7 Tips to Relieve Headaches Caused by Neck Pain
We all know that neck pain is a literal pain in the neck. Not only is your neck painful, it can also cause headaches so now you have 2 things to worry about. It’s no wonder that many people turn to over the counter (OTC) pain relief medicine immediately. Neck pain is distracting by itself and headaches just make you want to lie down for the rest of the day..
Taking OTC for pain is acceptable and is practiced by many people. However, prolonged dependence on OTC meds is also dangerous. While generally not addicting, it can cause liver and kidney damage over time.
Finding natural ways to relieve headaches caused by neck pain is more preferable. Not only is it safer on the body, it is also more affordable too. Here are our tips on how you can alleviate headaches caused by neck pain.
1. Use a Neck Massager
A neck massager is one of the best and easiest ways of finding relief. Not only will it relieve muscle pain, but headaches too.
If your headache is caused by neck pain, neck pain is caused by tense neck muscles. Massaging this area causes increased blood flow, helping the muscles to relax and for tension to diffuse.
Neck massagers are very easy to use. There are many different kinds but they function the same way by vibrating and sometimes by emitting heat. This combination relaxes the tense muscles of your neck and shoulders promoting relaxation which in turn alleviates your headache.
2. Workplace Ergonomics
Another reason could be bad posture while sitting at work. As we all know, human beings have become chained to their desks. Most of us are slumped while typing in our laptops or tense up while doing spreadsheets or solving work related problems. This tension can cause neck pain which leads to headaches.
One of the best ways to avoid neck pain at work is to use workplace ergonomics. Buy an ergonomically correct chair that helps you sit up. Sitting with proper posture can distribute your weight on your back more evenly and help you avoid muscle strain.
You should also adjust your chair, desk and monitor so that it is the proper height relative to yours. Google the right measurements and adjust your equipment according to your height.
3. Proper Posture
It’s not just while we’re at work and sitting down. You should also practice proper posture while standing up. Generally, you should suck your stomach in and stick your chest out. Your arms should be loose by your side with your neck at right angle with the floor.
We know it’s hard and you probably feel funny at first but standing up straight will not only make you look good and confident but also prevent tension, neck pain and headaches. Here are some tips to improve your posture from Healthdirect.
4. Schedule a Massage
If there are times when a personal massager won’t cut it, then schedule a professional massage. Masseurs are trained in the art of releasing muscle tension and will be able to take care of your neck pain and headaches.
Try booking a Swedish massage. Also known as classic massage, this type of massage promotes relaxation through the release of muscle tension. It is also gentler compared to a deep tissue massager and is best suited for people looking to relax and relieve muscle tension.
Ask your masseur to give extra focus on your neck. Tell them that you are experiencing pain in the area and are causing a headache. Communicating your pain will help them pinpoint your problem areas faster.
5. Use a Neck Pillow
Another common reason for neck pain is using too many pillows when sleeping or you’re using 1 pillow but it’s the wrong pillow. When you sleep with too many pillows, your neck is not aligned to your spine causing tension in the area. When you sleep with a pillow that’s too hard or too flat, the same is true.
A neck pillow can provide relief and help you sleep better at night and prevent a stiff neck in the morning. There are many different kinds, so you can experiment with a design that works for you.
6. Hot and Cold Press
Using a heat or cold compress can also help alleviate muscle pain and headaches. Heat works by boosting blood flow to the area. It works best for stiffness and warming up the area.
Cold compress is also good especially for short-term pain like a strain. It works by reducing inflammation to the area to reduce swelling and pain.
Neck pain is best alleviated by alternating hot and cold compress. The ice will reduce inflammation while the heat will relax the stiff muscles. For best results, alternate hot and cold compress for 20 minutes several times a day.
7. Avoid Stress
We hear this all the time but many of us have a hard time avoiding it. When we are stressed, our bodies hold the tension in our neck and shoulder muscles which lead to pain. This means that your neck pain is caused by constant stress and the more stressed we become, the stiffer and more painful the neck pain which leads to tension headaches.
While stress is a part of daily life, there are certain ways that you can decompress. For example, you can take a break from work and take a walk. You can also exercise to increase endorphins in the body to combat the effects of stress. Alternatively, you can meditate or use breathing exercises to relieve tension in your body.
Experiencing headaches as a result of neck pain is annoying, inconvenient and challenging. However, taking time for lifestyle changes and making conscious choices can help you find pain relief and take control of your health and well-being.
Addressing the root cause of neck pain and consulting a health care professional can lead to a proper diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan.