What to do When a Pain in Your Neck becomes a Migraine Headache

What-to-do-When-a-Pain-in-Your-Neck-becomes-a-Migraine-Headache If you suffer from persistent migraines, then the signs of it are very familiar and you can feel ahead of time the storm is coming. Very few people realize that neck pain is a powerful pre-factor for a migraine headache.
Three of four migraine patients say that neck pain always escorts their migraine. 60% of patients say their migraine starts with neck pain and moves up.

Does Neck Pain Cause Headaches?

If your headache starts out with neck troubling you, you’re most certainly dealing with a condition that starts out in the cervical region of the spine.
Stress to certain neck regions can result in a headache like a migraine. Upper three neck joints are the key point of the matter. Pain signals are conceived between the C2 and C3 vertebrae thus travel to trigeminocervical nucleus in your brain stem. Upon that your brain feels those as a migraine headache.

Common reasons for neck discomfort leading to headache:

  • Improper body posture
  • Prolonged computer or cell phone use
  • Imbalanced muscle tension
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle overuse
  • Sleeping with you neck in an angled position
  • disc degenerative disease
  • Past or recent trauma of the cervical spine
  • Physical inactivity

When the muscles and nerve endings of the neck are irritated or inflamed, if muscles pull with uneven tension, the nervous system can become irritated, sending pain signals to your brain.

What are the signs of a headache that refers from neck pain?

The nature of your migraine headache will show itself from the very inception. The character of this pain will be radiating from the neck up to the back of your head and to the front.
Cervicogenic headaches seem to react most to stable long lasting neck positions and intense neck movement.
Normally this type of headache is stronger on one of the head sides, rarely changes sides, can get worse.
Applying massage techniques on the base of your skull makes you feel better.
Joints in your neck are sensitive to the touch.

Cervicogenic Headache. Treatment Plan

Traditional approach in migraine treatments is trying to alleviate the pain with medication.
Getting to the root of the condition, that comes from your neck is still very important. Physical therapist or chiropractor is able to intervene to correct the issues in your neck’s structures, to alleviate current or future cervicogenic headaches.

Conservative treatment for cervicogenic headache includes:

  • Chiropractic Т spinal manipulation
  • Other manual therapies
  • Trigger point therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Corrective exercises
  • Postural training
  • Other therapeutic modalities that address the nervous system

After treatment, pain is often quickly resolved, and some patients experience instant relief, departing the clinic pain-free.
Your physical therapist will strive to identify root or origin in order to correct the issue, so you can avoid future episodes.

Neck/Head Specialists in NYC

Whether you have just begun having migraines or maybe living with them for a long time, beware that the reason is your neck. The neck pain specialists at NYDNRehab are skilled at identifying the place aches origin from, prescribing treatment protocols individually. You no longer have to tolerate recurrent cervicogenic headaches. Contact NYDNRehab today, and see why we are the very best clinic for neck and headache pain in NYC. Athletic injuries seem to be occupying news headlines with increasing frequency of late, as concern rises about the dangers of various sports.


In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)


Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)


Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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