Migraine Sore Neck: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Do you often experience a sore neck along with your migraines? You’re not alone. Many individuals who suffer from migraines also experience neck pain, and it can be quite debilitating. In this blog, we will delve into the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for migraine-related sore necks. From understanding what cervicogenic headaches are to exploring the various treatment methods such as physiotherapy, medications, nerve blocks, and more. We will also touch upon the complications that may arise from these headaches and whether neck pain can be a trigger or symptom of migraines. So if you’re tired of dealing with the discomfort of a migraine-induced sore neck, keep reading to find out how you can find relief.


Symptoms of cervicogenic headaches

Cervicogenic headaches, also known as migraine sore neck, can cause various symptoms that can be quite debilitating. One common symptom is pain in the neck that can radiate to the head, resulting in a headache. Individuals may also experience stiffness in the neck and have a limited range of motion. Tenderness and muscle tightness in the neck and shoulder area are common as well. These headaches are often triggered or worsened by certain neck movements or postures. Additionally, individuals may experience dizziness, nausea, and increased sensitivity to light and sound. Treatment options for cervicogenic headaches may include physiotherapy, medication, and lifestyle changes to improve posture and reduce stress on the neck muscles.

What causes cervicogenic headache?

Cervicogenic headaches occur when pain is referred from the neck or cervical spine. They can be caused by muscle tension, whiplash injuries, degenerative conditions of the cervical spine, poor posture, and prolonged sitting or computer work. Treatment options include physiotherapy, chiropractic care, medication, and lifestyle adjustments.


Diagnosing cervicogenic headache

Diagnosing cervicogenic headaches requires an understanding of the connection between migraines and neck pain. Common causes of a sore neck leading to migraines encompass muscle tension, whiplash injuries, and degenerative conditions of the cervical spine. Symptoms of cervicogenic headaches entail neck pain and sensitivity to light and sound. Healthcare providers employ diagnostic tests and techniques to identify cervicogenic headaches. Treatment options for migraines with a sore neck may involve medication, physiotherapy, and lifestyle changes to improve posture and reduce stress on the neck muscles. Secondary key terms include

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Treatment for cervicogenic headache

Cervicogenic headache treatment options: Muscle tension or nerve compression in the neck can lead to cervicogenic headaches. Effective treatments for this condition include physiotherapy, chiropractic adjustments, and medication. Engaging in stretching and strengthening exercises can alleviate symptoms and prevent future episodes. Applying heat or cold therapy provides temporary relief from pain and stiffness in the neck area. In severe cases, injections or surgery may be necessary to address the underlying issues causing these headaches.



physiotherapy is an effective treatment option for cervicogenic headaches, a type of headache that originates from the neck. Through physiotherapy, individuals can find relief from symptoms such as neck pain, migraine attack, and headaches. Physical therapists employ various techniques, including manual therapy, stretching exercises, and postural correction, to improve posture, strengthen neck muscles, and enhance flexibility in the neck and shoulders. Along with in-office sessions, the therapist may recommend specific exercises and stretches for patients to perform at home. Collaborating closely with a physical therapist ensures the development of a personalized treatment plan that suits individual needs.

Nerve blocks

Nerve blocks, a common treatment for cervicogenic headaches, involve injecting a local anesthetic or a combination of anesthetic and steroid medication into specific nerves in the neck. These injections target the root cause of the headache, providing relief from pain and other symptoms. The effects of nerve blocks can last for extended periods, ranging from several weeks to months, offering long-term relief. For some individuals, multiple nerve block injections may be necessary to achieve optimal results and manage cervicogenic headaches effectively.

Radiofrequency ablation

Radiofrequency ablation, also called RF ablation, is a minimally invasive procedure utilized to treat cervicogenic headaches, which are headache disorders caused by issues in the cervical spine. The procedure involves placing a small electrode near the affected nerves in the neck and emitting radiofrequency energy to create heat that destroys the targeted nerve fibers. By interrupting the pain signals transmitted to the brain, radiofrequency ablation provides relief from the symptoms of cervicogenic headaches. This treatment is typically performed under local anesthesia and offers long-lasting relief for individuals experiencing chronic cervicogenic headaches.

