Relieving Migraine Back of Neck Pain: Proven Strategies

If you suffer from migraines and experience pain at the back of your neck, you know how debilitating it can be. But did you know that there are effective strategies to relieve this specific type of migraine pain? In this blog, we will dive deep into the world of cervicogenic headaches and explore their symptoms, causes, and complications. We will also discuss the various treatment options available, including lifestyle changes, physiotherapy, and the management of tension-type headaches. Additionally, we’ll explore how sleep and posture can affect both migraines and neck pain, providing you with valuable insights to manage your condition better. Say goodbye to migraine back of neck pain and hello to a more comfortable life!


Symptoms of cervicogenic headaches

Cervicogenic headaches, also known as headaches, caused by issues in the neck, can cause intense pain at the back of the head or upper neck. These headaches are often triggered by neck movements or poor posture, and the pain can be throbbing and persistent. If you have a cervicogenic headache, you may also experience neck pain, stiffness, and tightness. Some people may also experience symptoms such as scalp tenderness, nausea, and even vomiting. It’s important to note that cervicogenic headaches, including cluster headaches, are different from migraines or tension headaches, as they are specifically caused by problems in the neck. Cervicogenic headaches can be quite debilitating, affecting daily activities and overall quality of life. Seeking treatment for cervicogenic headaches, including migraine headaches, is crucial for finding long-term relief and improving your overall well-being. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional to accurately diagnose and treat your cervicogenic headaches.

What causes cervicogenic headache?

Cervicogenic headaches are typically caused by problems in the neck or cervical spine, such as muscle tension, joint dysfunction, or nerve irritation. Factors like poor posture, trauma, or underlying conditions like arthritis can also play a role. Identifying and addressing the root cause of neck pain, specifically in the spinal cord and vertebrae, is essential for effectively treating cervicogenic headaches.

Diagnosing cervicogenic headache

Cervicogenic headaches, characterized by throbbing pain at the back of the head or upper neck, can be triggered by neck movements or poor posture. These types of headaches are often caused by issues in the neck, such as muscle tension or joint dysfunction. To effectively diagnose cervicogenic headaches, it is essential to seek a proper diagnosis from a healthcare professional. They will evaluate your symptoms, conduct a thorough examination, and consider your medical history. Diagnostic tests, including imaging studies, may be recommended to rule out other causes. Once diagnosed, treatment options such as physiotherapy, chiropractic care, and relaxation techniques can help alleviate occipital neuralgia and migraine back of neck pain. Medications may also be prescribed, but addressing the underlying cause is crucial for long-term relief. Making lifestyle changes like practicing good posture and engaging in regular physical activity can also prevent cervicogenic headaches. Seeking personalized advice from a healthcare provider is recommended for optimal management and treatment.


Treatment for cervicogenic headache

Cervicogenic headaches, which often manifest as throbbing pain on the sides of the head and at the back of the neck, can be effectively managed through various treatment methods. The key to relieving migraine back of neck pain is identifying and addressing the underlying cause of the neck pain. Incorporating physiotherapy techniques, such as stretching and strengthening exercises, can help alleviate neck pain and improve posture, thus reducing the frequency of cervicogenic headaches. Relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can be beneficial in reducing stress and tension in the neck muscles. Alternative therapies, including acupuncture or chiropractic adjustments, can also provide relief from migraine headache back of neck pain. Consulting with a healthcare professional, like a migraine specialist or an osteoarthritis MD, is recommended for accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment options for cervicogenic headaches. For more information, you can refer to the Journal of Headache.


physiotherapy is a common treatment method for cervicogenic headaches, which are headaches that originate from the neck. It involves various techniques aimed at alleviating pain and improving mobility in the neck and surrounding muscles. Through targeted exercises, the neck muscles are strengthened and stretched, promoting better muscle function and reducing headache pain. Manual therapy techniques, like massage or joint mobilization, are also used to provide relief and enhance the range of motion. In addition, heat or cold therapy can be applied to reduce inflammation and ease discomfort in the affected areas. Consulting with a physical therapist is crucial in identifying any postural or movement issues that may contribute to the headaches, allowing for the development of a personalized treatment plan that may include the use of caffeine.


