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Throbbing temples, a dull ache behind the ears, a piercing pain everywhere – no matter where your headache is centered, it’s not something you want to experience again. Interestingly, a headache’s location and specific symptoms can be affected by outside factors. And that sore neck is one of them.

That Pain in the Neck Can Become a Headache

There are plenty of causes for headaches, including allergies, stress, exhaustion, neck trauma and more, but you may be surprised to learn that many of these are related to cervical spine anatomy. More specifically, they’re linked to the upper part of the neck. These headaches are cervicogenic headaches, which simply means the pain comes from the neck.

There are seven cervical vertebrae in your spine, and the top three link to three nerves that move upward into the skull. These nerves can trigger pain signals that are sent to the brain. Headache locations vary depending on which nerve is aggravated. That’s why your headaches can change from one to the next – a pounding sensation behind the eye or in the forehead today, and pain in the temples next time. Pinched nerves can mean you’ll experience symptoms like pain, tingling, itching, burning, even a combination of all of them.

So What Can You Do?

The good news is that chiropractic techniques like manipulation and mobilization have been shown to help reduce pain and improve function. The most effective treatment seems to be a combination of manipulation and exercises designed to strength the neck and upper back. Dr. McSweeney can demonstrate these exercises, in addition to offering chiropractic treatments that will address your current neck pain.

If you’re experiencing frequent headaches, don’t pop another pain reliever. Schedule an appointment with Dr. McSweeney today.