Head and neck pain may begin as a neck problem that progresses and begins to send symptoms up to the head. Or, the reverse may occur. It’s important to obtain an accurate diagnosis before pursuing treatment.
When a neck problem causes headache, the condition is typically chronic and can vary in type. A cervicogenic headache (CGH) is characterized by a dull ache in the neck that radiates upward along the back of the head, typically only affecting one side. Pain may spread to the temple, forehead, and the area around the eyes and/or ears. The cause of CGH may be an underlying disc, joint, muscle, or nerve disorder in the neck.
Occipital neuralgia is characterized by sharp, painful, electric-shock-like sensations felt in the back of the head, neck, and ears. Pain is usually only felt on one side and may be caused by irritation or injury to the occipital nerve.
A few types of headaches that can cause neck pain include tension headache, migraine headache, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) headache, and hemicrania continua.
Causes of neck pain may include:
Causes of head pain may include: