Both neck pain and chronic headaches are common problems. Studies report that neck pain affects more than 86% of Americans. Additionally, it’s estimated that about 75% of the population experiences tension headaches, and researchers report that about 3% of Americans develop chronic headaches.
In spite of these statistics, most people might not know that there is a connection between chronic headaches and neck pain. Physical therapists can help you learn more about this connection. They can also help you find treatment options for neck pain and headaches that are designed to decrease their intensity and frequency.
What are some connections between chronic headaches and neck pain?
Your head and neck are connected in several ways, and these connections can also link your chronic headaches and neck pain. Here are two ways your neck and head are connected:
- Muscles — Some sources report that there are 26 muscles in your neck, and many of these muscles attach to a part of your head. This doesn’t include the four suboccipital muscles that run between the upper cervical vertebrae and the base of the skull. Tension or injuries in any of these muscles can be a trigger for tension headaches. These headaches can also become chronic if the neck muscle issue isn’t treated.
- Nerves — A nerve structure called the cervical plexus sends nerve impulses into the head, neck and shoulders. This nerve connection means that you might experience pain in your head that actually originated in your neck. Doctors refer to this phenomenon as referred pain.
Continuum Wellness can help treat your chronic headaches and neck pain
You don’t have to deal with neck pain and chronic headaches on your own. Our physical therapy experts at Continuum Wellness are ready to assist you with these issues. We’ll start you off with a free screening. This screening allows us to determine the source of your pain and headaches. Our team will then craft a personalized treatment plan that’s designed to treat the source of your symptoms, and this plan could include therapy methods like:
- Therapeutic exercises
- Manual therapy
- Electrical stimulation
- Dry needling
- Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM)
Are you ready to start getting our help with your neck pain and headaches? Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.