Is My Neck Pain Causing Chronic Headaches?

Is My Neck Pain Causing Chronic Headaches?

Your head and your neck are inextricably linked — and you want to keep it that way. But when neck pain starts to radiate up to your head, you might be wishing there was a way to buffer the connection.

Fortunately, Patrick S. McNulty, MD, FABSS, FABOS can help. Here at our McNulty Spine offices in Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada, he applies his neck pain expertise. This means that he can not only ease your neck pain, but also soothe associated symptoms, including chronic headaches that stem from neck issues.

Is your persistent headache starting in your neck? To help you find out if Dr. McNulty could help, let’s take a closer look. 

The head-neck connection

Many people who live with neck pain get headaches, and vice versa. The pain could be starting with a neck issue and radiating up to your head or it could be moving the other direction. In any case, chronic headaches and neck pain often go hand in hand

If you know your pain started in your neck and began affecting your head afterward, Dr. McNulty can help you explore what’s going on. Usually, one of two issues is at play.

The headaches that come from neck pain

For headaches that follow neck pain, Dr. McNulty usually starts by checking for these two conditions:

Cervicogenic headaches

These headaches might feel like a migraine, but they stem directly from a structural issue in your neck. You can get this type of headache if there’s a problem with a neck nerve, disc, muscle, or joint. 

You usually feel the pain from these types of headaches on the back of one side of your head to start, but it can radiate to the other side and front of your head, too. It can also come with symptoms like:

You might also notice that your pain worsens with certain neck, arm, or shoulder movements. 

Occipital neuralgia

You get these headaches when there’s a problem with one or more of your occipital nerves, which run along your spine. 

Occipital neuralgia usually causes sharp, shocking pain that you feel along one side of the back of your head and neck. Most people first notice occipital neuralgia pain in their upper neck before it spreads up and turns into a headache. 

If you deal with chronic headaches that start with neck pain, it’s time to talk to Dr. McNulty. By correcting the neck issue causing the problem, he can help you find relief. To get started, call us or book online today.

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