Medications play a crucial role in managing the discomfort caused by cervicogenic headaches, particularly those originating in the back of the neck. These headaches, often referred to as migraines, can cause throbbing pain on the sides of the head along with neck pain. To alleviate these symptoms, healthcare professionals commonly prescribe various medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are widely used to address inflammation and relieve headache pain. Muscle relaxants are frequently recommended to ease the tightness and tension in the neck muscles. Triptans, a specific type of migraine medication, work by constricting blood vessels and reducing inflammation, effectively targeting cervicogenic headaches. In some cases, healthcare professionals may suggest corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation and provide extended relief from these secondary headaches.

Nerve blocks

Nerve blocks, a common treatment for cervicogenic headaches that originate from the neck, involve injecting a local anesthetic or anti-inflammatory medication into specific nerves in the neck to block pain signals. This procedure provides temporary relief from migraine back of neck pain and reduces inflammation. Nerve blocks are often used as part of a comprehensive treatment approach that may include physiotherapy or medication. Consulting with a healthcare professional is important to determine the suitability of nerve blocks for your specific condition. Nerve blocks help alleviate migraine back of neck pain and offer relief from inflammation by blocking pain signals in the neck. By targeting the specific nerves related to the headache, this treatment provides temporary relief. As part of a comprehensive approach, nerve blocks can be used in conjunction with therapies like pphysiotherapy or medication. It is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to determine if nerve blocks are a suitable treatment option for your condition. Whiplash can sometimes be a cause of cervicogenic headaches, and nerve blocks can be an effective treatment option in such cases. Light sensitivity may also be a symptom associated with cervicogenic headaches.

Radiofrequency ablation

Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat cervicogenic headaches, which are headaches originating in the neck. This procedure involves inserting a small needle near the nerves that transmit pain signals from the neck to the head. By using radiofrequency energy, these nerves are disrupted, preventing pain signals from reaching the brain. As a result, individuals can experience significant and long-lasting relief from migraine back of neck pain. Unlike other treatment options, radiofrequency ablation is performed under local anesthesia, making it a viable option for individuals who have not found relief from other treatments. Discuss with a healthcare professional to determine if radiofrequency ablation is the right choice for your specific condition.


Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a non-invasive treatment option for cervicogenic headaches, a type of headache that originates in the neck. With TENS, a small device delivers electrical impulses to specific nerves in the neck and upper back, targeting areas affected by migraine back of neck pain. By placing electrodes strategically, TENS can effectively block pain signals and alleviate discomfort associated with migraines. This treatment modality is safe when properly used under the guidance of a healthcare professional. To optimize its benefits, individuals should closely follow the instructions provided by their healthcare provider. TENS can be a valuable addition to the management of migraines, providing relief and improving quality of life.


Neuromodulation, a treatment option for cervicogenic headaches originating from the neck, utilizes electrical or magnetic stimulation to target specific nerves or brain regions linked to pain. By modifying the activity of these nerves or brain regions, neuromodulation provides relief. Occipital nerve stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation are common forms of neuromodulation for cervicogenic headaches and types of headache. Administered by healthcare professionals, these treatments may involve multiple sessions to achieve maximum effectiveness. With its ability to address the underlying causes of migraine back pain, neuromodulation offers promising possibilities for individuals seeking long-term relief.

Home remedies

Finding effective home remedies for relieving migraine back of neck pain is crucial for managing its symptoms. Along with cold or hot compresses, gentle stretching exercises, and maintaining good posture, there are several other methods that can provide relief. Massaging the neck and upper back muscles can help relax tense muscles and improve blood flow, reducing throbbing pain. It is also advised to practice relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation, to alleviate tension and stress that can contribute to migraines. Additionally, incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into the diet, like ginger or turmeric, can help reduce inflammation and alleviate discomfort. Ensuring enough sleep, managing stress levels, and staying hydrated are also important steps in preventing migraines. By following these home remedies, individuals can find relief from migraine back of neck pain and improve their overall quality of life.

Complications from cervicogenic headache

Complications arising from cervicogenic headaches can be incredibly debilitating for individuals experiencing migraine back of neck pain. These headaches may manifest as throbbing sensations on one side of the head, in addition to the discomfort in the neck. It’s important to note that tension headaches can also be a symptom linked to cervicogenic headaches. The root causes of these headaches often involve poor posture and tightness within the neck muscles, exacerbating their severity. Individuals enduring cervicogenic headaches may additionally endure nausea and heightened sensitivity to light and sound, further compounding their suffering. In some cases, an MRI may be recommended to diagnose and understand the underlying causes of cervicogenic headaches and the transmission of pain messages.

