Does neck pain cause headaches?
First, you start to feel pain in your neck, and the pain then moves into your head, causing a pounding headache. Does this sound like something that often happens to you? If it does, you’re not alone.
It’s estimated that right now, about 40% of the global population is suffering from a tension headache. Such headaches often have neck pain as an initial symptom, but neck pain itself isn’t typically the root cause of tension headaches. Physical therapists can help you learn what does cause people to experience neck pain and headaches. These specialists can also help you find effective treatment for your tension headaches.
Common issues that do cause neck pain and tension headaches
It might feel like neck discomfort is causing your tension headaches, but an aching neck is often just a symptom of a deeper problem. Some of the issues that commonly lead to neck discomfort and headaches include:
- Herniated cervical discs — Spinal discs are much like a jelly doughnut. They have a solid outer layer and a gel-like inner layer. A disc herniation is like the jelly oozing out of the outer layer of the doughnut, and it can rub against spinal nerves, which triggers neck pain and sets off headaches.
- Cervical spondylosis — This term is the medical terminology for neck osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis typically develops naturally in the neck as we age, and it’s estimated that 90% of men over 50 and women over 60 have evidence of neck osteoarthritis. This condition can lead to inflammation that causes aching in the neck. It can also cause muscle issues and posture changes that increase your risk of tension headaches.
How can physical therapists treat your neck pain and headaches?
Physical therapists are intimately familiar with the human musculoskeletal system, and this includes all the structures that make up your neck and head. Their knowledge allows them to discover the cause of your neck discomfort and headaches. It also allows them to put together customized therapy plans that may include:
- Therapeutic exercises that focus on stretching and strengthening the muscles in your neck.
- Manual therapy designed to realign the spine and reduce pressure on injured or arthritic areas of the neck.
- Ergonomic recommendations intended to help improve your posture.
Franklin Rehab can help you treat neck pain and headaches
Do you experience frequent neck pain and headaches? Our Franklin Rehabilitation team is prepared to help you address the root cause of these symptoms. We’ll start by doing a free screening on your neck to determine the source of your symptoms. Then, our physical therapists will build you a therapy plan that’s tailored to your unique needs.
Contact our team today for more information about our treatment options for neck issues and headaches or to schedule an initial appointment.