Neck Pain + Headaches

By the time most people seek treatment for their neck pain or headaches, it’s not because of the occasional twinge, but rather for problems that have lasted several months. Common complaints include migraines and tension headaches, not being able to turn one’s head fully, all-over neck stiffness, stabbing pain localized to one spot on the neck, or pain that radiates as far down as the fingertips.

In some cases, the causes of your headaches or neck pain may be obvious – if you’ve recently been in a car accident or suffered a sports injury, for example. Often, however, problems can develop through poor posture or from having to perform the same action repeatedly. In addition, if you’re often obliged to spend too much time at your desk or in the car, the resulting muscle weakness can add to the problem.

How can we help?

Patients who seek treatment from their neck-centered issues are often surprised to learn that some other problems they’ve been experiencing might be related. So even if you think you can “live with” your neck pain, other problems may have begun to accumulate.

For example, if you have chronic migraines or frequent bouts of tension headaches, muscle tension and referred pain may actually be the culprit, rather than your diet or your busy schedule. As shown in the picture to the right, tightness and tension in the upper trapezius muscles can refer pain directly to your forehead, ear, or behind your eye. (The trigger point is marked by the XX, while the referred pain is marked in blue.) Trigger Point Dry Needling releases the tension in the trigger point, causing immediate relief.

In addition, you may find that the problems you’ve been having with shoulder mobility – or shooting pains down your arms and hands – often spring from compressed nerves in your upper vertebrae.

What does treatment look like?

Headaches & Neck Pain Relief Minnetonka & Wayzata, MNThe key to treating neck pain and headaches is determining the source. Once we’ve pinpointed the main cause of your neck pain and stiffness, we’ll develop a treatment plan with you. In your sessions, you’ll experience manual therapy to decrease tension at the muscles of the neck, instruction in stretches and exercises that build strength and flexibility. Also, you will be shown how to activate and strengthen the deep neck flexor muscles which are key in providing support to your neck – similar to strengthening your “core” when you have back pain. We will also help you learn how to better position yourself during your daily activities to avoid relapses.

For more information, or answers to your questions, contact us today at Wayzata & Minnetonka, MN Centers. Or if you’re ready to get relief from your neck pain or headaches, click here to schedule an appointment.