What causes neck pain with headaches?

What causes neck pain and headaches?

Neck pain with or without headaches can literally be a pain in the neck. You may find yourself experiencing pain at the back of the neck (on one or both sides). This pain may radiate to the eye and forehead leading to a headache. Certain postures (e.g. working at the computer) may aggravate this pain. Sometimes this pain may be brought on by trauma, such as a motor vehicle accident. While it can be distressing to experience, sometimes it is more distressing to not understand why we experience neck pain with headaches and what can be done about it.

There are several reasons why people experience neck pain with headaches.

Getting help for neck pain

One reason is a result of tight muscles in the back of the neck. Not only may the muscles in the back of the neck be tight, but the individual may also experience tightness in the upper traps. The individual may engage in activities without knowing that they aggravate the pain. The person may have a habitual posture that unknowingly aggravates the pain. This is where physiotherapists can help.

What can be done about neck pain?

Once your physiotherapist has determined that your neck pain with headaches is as a result of tight muscles in the back of the neck, your physiotherapist may use manual therapy, stretches and modalities to help relax the muscles and help you with your pain. Exercises may be provided to help stretch out the tight muscles in the back of the neck and strengthen your postural muscles. The physiotherapist may also provide you with education regarding proper sitting and standing postures and how to avoid aggravating the pain if needed. Sometimes acupuncture may be used.

To get help with your neck pain, feel free to contact one of our physiotherapists at Ace Physio to book an appointment. Appointments can be booked over the phone at 416-900-6653 or through our website at https://acephysio.ca


  • Sharon Gabison

    Registered Physiotherapist BSc, BScPT, MSc, PhD: A graduate of the University of Toronto in Human Biology, Sharon completed her Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto. She went on to pursue further graduate work, completing her Master of Science from the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute and a PhD from the Institute of Medical Science both from the University of Toronto. Her interest in Physiotherapy originated while pursuing her first undergraduate degree while struggling with postural challenges and seeking physiotherapy treatment. Her interest in medicine, working with people, and developing and adhering to therapeutic plans inspired her to pursue a career in Physiotherapy. Her interest in research, orthopaedics, neurology, therapeutic agents and pressure injuries (bed sores) lead her to pursue graduate work. Sharon emphasizes a holistic approach to rehabilitation. Her experience of raising a son with a disability has continued to inform her career that has spanned over 25 years. She is able to appreciate the rehabilitation process not only from the professional perspective, but from the client perspective. Her extensive knowledge of biomechanics, orthopaedics, exercise prescription, electrophysical agents with a strong background in research enables her to provide evidence based treatment when designing and implementing rehabilitation plans. With a special interest in patient and family engagement through her volunteer work, Sharon is able to ensure that treatment that is provided takes into consideration the unique challenges that individuals may experience when adhering to treatment recommendations in their busy lives.

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