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What might be the cause of a right side neck pain and headache?

Pain in the back of the head or pain from behind over the head are usually referred to by those affected as a headache from the neck. If imaging methods such as MRI or X-ray have been left without findings, there is often a vague explanation “that may come from the cervical spine”. But what exactly are the causes and mechanisms that cause headaches from the neck and how are they treated? This article is intended to give you some information.


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Many people who complain of a headache in the neck wake up in the morning with the symptoms. The pain can occur on one or both sides and switch between the sides. When the pain from the neck occurs during the day, the triggering moment often describes long-lasting positions in which the head had to be held. There are many names for pain coming from the neck. Some refer to it purely as a headache from the back of the head , other than neck pain or neck tension .

Most commonly, there are drawing pains along a line that run from the neck over the back of the head to the middle of the head. It can also be a sharp pain at the level of the second cervical vertebra or directly at the back of the head. Mostly, the tracks or points of pressure described by those affected are painful. They usually then intuitively press directly on the back of the head to relieve the pain. But many report that shortly after pressing, the pain usually continues unabated. A little movement or stretching of the neck or head gives a bit of relief to many neck headache sufferers. In extreme positions, such as taking the chin on the chest or extreme turning of the head, the complaints tend to be more pronounced or can be provoked.

Causes of headaches from the neck

Looking at the symptoms from the anatomical point of view, the trapezius muscle and a nerve are the cause of the pain. Both pull from the cervical spine to, or over the back of the head. The trapezius muscle runs from the thoracic spine over the neck to the back of the head. In its course one often finds tender points or pathways. At the back of the head, a nerve passes over the occiput through the trapezius muscle, which comes from the second cervical vertebrae, the occipital nerve.
An increased tension on the neck and back seems to be a major cause of headache from the neck. In many theories of development, posture (for example, working position) combined with lack of exercise play a leading role. This theory disproves people who are constantly moving and stretching, like yoga drills, top athletes or craftsmen who have been ruled out of structural causes and still complain of a headache from the neck.

So it seems to be individually different, how quickly someone with headaches on the neck occur when the back is a little tense. Other theories in the genesis include TMJ tensions, whiplash rear-end injuries, pelvic obliquity, sitting position in front of the monitor, or tensions of the cranial bones and internal structures.

TMJ, neck and headache

The tensions in the jaw joint should be able to be transferred to the neck, since there are close mechanical and neural connections between temporomandibular joint and neck. It is critical to note that the temporomandibular joint as the cause of complaints for a few years, very “in fashion” is. Since the late 1990s, the pelvic obliquity seems to have been superseded as the main cause of TMJ discomfort. About 10 years ago there were still the insoles in the shoes, the many people with neck tension, back pain and headaches were prescribed by the neck, so it is now mostly the so-called Bißschienen, which are in many households (often unused) lying around. Jaw malpositions, bad bite, nocturnal teeth grinding, pawing with the pines during the day or forwards Pushing of the lower jaw are considered as causes of tensions that can continue on the neck.

Whiplash and neck pain

In a whiplash injury (usually in the context of a rear-end collision), it comes to jerky forces on the upper cervical spine and the neck, which can develop into discomfort as a result. As the nerve mentioned above, which passes over the head, comes from the second cervical vertebra, discomfort in the course of the nerve over the back of the head is interpreted as a consequence of tensions caused by the unnatural forces of the collision on the vertebra and the surrounding tissue.

Pelvic obliquity and neck headache

In manual treatment after osteopathy , a close relationship is seen between the pelvic bone and the mastoid (bone behind the ear). With the raising in the baby age thus takes a different load on the pelvis and a slight rotation of the pelvic blades, while at the same time the head turning muscle, by train on mastoid (mastoid) latter forms. This creates a link between pelvic asymmetries and one-sided headaches from the neck. Asymmetries can also be transmitted via the muscles, such as the hip flexor muscle (iliopsoas muscle) to the spine and continue to the head. Even so, one-sided headaches can be explained by the neck.

Naturopathy with headache from the neck

From a naturopathic point of view, manual methods such as osteopathy, Rolfing or the Fascial Distortion Model (FDM) are the therapeutic approach of choice for mechanically solvable problems .

Rolfing and osteopathy look at asymmetries, unfavorable stress distributions or movement restrictions in the organism. The findings detected with the hands or determined by movement tests serve to find the adequate treatment, which is not always necessarily at the place of the complaints. For patients who are experiencing an osteopathic diagnosis for the first time, it is sometimes strange to be asked if they have symptoms such as foot pain or shoulder stabbing , which are located in completely different regions than the headache.

In the fascia distortion model(FDM) is a concept developed by the US-American osteopath and emergency physician. Stephen Typaldos DO was established. Dr. Typaldos came to the realization that patients indicate the necessary treatment by body language alone through unsuccessful treatments, which were done according to anatomical or palpatory considerations. He asked patients what they themselves would find effective treatment. Over the years he refined his therapeutic interventions through his observations. He found six complaints: Trigger Band, Continuum Distortion, Falt Distortion, Herniated Trigger Point, Cylinder Distortion and Tectonic Fixation. He assigned these to the connective tissue, the fasciae, because the effects of the treatments on this system were well explained.

Since the headache from the neck is usually drawing pain along one or two lines, this is seen after FDM as a twist in the band-like fascia and referred to as a trigger band. The stinging pain in the back of the head is seen as a disturbance in the bone-to-ligament junction and is called continuum distortion. The treatment is done in both cases directly with the thumb. And following the treatment, the restricted or painful motion is immediately tested.

Treatment of headache from the neck

In headaches from the neck, which are not mechanically influenced, there are other theories in natural medicine to the emergence. Food intolerances or acidification of the organism list the list of naturopathic suspected causes as a trigger for headaches from the neck. As a diagnostic possibility serve stool examinations and blood diagnostics, eg dark field microscopy , therapeutic work with detoxification and Ausleitungsverfahren or the establishment of a physiological intestinal flora. Nutrition therapy, medicinal plants, microbiological medicines, isopathic remedies or homeopathic remedies are usually used. Other natural remedies for headaches from the neck are ear acupuncture and neural therapy. In neural therapy, local anesthetics are injected at certain points to harmonize the irritated tissue. (Tf)

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