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a non-invasive treatment option for cervicogenic headaches. These headaches, which originate from the neck, can cause intense head pain and discomfort. TENS involves the use of a small device that delivers low-voltage electrical currents to specific areas of the body, including the neck and shoulder muscles. By stimulating the nerves and reducing pain signals to the brain, TENS can provide relief from tension and alleviate headache symptoms. It is crucial to consult with a healthcare provider before trying TENS for cervicogenic headaches to ensure proper usage and safety protocols are followed.


Neuromodulation, a treatment option for cervicogenic headaches, helps alleviate pain and reduces the frequency and intensity of migraines with neck pain. It involves electrical or magnetic stimulation to modulate pain-perceiving nerves. Techniques like occipital nerve stimulation or transcranial magnetic stimulation may be used. Seeking consultation with a healthcare provider is crucial to determine the suitability of neuromodulation as a treatment for your specific condition. With neuromodulation, patients with migraines, neck pain, and other symptoms of migraine can experience relief from discomfort. (74 words)

Home remedies

Home remedies for migraine neck pain, such as applying cold or hot compresses, performing gentle stretching exercises, and practicing good posture, can help alleviate discomfort and promote relaxation. These remedies, along with the use of over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can provide temporary relief. Additionally, neck massages and physiotherapy techniques may help relieve tension in the neck muscles and improve flexibility, contributing to pain relief. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized guidance on managing migraine sore neck.

Complications from cervicogenic headache

Cervicogenic headaches, originating in the neck, can lead to various complications if left untreated. These headaches can cause intense neck pain, discomfort, and throbbing pain. They may also radiate to other areas, such as the back of the head or sides of the head, resulting in stiffness and limited range of motion. In addition to neck pain, cervicogenic headaches can be associated with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and other migraine symptoms. Seeking medical attention for chronic or severe headaches accompanied by neck soreness is essential to prevent further complications and receive appropriate treatment.

Is Neck Pain a Symptom of a Migraine?

Yes, neck pain can be a symptom of a migraine in certain cases. People often describe the neck pain associated with migraines as sore or stiff. It can occur before, during, or after the headache. To get an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional.

Is Neck Pain a Trigger or Symptom of Migraines?

Neck pain can serve as both a trigger and a symptom of migraines. While some individuals experience neck pain as a precursor or during a migraine attack, indicating it as a symptom, for others, neck pain can act as a trigger, leading to the onset of a migraine episode. It is crucial to address and manage neck pain to help alleviate or prevent migraines.

Cervicogenic Headaches

Cervicogenic headaches, which stem from the neck, can cause significant discomfort and distress. These headaches are typically triggered by factors such as muscle tension, poor posture, and whiplash injuries. People experiencing cervicogenic headaches often report a sore neck, pain that radiates to the head or face, and limited range of motion in the neck. Various treatment options, including physiotherapy, chiropractic adjustments, and medications, can help alleviate these headaches. Additionally, making lifestyle modifications such as practicing good posture and stress management techniques can aid in preventing cervicogenic headaches.

Neck Pain and Tension Headaches

Neck pain can be both a trigger and a symptom of migraines. Some individuals experience neck pain before or during a migraine attack, indicating it as a symptom. In contrast, others find that neck pain acts as a trigger, causing the onset of a migraine episode. It is important to address and manage neck pain to help alleviate or prevent migraines. By understanding the connection between neck pain and migraines, individuals can take proactive measures to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine sore neck episodes.

The Role of Sleep and Posture

Sleep Quality and Posture: Impact on Migraines and Neck Pain

The quality of sleep and posture significantly influence the development of migraines and neck pain. Inadequate sleep, characterized by insufficient duration or disrupted patterns, can contribute to the frequency and intensity of migraines. Prioritizing good sleep hygiene practices, such as following a consistent sleep schedule and creating a peaceful sleep environment, is essential.

