Neck Tension Causes Headaches

There are many reasons why people have headaches but when neck tension causes headaches, there are several choices to help. Since the neck is so close to the brain, tension buildup in the neck can easily create a headache. But to determine why you have a headache, we need to look at the causes in detail. Then, we can eliminate other possibilities that aren’t related to issues in your neck. After all, neck tension doesn’t always generate a headache. Let’s look into it all!

Causes of Headaches

The good news is that most headaches aren’t the result of a critical problem or serious illness, There are 2 basic types of headaches: 1] primary and 2] secondary.

1] A primary headache is one that is caused by the overactivity of or problems with pain-sensitive structures in the head. In simple language, what that means is that there are muscles, nerves and/or chemical activities in the brain that can contribute to headaches under adverse conditions. Some people may also carry genes that make them more likely to develop primary headaches.That’s pretty technical for our discussion here.

2] A secondary headache is related to some kind of disease. Luckily, these headaches are not common – after all, it’s pretty frequent these days that if people work hard and thus neck tension causes headaches, it becomes a prevalent source. But, here are more detail about the secondary causes of headaches. There are a few “disease related” causes of headaches [remember: some of these don’t always lead to headaches]: dehydration; hangover; high blood pressure; panic attacks; ear infection; acute sinusitis; concussion. [internal blog link: neck tension treatment]

Neck Tension Causes Headaches

How is it that neck tension causes headaches? If we are under stress from work or other pressure type situations, the body can become tense! And, the neck and shoulders are a prime area where people commonly hold that stress! I see this quite often in my therapeutic bodywork practice.

In fact, neck tension is the most frequent complaint I hear from clients!! So, what does that mean? It means that during this technological stage of human existence, we put a lot of stress into the neck! I’d be happy to consult with you about how to relieve your neck [HEADACHE] tension!

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Headaches From the Neck – What Else?

When the muscles of the neck become tight enough, that strain can certainly translate up into the head. I mean, how often do you rub your neck cuz it hurts? I do it! Neck tension causes headaches all the time! We will go fully into why this happens but the question here is . . . what part of the neck is most likely to create a headache and why?

There are many muscles in the neck that can cause headaches. Most of these are in the back of the neck, run parallel to the spine and are the ones we rub when it hurts. A few of these muscles are the: upper trapezius, splenius capitus, splenius cervicis as well as the deeper layer which includes the transversospinales group. At an even deeper level are the suboccipital muscles. They’re at the top of the neck and need a deeper look!

The suboccipital muscles are known to create headaches! And, this can easily be released and relieved by a skilled therapeutic bodyworker. It takes some experience to know how to relax those muscles but I’ve done it many times. Text me and we can chat about what’s the best way to approach your situation! 831.818.6916

Three of the four suboccipital muscles contribute to the formation of what’s called the suboccipital triangle. This triangle is the area of the posterior neck that contains the vertebral artery that can cause headaches if the muscles are tight. How do you know if they’re tight? well . . . having headaches is 1 way to tell!!

Neck Tension Causes Headaches

Tension headaches are one of the most common headache disorders, and can be caused by trigger points in the suboccipital muscles. Trigger points are hyper-irritable regions in the fascia surrounding the muscles that are painful when touched by a massage therapist. These trigger points in the suboccipital muscles can cause “referred” pain over the rear or side parts of the head, ie – a headache!

See more about Neck Anatomy

Treatment of Neck Tension Causes Headaches

The 1st step to evaluate your headaches is to visit a qualified, proficient practitioner. The professional will be able to assess your condition and give you recommendations for what to do for you. Massage is a great way to access therapeutic solutions.

Bottom Line

Neck tension causing headaches can be quite exhausting! And it can be painful and very distracting about how you live your life. I encourage you to find a way out of your pain! If that approach involves getting quality, therapeutic massage that targets the cause of what you’re feeling, contact me and we can either chat on the phone about what you’re experiencing or you can directly book online.

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