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Is There a Connection Between Neck Pain and Migraines?

When it comes to the intricacies of the human body, a knot in one place can often lead to a tangle elsewhere. That’s especially true when discussing something as pervasive as migraines and as common as neck discomfort. Is there truly a connection beyond a simple ache and a throb in your head? Let’s explore the complex relationship between neck pain and migraines.

The Link Between Neck Pain and Migraines

Before we jump into connections, it’s essential to establish what we believe to be familiar with neck pain and migraines. Neck pain can be the result of various things. Poor posture, injury, wear and tear, diseases, or even psychological issues may be the culprits. On the other hand, migraines are neurological in nature, often associated with intense, pulsing pain and additional symptoms like nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and more.

The Common Ground Between Migraines and Neck Pain

Statistically, people with migraines are more likely to suffer from neck pain, and those who experience chronic neck pain are also more at risk for migraines. Here are a few areas where these two conditions intersect:

  • Trigger Points. Migraines and neck pain can be triggered by the same patterns of muscle activation, often referred to as “trigger points.” These are areas of tight muscle fibers that can cause pain and sometimes refer pain to other areas—like the head.
  • Posture and Physiology. Posture plays a role in both neck pain and migraines. A forward head posture, ubiquitous in our tech-driven society, can place additional stress on the neck muscles, leading to pain that can, over time, be a precursor to migraines.
  • Nervous System. The nervous system is a critical player in both migraine and neck pain. Dysfunction in the neck’s proprioceptive (position-sensing) nerves can contribute to migraines by triggering a cascade of events that culminate in head pain.
  • Shared Mechanisms. Both conditions share a mechanism involving the “trigeminalcervical complex,” a group of nerves in the upper neck. Dysfunction in this area can lead to sensitization and affect how the brain processes pain, potentially leading to migraines.
  • Overusing the neck muscles, such as being in front of a computer for prolonged periods, can lead to muscle strain and tension, a noted precursor to migraines for many individuals.

Real Relief Is Just a Phone Call Away

We understand that pain in your back or head can make life tough. The caring team at Impact Medical Group of Sarasota wants to help you feel better, not just today, but every day. Call us today at (941) 222-1157 to schedule your free medical evaluation and let us guide you on the path to relief and recovery.