Apart from sleep quality, maintaining proper posture throughout the day also plays a crucial role in preventing migraines and neck pain. Poor posture, especially in the neck and upper back region, strains the muscles and can trigger tension headaches. It is important to be mindful of maintaining correct alignment and posture while sitting, standing, and engaging in daily activities.

Incorporating relaxation techniques before bedtime, such as deep breathing exercises or gentle stretching, can help improve the quality of sleep and alleviate migraine symptoms. Seeking guidance from healthcare professionals, such as chiropractors or physical therapists, can provide additional relief for both migraines and neck pain.


Migraines, characterized by severe head pain, are often accompanied by nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and a sore neck. Neck pain, a commonly experienced symptom of migraines, can be attributed to muscle tension or strain. Proper diagnosis by healthcare providers is crucial for effective treatment of migraines. Management of migraines may involve medications, lifestyle modifications, and preventive treatments. If you suffer from migraine attacks and experience neck pain, consult with your healthcare provider to determine the most suitable approach for relief.


Neck pain and stiffness, often referred to as a migraine sore neck, can be experienced by individuals who suffer from migraines. In addition to the throbbing headache pain, migraines can also manifest as discomfort in the neck region. It is important to note that poor sleep quality and posture can contribute to the development of migraines and neck pain. By practicing good sleep hygiene, such as maintaining a regular sleep schedule and creating a comfortable environment, individuals can reduce the frequency of migraine attacks and alleviate neck soreness. Furthermore, adopting a proper posture, especially when sitting or using electronic devices, can help prevent migraines and reduce the occurrence of neck pain.

Neck pain

Neck pain is a common symptom experienced by many migraine sufferers. During a migraine attack, individuals may experience discomfort in the neck region, often described as soreness or stiffness on one or both sides of the head. The exact cause of neck pain during migraines is not fully understood, but it is believed to be linked to muscle tension, inflammation, and poor sleep posture. Stress and anxiety can also contribute to neck pain during migraines.

Treatment options for migraine-related neck pain may include over-the-counter pain relievers, muscle relaxants, physiotherapy, stress management, and regular exercise. It is important to address any underlying factors like poor sleep quality or muscle tension. Collaboration with a healthcare provider, such as a neurologist or headache specialist, is essential for developing a personalized treatment plan to alleviate migraine-related neck pain.

Treatments for Migraine Neck Pain

Relieving migraine neck pain involves a range of treatment options to consider. To alleviate pain and discomfort, you can try over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Applying heat or cold packs to the neck may also provide relief. If tension in the neck muscles is a concern, consider massage therapy or chiropractic adjustments to help alleviate the discomfort. Additionally, relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation can help reduce stress and ease neck pain. In more severe cases, your healthcare provider may prescribe prescription medications like triptans or muscle relaxants to manage migraine neck pain effectively. Consulting a healthcare provider is essential in determining the most suitable treatment plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the common causes of a sore neck during a migraine?

A sore neck during a migraine can be caused by muscle tension and spasms, referred pain from the migraine, poor posture or tension in the neck and shoulders, as well as stress and anxiety. These factors can contribute to increased soreness in the neck area during a migraine episode.

Where can I find physiotherapy near me?

To find physiotherapy clinics near you, try searching online using platforms like Google Maps and Yelp for listings and reviews. Additionally, ask your primary care physician or healthcare provider for recommendations, and check local directories and community health centers for information on physiotherapy services in your area.

Where can I find sports massage near me?

To find sports massage near you, search online directories or use search engines like Google. Look for local sports therapy clinics or wellness centers that offer these services. Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or healthcare professionals, and check websites/social media of local massage therapists specializing in sports massage.


In conclusion, understanding the causes and symptoms of cervicogenic headaches is crucial for effective treatment. physiotherapy, medications, nerve blocks, and other interventions can provide relief for those suffering from cervicogenic headaches. However, it’s important to remember that individual experiences may vary, and it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. If you’re experiencing neck pain or suspect you may have cervicogenic headaches, don’t delay seeking medical attention. Schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider who specializes in headache disorders to discuss your symptoms and explore treatment options.

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