When to contact a doctor

Knowing when to seek medical help for migraine back of neck pain is crucial for effective management. If you’re experiencing persistent headaches that radiate to the back of your neck, it could be a symptom of cervicogenic headaches. These headaches are characterized by severe throbbing pain on one side of the head, often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light. Other red flags include scalp tenderness, poor posture, or a recent head or neck injury. If you have a history of osteoarthritis or are concerned about your symptoms, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional. By seeking medical attention, you can receive a proper diagnosis and explore treatment options to alleviate your pain and improve your quality of life.

Is Neck Pain a Symptom of Migraine?

Yes, neck pain can be a symptom of migraine for certain individuals. This type of neck pain, known as cervicogenic headache, typically occurs alongside other migraine symptoms. Stretching, relaxation techniques, and medication can help alleviate the neck pain associated with migraines. If you experience neck pain along with other migraine symptoms, it’s crucial to seek advice from a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and suitable treatment.

Neck Pain Can Be Associated With Tension Headaches

Neck pain can be associated with tension headaches, a type of headache characterized by throbbing pain on both sides of the head. This pain can extend to the back of the neck, causing discomfort and tightness in the muscles. Factors such as poor posture and stress can contribute to the development of tension headaches. To alleviate neck pain and prevent tension headaches, it is important to practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation. Stretching exercises that target the neck and shoulders can also help relieve muscle tension and reduce the frequency of tension headaches. Applying heat or cold therapy to the affected area can provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation. If neck pain persists or is accompanied by severe headache pain, it is advisable to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment options. Implementing these strategies can help individuals manage migraine-related neck pain effectively.

What Does It Mean if Your Neck Hurts and You Have a Headache?

Neck pain and headaches can be connected, suggesting a tension headache or migraine. The neck pain might be referred pain from the headache. Identifying the root cause is crucial for proper treatment. Seek guidance from a healthcare professional to determine the cause and find effective strategies for relief.

What Does Cervicogenic Headache Feel Like?

Cervicogenic headaches cause pain in the back of the head, neck, and shoulders. The pain is usually a dull ache or pressure that can range from moderate to severe. They can also lead to neck stiffness and limited movement. Neck movements and poor posture often trigger these headaches.

How Sleep and Posture Can Affect Migraine and Neck Pain

Sleep, Posture, and Their Impact on Migraine and Neck Pain

The quality of sleep and your posture are vital factors that can greatly affect the occurrence and severity of migraine attacks and neck pain. Research has consistently demonstrated a correlation between disrupted or insufficient sleep and increased frequency and intensity of migraines. Similarly, poor posture, particularly in the neck and upper back region, can contribute to muscle strain and tension headaches, resulting in more discomfort.

To alleviate migraines and neck pain, it is crucial to prioritize healthy sleep habits. Establishing a regular sleep schedule, implementing a soothing bedtime routine, and creating a comfortable sleep environment can all contribute to reducing the frequency and intensity of migraines. Furthermore, addressing any existing sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, can significantly improve overall migraine symptoms.

In addition to sleep, maintaining proper posture is essential for managing migraines and neck pain effectively. Slouching or hunching forward strains the muscles and increases pressure on the neck and head. To minimize tension and decrease the risk of migraines and neck pain, it’s important to practice good posture techniques, which include maintaining an upright position and aligning the spine correctly.

Are There Treatments to Help With Migraine Neck Pain?

Yes, there are various treatments to alleviate migraine neck pain. These may include over-the-counter pain relievers, prescribed medications, lifestyle adjustments, physiotherapy, chiropractic adjustments, and massage therapy. It is crucial to consult a healthcare professional for a personalized treatment plan.

What is Migraine Back of Neck Pain?

Migraine back of neck pain is a specific type of pain that occurs during a migraine attack, primarily focused on the back of the neck. It is described as intense and throbbing, often accompanied by other migraine symptoms like nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. This debilitating pain can last for hours or even days. To find relief, try applying cold or hot compresses, practicing relaxation techniques, taking medications (over-the-counter or prescription), and seeking medical advice for severe cases.

