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Neck Pain May Go To Your Head – Literally

It is common to have a headache and neck pain at the same time, and there is a good chance that the two are related.  Nerve fibers allow you to feel pain, and most headaches are associated with input from nerve fibers in your scalp.  They are connected to many parts of your body including your neck muscles.  A headache can be caused by a problem in your neck which stimulates a nerve leading to your scalp.  

Likely Causes for Headaches:

Posture

When your head and neck remain in an uncomfortable position for an extended period of time, such as holding the phone between your shoulder and ear or sleeping with a flat pillow, may lead to poor posture and head and neck pain.

Stress

Stress often causes tension headaches which result from stiff and contracted muscles in and around the head.  Pain and pressure are symptoms of a tension headache.

Poor Lighting

Reading or doing work without proper lighting leads to eye strain and stiffness in your scalp and forehead muscles which can result in a tension headache and neck discomfort.

Gum Chewing

The muscles in your head and neck may become strained when you vigorously chew gum and may cause a tension headache and neck discomfort.

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders

Excessive jaw clenching and/or poor alignment cause TMJ disorders.  These disorders are conditions that affect the jaw and neck and can lead to headaches and neck discomfort.

Post-traumatic Headache

An injury or trauma to your head and/or neck may lead to chronic headache, neck discomfort, and shoulder pain.

If you experience severe headache pain, neck stiffness, fever or light sensitivity, you should consult your doctor right away.  Headaches associated with neck pain are commonly the result of tension, but they may be a warning sign of a more serious condition.

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