arm. A torn ACL can render your entire leg useless. Regarding headaches and migraines, there are any number of conditions that can trigger them.

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraines are the 3rd most common illness in the world and the 6th most debilitating. In 2020, it was estimated that 39 million people suffered from migraines with 85% of those being women. However, more than half of those who have migraines are never properly diagnosed by a physician, which means that theyre not taking advantage of the care they could be getting to resolve the issue. Most of the time, this is attributed to the migraine being written off as an especially bad headache, but they are two totally separate issues that happen to feel the same.

Causes Of Neck Pain With Headache

Stop Headaches, Upper-Back and Neck Pain Due to Forward Head Posture | #PainStopClinics

As cervicogenic headaches shoot from troubles in the neck, varied conditions may trigger this kind of pain. These conditions consist of degenerative health problems such as osteoarthritis, a whiplash injury, or a troubled disc in the neck. Some kinds of sports and a fall can even lead to injuries of the neck and lead to such headaches.

Neck pain with headaches may even happen based on the position of how you stand or sit. A driver, hairstylist, carpenter, or someone who is seated at a table may unintentionally push the chin frontward which also moves the head out in front of the body and this forward movement is termed as cervical protraction. Standing or sitting in this stature for long durations can pressurize or lead to stress on the neck and skulls base leading to a headache with neck pain.

Sleeping in a discomfited posture like with your head too far away to the back or front and off to one particular side can even trigger these kinds of headaches. It can also happen when one sleeps in a chair or sits in bed.

A pinched or compressed nerve near or in the neck is also one cause of this type of headache.

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What Can I Do To Prevent Migraines

One of the best ways to prevent migraines is to try to avoid the things that might trigger your attacks. Most people benefit from trying to get stable sleep, eating regular meals, drinking plenty of fluids to keep hydrated, and trying to manage stress. Taking regular exercise may also help prevent migraines since it helps with breathing, improving blood sugar balance and maintaining general wellbeing. Although you should take care not to engage in very strenuous activity that your body is not used to as this can sometimes act as a migraine trigger.

Keeping a diary of your migraines can be a useful way to record when and where you experience attacks, check for any patterns, and try to identify your triggers. Take the diary when you see your GP so you can communicate your symptoms with them and they can find the best way to help you.

Best Chiropractic Technique For Headache Migraines In Kalinga

The best chiropractic technique for headache migraines will be the upper cervical as it corrects to the top two bones of the spine. Unlike general chiropractic, the upper cervical uses very gentle and precise movements to correct the most important part of your spine.

As the misalignment is corrected, the pressure placed on the brain stem is released and proper brain to body communication is restored, as well as opening up normal blood flow and oxygen back up to the brain and helping the rest of your spine move back into place. Its a small adjustment that makes a huge difference in our bodies.

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When To Worry About Neck Pain With A Headache

Usually, theres nothing to worry but at times when you notice these conditions immediately consult your doctor.

  • Having shoulder and neck pain with headache or pain that extends to the lower back.
  • The presence of the condition for more than 2 weeks.
  • When the condition is due to the result of an injury.
  • Eye pain is a combination of headache and neck pain.
  • Slurred speech and blur vision.

How To Prevent A Cervicogenic Headache

Migraine â Overview, causes, prevention and medication ...

Prevention is always the best medicine. By preventing shoulder stiffness and misalignment of my neck, I get far fewer of these headaches.

  • For instance, I have found that when I sleep with my head flopped to the right, I’m sure to wake up “in trouble.” So, I have a few methods to prevent this:
  • I prop my pillow up slightly on both sides, usually just using towels underneath.
  • If I’ve been getting mild headaches that I know are caused by misalignment, I wear my cervical collar to bed. It’s not the most comfortable thing, but it is way better than the severe headaches that can develop.
  • I have several different pillows that work well depending on my needs. Sometimes, I need something firmer other times, I need something soft.
  • I also try to spend 15 minutes a day on my Real-Ease Neck and Shoulder Relaxer. I have prevented imminent cervicogenic headaches by doing thiseven in the middle of the night when I wake up feeling one starting up.
  • Because of I have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, I get regular treatment from an osteopath who does low-impact manual therapy. Most of you won’t have the chronic problems that I have and may only need a few treatments.
  • Many wearable fitness devices encourage 250 steps per hour. This corresponds to the simple advice my physical therapist gave me to be more mobile. If you are goal or numbers oriented, these devices can be great motivational tools.
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    Can Headaches Come From Lower Back Pain

    Its a simple fact: pain hurts. Sometimes, the source of pain is very clear. If you accidentally touch a hot pan, it instantly causes a burning sensation. Ow! But you can deal with it because you know a) what caused it, and b) it will soon lessen. But pain isnt always that straightforward or simple.

    Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care May Be Able To Help

    Anyone who has to cope with the pain of migraine headaches realizes the importance of finding out what the cause may be. Interestingly, migraines are not actually categorized as headaches. They are actually a neurological disorder, with headaches being only one of the symptoms.

    By downloading the ChiroWebMD mobile app you can better control your patient portal.

    Some things that may trigger a migraine are certain types of food, allergic reactions, or inherited genes. One area that is often overlooked, however, is that of back pain. Yes, back pain can cause migraines. This may be due to one of the following:

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Cervicogenic Headaches

    Cervicogenic headaches typically cause pain at the back of the head. This pain may spread to the top of the skull and sometimes to the forehead or temple. It may also be associated with pain or discomfort behind the eye.

    There is often, but not always, associated neck pain or discomfort, and sometimes the neck pain and headaches become more or less severe at the same time.

    Nausea, poor concentration and irritability are frequent symptoms.

    Chiropractic Back Pain Triggered Migraine Practitioner Near Me

    Does Neck Pain Cause Migraines?

    We can help you if you have back pain that is triggering your migraine headaches. As upper cervical professionals, we can let you know if we see a misalignment, and scans can indicate how it is affecting your body.

    Your brain stem is the most significant part of your body and if the upper cervical spine is left untreated it can create various complications down the road if it has not for you already. Many patients who have already tried medication and surgery still experienced huge improvements after their upper cervical adjustments. If you want your body to begin to repair and heal itself naturally, the upper cervical is highly recommended.

    We would like to invite you to accept our invitation for a free 15-minute phone consultation to speak with one of our upper cervical chiropractic doctors where you can ask any questions you may have and decide if an exam or care might be right for you.

    You can click the Contact Us link on this page, or alternatively, give us a ring at the office at


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    Common Causes Of Migraines

    Doctors arenât totally sure what causes migraine headaches, but they think imbalances in certain brain chemicals may play a role.

    The trigeminal nerve in your head runs your eyes and mouth. It also helps you feel sensations in your face and is a major pathway for pain. Your levels of a chemical called serotonin may fall at the start of a migraine, and this nerve can release chemicals called neurotransmitters that travel to your brain and cause pain.

    How Common Is Back Pain

    Low back pain is a common malady affecting millions of people. Anywhere from 50% to 85% of the population will experience at least one significant episode of back pain that will last from several weeks to 3 months. Unfortunately, once a significant episode occurs, individuals will be at risk for a repeat episode in the future.

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    Reduced Range Of Motion In The Spine

    Vertebral subluxations in the neck and upper spine may reduce range of motion in the upper spine enough to affect the rectus capitis posterior minor muscle located in the back of the head and neck. If this muscle spasms, it may affect a tendon that goes from your upper neck to the lower part of your skull.


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