Migraine vs Neck Pain
Migraine and neck pain are both common disorders, but they’re not the same thing. Neck pain is a symptom of migraine, not a trigger or cause. It’s also a lot less common than many people think—only about 8% of migraineurs experience neck pain during their attacks! You may hear different things from your doctor or other health care professionals about whether neck pain is linked to migraines or not. In this article, we’ll break down what we know (and don’t know) about how these two conditions are connected.
Neck pain is not a common migraine symptom.
Neck pain is not a common migraine symptom. In fact, it’s a lot less common than many people think. This misconception may be due to the fact that neck pain can be brought on by other causes, such as tension headaches and cluster headaches. However, there are some key differences between these types of headache pain and migraines that help you diagnose them properly:
- Tension headaches usually occur in the front of your head or at the back of your neck (or both), rather than in either side of your head like migraines do.
- They often come in waves; you might get one every few days or weeks, then they go away for several weeks or months before coming back again.
- They can last anywhere from 20 minutes up to seven days—they’re typically not as severe as migraines are but still quite painful enough to disrupt daily activities if they become frequent or severe enough over time!
Neck pain is a lot less common than a lot of people think.
Neck pain is also less common than many people think. It’s most common in people between the ages of 40 and 60, with the average age being 50. In younger patients, it can be a sign of serious disease such as cancer or infection; however, in older patients, it’s often related to arthritis or a herniated disc.
Neck pain is not related to migraine at all; therefore, if you have neck pain and experience migraines then they are separate conditions that require different treatments. For example, if your doctor prescribes an anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen for your headache symptoms but not for your neck ache then this would indicate that these two conditions are unrelated!
Pressure points in the neck may trigger migraine.
Neck pressure points may also be a trigger for migraines. These pressure points are located on the side of the head, in the back of the neck, and on the top of shoulders. Pressure is relieved when you release these points by rolling your shoulders forward and backward or even massaging them with your fingers or a light oil like coconut oil.
Shoulder and neck exercises may help with migraines.
Shoulder and neck exercises may help with migraines.
The head, face, and neck are connected by muscles that can become tense if you suffer from migraine or chronic tension headaches. Try some of these exercises to relieve tension:
- Neck stretches – Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and let your arms hang down at your sides. Tilt your head gently forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your neck; hold for 10 seconds. Roll your shoulders back as far as possible without causing pain; hold for 30 seconds. Repeat several times per day if possible (the more often this is done, the better).
- Arm lifts – Raise both arms above your head slowly; hold for 15 seconds.* Elbow rotation – Put both hands behind one elbow so that fingers meet thumb on each side of arm (behind elbow). With elbow still bent upward 90 degrees , rotate arm gently from side to side five times each way . Hold stretch briefly after each rotation before moving on to next one.* Forearm flexion stretch – Keeping elbows straight rotate palms toward body while keeping them fully extended at shoulder height . Hold this position for 15 seconds then release slowly back into starting position.* Forearm pronation twist – Starting out in same position as last exercise (forearms extended upwards) turn hands/palms downward so that thumbs point toward floor while still keeping palms facing forward . Slowly bend wrists back slightly until they are almost touching forearms ; hold this position for 15 sec
Neck tension can be a trigger for migraine, but it’s not linked to neck pain during the attack itself.
The answer to this question is complicated, but there is one thing for sure: neck tension is not a common migraine symptom.
Tension in your neck can be a trigger for migraine episodes, but only if you have a history of anxiety or depression. If you don’t have those issues, you’re likely to experience neck pain when it comes time to attack.
The same goes for any other muscle-related pain during an attack; it’s usually due to overuse or tension from stress or poor posture while working at a computer all day.
A lot of migraineurs feel neck tension on their migraine-free days, too.
If you have migraines, chances are you know what neck tension feels like. It’s the tightness or pressure that comes from hunching over a laptop all day at work, or from slumping in front of your TV for hours on end with your neck craned at an awkward angle. Neck pain is common in both migraineurs and non-migraineurs alike—but if it’s a regular feature of life for you, then there’s something else going on: it could be migraine.
Many people who suffer from debilitating headaches don’t experience these types of symptoms unless they’re having a headache attack (or its prelude). That means that when they do experience them otherwise—on days when they aren’t actually experiencing any migraine pain—they think maybe it’s just part of their daily lives as well as their migraines.
The reality is that many people with chronic headaches also suffer from other aches and pains beyond those associated directly with their head pain. In fact, some research suggests that 10% to 30% of chronic headache sufferers report experiencing some sort of upper body discomfort during periods when no pain occurs in their head whatsoever!
The general consensus about the connection between neck pain and migraines can be summed up in two words: weak and confusing.
As mentioned above, migraine is a complex condition, so it’s no surprise that there’s some conflicting information about how it relates to other conditions. Most sources agree that migraine can cause neck pain, but details about the connection are a bit murky. It turns out that neck pain isn’t actually all that common among people who experience migraines: most of the research suggests that less than 20% of migraine sufferers will experience neck pain at any given time and only around 5% report having chronic neck pain related to their headaches (1).
It’s important to note that many things can cause both migraine symptoms and neck or shoulder stiffness/pain—like being hunched over in front of a computer all day or lifting heavy items—and these things have nothing to do with each other! In fact, many experts believe that these two issues are totally separate entities and should be treated as such; however, others disagree on this point (2).
Some headache experts believe that the tension from anxiety may make it harder for your muscles to relax, which can lead to increased stiffness and pain in your neck and shoulders.
Stress and anxiety can cause neck tension, which can lead to headaches. Tension may be related to how your muscles are working together or simply the amount of energy that’s flowing through them. When muscles get tight or stiff, it’s harder for them to relax and move freely. This can make movement more difficult and painful—especially when you’re exercising or performing other everyday activities that use these muscles.
When you have stress and anxiety, it’s important to try some relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing exercises so that your body can relax more fully.
If you have chronic tension headaches, your doctor may prescribe a muscle relaxant like Flexeril to help relieve tightness in your neck and upper back muscles.
Flexeril is a muscle relaxant that works by blocking pain signals to your brain. It can be used to relieve mild to moderate back and neck pain as well as muscle spasms. It’s important to know that Flexeril isn’t a cure for chronic tension headaches, but it might help you feel better while other treatments are taking effect.
Migraine is different from other kinds of headaches. It’s so different that we’re still learning what causes it and how best to treat it.
Migraine is a neurological disease. It’s different from other kinds of headaches, like tension headaches or cluster headaches, but also from what’s usually thought of as a “headache”—a dull ache in the temples or behind the eyes. Migraine symptoms include sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and vomiting, difficulty speaking or understanding speech (aphasia), sensitivity to smell (olfactory), and the aura phase associated with migraine attacks.
We need to keep in mind that migraine is a neurological disorder, and its causes are still not completely understood. This means that we shouldn’t jump to conclusions about why some people get migraines and others don’t—or how those with the condition should treat it.