Health Matters: Headaches Caused by Neck Pain
From how you sleep to how you sit, physical therapists say when it comes to headaches your posture can play a big role. “At the top of the neck are some very sensitive nerves and blood vessels, and when our head is slightly poking forward, which it tends to do when we are relaxed and we start to slump, our chin slightly starts to jump forward. It puts a lot of pressure on nerves and blood vessels,” explained Kath Kinross, a physical therapist with Lee Health.
If your headache starts in the back of the neck and comes up over the top of the head, the pain is most likely starting in the neck. “There are many different types of headaches, but even people who suffer from migraines may find that their migraines are worsened by neck problems. If the head is not sitting in a good alignment over the neck that can very much influence the joint sensations, the muscle tension, and that can also add to headaches,” she said.
Which is why she says posture and good body mechanics are so important. “As I slump down, now my head is poking more forward. So that space where those blood vessels are just got compressed. So if I can keep my low back supported, my head will tend to come up to a better position,” said Kinross.
Limiting your pillows at night and modifying how you sit during the day can improve your neck pain and prevent headaches.
View More Health Matters video segments at LeeHealth.org/Healthmatters/ Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health – Caring People. Inspiring Care. Visit LeeHealth.org