Treatments for Migraine Back of Neck Pain

When it comes to relieving migraine back of neck pain, there are a variety of treatments available that can provide effective relief. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can be a good first option for alleviating the pain associated with migraines. Applying heat or cold packs to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and provide temporary relief. Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or meditation, can help reduce muscle tension and alleviate pain. Massaging the neck and shoulders can also help relax the muscles and provide relief from migraine back of neck pain.

In more severe or chronic cases, prescription medications may be necessary. These can include triptans, which help reduce the swelling of blood vessels in the brain, or anti-nausea medications to alleviate accompanying symptoms such as nausea or vomiting. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best treatment plan for your specific condition.

In addition to medication, making lifestyle changes can also help alleviate migraine back of neck pain. This can include maintaining good posture, practicing stress management techniques such as yoga or meditation, and getting enough sleep. Regular exercise and physical activity can also help reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines.

Lifestyle Changes to Relieve Migraine Back of Neck Pain

Lifestyle Changes to Relieve Migraine Back of Neck Pain

Making the necessary lifestyle changes is crucial when it comes to relieving migraine back of neck pain. Incorporating healthy habits and adjusting certain aspects of your routine can significantly impact the severity and frequency of these debilitating headaches. Stress management is key in alleviating migraines, given the link between stress and muscle tension in the neck. Engaging in stress-reducing activities like deep breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga can effectively relax the muscles, providing relief from the throbbing pain that migraines bring.

Maintaining proper posture is another essential lifestyle change to implement. Poor posture strains the neck muscles, increasing the likelihood of migraines and contributing to existing neck pain. By practicing good alignment and ergonomic principles, you can reduce the risk of migraines and alleviate pain. Regular physical activity and targeted stretching exercises that focus on the neck muscles also prove beneficial. These actions strengthen the muscles and improve flexibility, thereby preventing migraines and reducing their intensity.

Sleep quality and its impact on migraine and neck pain should not be overlooked. Sufficient, restful sleep plays a vital role in overall well-being and can significantly improve migraine symptoms. Establishing a consistent sleep schedule and adopting a relaxing bedtime routine can effectively regulate sleep patterns and minimize the occurrence of migraines. Additionally, ensuring that your sleeping environment, including pillows and mattresses, provides adequate support to the neck and spine is essential for preventing migraines and reducing their impact.

Physiotherapy for Migraine Back of Neck Pain

physiotherapy plays a crucial role in addressing migraine back of neck pain. Through the use of specific exercises and stretches, physiotherapy can effectively alleviate pain and relieve tension in the neck. Manual therapy techniques, including trigger point release, target specific areas to provide much-needed relief. It is important to focus on maintaining good posture and ergonomics to prevent and manage neck pain effectively. Alongside physiotherapy, complementary therapies like heat therapy or acupuncture can work synergistically to provide relief for individuals experiencing migraine back of neck pain.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common causes of migraine back of neck pain?

Migraine back of neck pain often stems from muscle tension or spasms in the neck and upper back. Factors like poor posture, prolonged sitting or standing, stress, anxiety, and emotional triggers can contribute to this type of pain. Identifying and addressing these root causes is key to finding relief and preventing future episodes.

Where can I find physiotherapy near me?

To find physiotherapy near you, use online search engines or directories. Ask your primary care physician for recommendations and check with your insurance provider for a list of preferred providers. Seek recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues who have previously visited physiotherapy clinics.

Where can I find sports massage near me?

To find sports massage near you, use online directories or search engines. Ask local gyms, sports clubs, or fitness centers for therapist recommendations. Seek referrals from friends, family, or colleagues. Utilize social media and community groups to gather recommendations from others in your area.


In conclusion, it is important to address and relieve migraine back of neck pain through effective strategies. Understanding the symptoms and causes of cervicogenic headaches is crucial for proper diagnosis and treatment. Seeking medical attention when necessary is essential to prevent complications. Additionally, making lifestyle changes, such as improving sleep and posture, can help alleviate migraine neck pain. physiotherapy can also be beneficial in managing this type of pain. If you or someone you know is suffering from migraine back of neck pain, explore our blog for more information on treatments and lifestyle changes that can provide relief.

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