The simple answer to your question is “yes, your neck can cause headaches and even trigger migraines”.
Often migraines have triggers and I am sure you know your own triggers (smells, lights, sounds, stress, your mother-in-law, etc etc). Your neck can affect some of the nerves that come from your head (the Trigeminal Nerve) and affect the way the signal gets to the brain via the Trigeminocervical nucleus. This can be enough to “trigger” your migraine.
The simplistic way I look at it is that your migraines come on when the “dam overflows”. All your triggers in the right amount fill up your “dam” and your migraines come when your ‘dam’ gets full.
Your neck can make your “dam” shallower so less of your triggers are needed to start your migraine.
As someone who suffers bad headaches, I have found exercise, specifically strength exercises, have helped my neck a lot and my headaches have decreased. I have also investigated what foods and allergens I have reactions to and I avoid these as well - all of this as well as some self treatment for my neck has improved my headaches (I used to get migraines but extremely infrequently now).
Antony Lo - Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist - www.physiodetective.com
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