What often causes both neck pain and headaches?

What Causes Neck Pain and Headaches

Determining what causes your neck pain and headaches is vital if you want to get rid of these issues. After all, these linked problems can make it harder to work and enjoy your downtime. 

Both neck pain and headaches are common issues for Americans. It’s estimated that up to 50% of people experience neck pain every year. Headaches are estimated to affect 96% of people in their lifetime. Physical therapists can help you determine what is causing your neck pain and headaches. In addition, these specialists can assist you in treating these commonly linked conditions. 

Four issues that often cause neck pain and headaches

The neck and head are linked together by musculoskeletal structures, such as muscles. They’re also connected by peripheral nerves that branch off the spinal cord. These points of connection mean that an issue that causes neck pain often causes headaches, too. Determining what specifically is causing these issues is one goal of physical therapy. 

Some conditions that physical therapists look for when you report neck discomfort and headaches are: 

  1. Pinched nerves — This issue is also known as cervical radiculopathy, and it occurs when a nerve in the neck is irritated or pinched by nearby structures. Pinched cervical nerves often cause pain that refers into the head. In turn, this pain can trigger a headache. 
  1. Herniated cervical discsSpinal discs provide cushioning between the vertebrae in your spine. This includes the vertebrae that make up your cervical spine or neck. A herniated disc occurs when the outer disc material is torn, which allows the inner disc material to poke out or herniate. Herniated cervical discs are a common cause of cervical radiculopathy. 
  1. Neck muscle issues — Many of the muscles that help support your neck also help move your head. An injury in one of these muscles can cause pain that starts in your neck and radiates into your head. 

Weakness or tension in your neck muscles can cause a similar reaction. These problems are more common in people who look down at their phone or computer screen for long periods. 

  1. Cervical osteoarthritis — The neck is a common place where people develop osteoarthritis. This type of arthritis is specifically called cervical osteoarthritis, and it’s reported that 90% of men over 50 and women over 60 have degenerative changes caused by this condition. These changes can also trigger aching in the neck and headaches. 

Find out what’s causing your neck pain and headaches at Border TS

Determined to learn what is causing your neck pain and headaches? Border Therapy Services has an expert physical therapy team that’s ready and willing to help you. We offer free screenings intended to pinpoint the precise cause of your neck discomfort and headaches. Our therapists excel at building customized therapy plans to reduce your pain and headache frequency, too. 

Are you too sore to consider leaving home to get our help? No problem! You can sign up for an at-home care or virtual therapy session with us. These services allow our physical therapists to treat you right in your own home. 

Contact our team today for more information about how we can address your neck issues and headaches or to schedule an initial appointment.