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How Neck Pain Can Cause Headaches?

How To Prevent Tension Migraines

What Muscles Cause Neck Tension?

If you’re suffering from neck pain, it’s likely that your headaches are a symptom of that pain. A tension headache is caused by muscle tension, which can be caused by stress, anxiety, and poor posture. Some of the most commonly affected muscles are in the neck and shoulders.

When your neck or shoulder muscles are tense, they can cause pain in the back of your head or neck. When your head arches forward, this creates excessive curvature in the neck which causes the muscles of the back muscles to go into spasm, especially if they are that way for a long period of time due to lifestyle habits, looking down at computers, phones, or sitting for long hours.

What Muscles Cause Headaches?

The suboccipital muscles are located under the back of your skull and can cause headaches if they’re too tight. If you’re experiencing a headache, try massaging these muscles to see if it helps ease your symptoms.

The suboccipital muscles are located under the back of the head and help to keep the head balanced on top of the spine. They can become tight, fatigued, and inflamed, which can cause head and neck pain.

The suboccipital muscles are a group of four paired deep muscles located at the base of the skull.

This muscle group can become tightened and fatigued if you sit in front of a computer for long periods of time, drive long distances in a car, or carry heavy bags on your shoulders. The tension in these muscles can cause headaches by pulling on the occipital lobe of your brain.

They extend and rotate the head and are responsible for stabilizing it in space during movement.

If you have strong suboccipital muscles, they will contribute to proper alignment of your cervical spine because they provide support to hold your neck up straight while you’re standing or sitting upright, but if they are weak, short and tight if your head is forward in posture, then it can cause tension headaches that lead to migraines, neck tension, etc.

 3 Tips For Alleviating Tension Headaches

Here are some tips for preventing tension headaches caused by neck pain:

1. Take frequent breaks from repetitive activities that cause stress on your neck muscles, such as using a computer or reading in bed at night.

2. Practice deep breathing exercises (like diaphragmatic breathing) throughout the day when you feel stressed or tense (you can learn more about this technique here).

3. Stretch regularly to keep your muscles limber; try yoga poses or simply lying on your back with both arms extended overhead and pulling one elbow back toward your ear while holding on lightly with the other hand, then switching sides.

Anothehr thing you can do to test your suboccipital muscles for tension is draw your head back, and then plug your thumbs into the space inbetween your skull and back of the head, and then press your head forward to feel at what point when your head is back vs. your head forward, tension starts to occur. This will be able to show you exactly how and why your neck muscles are tense and how to prevent it from doing that in the future, while sitting, while standing, or any other time.

If you want to work with a professional to help relieve your neck and shoulder tension which is causing your headaches book a massage with us by clicking the button below. 

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Author: Mason Palmer

Founder / Massage Therapist

IMMERSE Modern Massage

Mason is a master massage therapist in Portland, Oregon, with over 10,000 hours of hands on work. His expertise in deep tissue anatomy, myofascial release, and trauma-informed somatic therapy. He is also a 200-hour certified yoga instructor and has received Reiki Master level training from three different schools. Mason has explored various healing practices, including Mindfulness Meditation, Personal Training, Yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Ayurveda, and Chinese medicine, for over a decade. He is the author of “Energy Healing, One Truth Many Teachers” and is known for his proven track record for creating plans of care for his clients to overcome pain and discomfort in their body, and to make sure that pain doesn’t come back.

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