The Link Between Neck Pain and Migraines

Migraines can be tricky to figure out. They can come from a variety of causes — from stress and poor sleep to certain medications — and often bring a wide range of symptoms. As a result, if you have another symptom you commonly feel with your migraine, like neck pain, you might be wondering which comes first. 

To find out what’s causing your neck pain and migraines, you can visit Dr. Jonathan D. Carlson

As a specialist in both conditions, he’s uniquely positioned to understand the link between the two. More importantly, he can help you find relief from both here at Hawai’i Pain and Spine on the Windward side of O Ľahu in Kailua.

Neck pain: a symptom or a cause?

So, what’s to blame? Is the neck pain a symptom of your migraine headache or does that tension and discomfort in your neck cause the migraine?

When it comes to migraines, neck pain is usually a side effect, not a cause. While a tight neck certainly isn’t helping you feel great — and can even cause a certain type of headache called a cervicogenic headache — it generally doesn’t trigger a migraine.

Instead, when you’re dealing with migraines, this specific type of headache can contribute to neck pain. For starters, you might experience neck pain as a symptom during prodrome, those few hours before a migraine where you feel the warning signs that it’s coming. 

People often experience neck pain during the actual migraine attack. You’re more likely to deal with this symptom if you have chronic migraines. Experts estimate that 80% of people with chronic migraines experience neck pain with their migraine attacks. 

Relieving your migraine-related neck pain

Since your neck pain most likely stems from your migraine, treating the migraine can help you find relief from both your head and neck pain. Dr. Carlson can explore a range of treatment options with you, from medical Botox® injections to oral medications. 

At the same time, Dr. Carlson offers treatments that can specifically target your neck pain. With options like trigger point injections and electrical stimulation therapy, he can address the tension in your neck that’s contributing to the discomfort there.

Ultimately, if you get both migraines and neck pain, addressing the root cause — the migraine — can go a long way. To help you find relief faster, Dr. Carlson can also directly apply treatment to your neck. 

For relief from both your migraine attacks and your neck discomfort, don’t hesitate to visit Dr. Carlson. To get started with a personalized treatment plan that targets both your migraines and your neck pain, call our office to schedule your appointment today.

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