How to Get Rid of Headache From Neck Pain?

Headaches that stem from neck pain, often referred to as cervicogenic headaches, can be debilitating and frustrating to deal with. The neck muscles and joints can put pressure on the nerves in the neck and head, resulting in pain that starts in the neck and radiates to the back of the head. Fortunately, there are many effective ways to find relief from a cervicogenic headache.

Apply Heat or Ice

Applying heat or ice to the neck can help reduce muscle tension, inflammation, and pain. Try using a heating pad or wrap, warm compress, or hot water bottle for 10-15 minutes a few times a day. You can also use an ice pack wrapped in a towel or try a cold compress. Alternate between heat and ice therapy for best results. The cold can help numb the pain while the heat loosens tight muscles.

Use OTC Medications

Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) can help reduce inflammation that contributes to neck pain and headache. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is another OTC option for pain relief. Be sure to follow dosage instructions carefully.

Perform Neck Stretches and Exercises

Simple stretches and exercises for the neck can help improve range of motion and flexibility in the muscles, reducing tension and pressure. Try chin tucks, shoulder rolls, side bends and neck rotations. Move slowly and carefully to avoid further agitating muscles. Applying heat beforehand can loosen up muscles and make stretches more effective.

Use a Cervical Pillow

Sleeping with an ergonomic cervical pillow can help align the head, neck and spine, allowing muscles to relax rather than straining in awkward positions at night. Look for a pillow that supports the natural curve of the neck for optimal comfort and pain relief.

Get a Massage

Massaging the neck and shoulder muscles can help release built up tension, knots, and tightness. Ask a massage therapist to focus on problem spots that may be triggering or radiating headache pain. Massage therapy can be especially helpful when combined with heat and aromatherapy.

See a Physical Therapist

For chronic or severe neck pain and headaches, make an appointment with a physical therapist. They can prescribe specific stretches and exercises tailored to your condition for longer lasting relief. Techniques like ultrasound, electric stimulation and trigger point therapy are also used. PTs can teach proper posture and home treatment techniques as well.

Consider Acupuncture

Acupuncture involves placing tiny needles into specific pressure points in the body to reduce pain and muscle tension. Evidence suggests it may be beneficial for chronic neck pain. It does not directly cure the root problem but can provide effective headache relief. Multiple sessions are usually needed for the best results.

Improve Posture

Poor posture puts additional strain on the neck and can contribute to headaches. Be mindful of your posture and avoid hunching your shoulders or jutting your head forward for long periods. Adjust your workstation setup to encourage better posture. Stand up and stretch periodically if sitting for long periods.

Getting rid of an annoying cervicogenic headache requires determining the source of the neck pain and using remedies that provide relief and relaxation to those specific muscles and joints. Patience and consistency with these techniques can help manage and prevent headache pain. See a doctor if headaches persist for a more tailored treatment plan.