Neck Pain are very common occurrence in the working population and this is specially true for working moms as most of our activities at work and home involve bending the neck to look down at the computer screen or keyboard or cooking or managing the housework. In this blog, let's discuss if and how neck pains can cause headaches.
Neck pain can originate from multiple reason ranging from disc bulge, stenosis, arthritis, degeneration or a simple neck sprain, etc. It is possible for the neck pain to go down into the shoulders or arms as a nerve pain or up into your head causing a Cervicogenic or cervical headaches. Lets look at how this happens.
Our cervical spine is made up of seven vertebra that can be roughly divided into an upper and lower portion. Between every two vertebra there are nerves exiting the spine on the right and left. These nerves supply different parts of the body.
When the mid to lower cervical spine is affected and this irritates the nerves in the area it can manifest as nerve pain (tingling numbness, burning, heaviness, pain, etc) in the arms, forearms, hand and fingers. It can also be seen as stiffness in the shoulders and shoulder blades area.
When the upper to mid cervical spine is affected and this irritates the nerves in the area it can manifest as a cervicogenic headache. It typically starts as a stiffness or pain in the upper part of the neck and goes up from the back to the top of the head. It can also spread to the side of the head. Sometimes it can also be felt as pain or pulling sensation at the back of the eyes and the TMJ or jaw joint due to the tight muscles around the cheek and the TMJ.
Here is a video that explains more about Cervicogenic or cervical headaches:
There are three components of treating Cervicogenic (cervical) headaches. First is to manage the headache. Second is treating the basic cause in the cervical spine that is causing the irritation or pinching of the nerves, leading to a headache and third and the most important yet overlooked component is to adopt a good posture at the thoracic spine or mid back.
If you are looking for details on how to manage these three components join my free community where we have free trainings on simple solutions to manage neck pain, cervicogenic headaches, TMJ pain and mid back pain.
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