Neck Pain

Migraine neck Pain symptoms: an overview

Pain in the neck has been listed as a migraine symptom for some migraine sufferers.

Neck pain can include the muscles or nerves in the neck.

The neck discomfort can also occur in the bones of the spine or the disks that cushion the areas between the spinal bones. It can also feel like the migraine is in the base of the neck. Other say it feels like a migraine headache that radiates from the neck to head.

Migraine attacks can have a range of symptoms. These migraine symptoms vary from person to person. Some migraine sufferers complained of neck pain during migraines.

Warning: A stiff neck can be a sign of a more serious or potentially life-threatening condition. Seek immediate medical assistance if you experience stiff neck along with fever and headache.


Studies on migraine and neck pain

A 2010 study of 113 patients found that neck pain occurred with the migraine attacks more often than nausea, even though nausea is closely associated with migraines.

An informal survey of 144 people with migraines found that 75 percent said they had neck pain with their migraines, which is the same percentage that experienced sensitivity to light, sensitivity to sound and nausea. In this poll, neck pain was named three times as often as migraine aura and vomiting.

Type of neck pain in survey:

  • 69% felt tightness
  • 17% experienced stiffness
  • 60% said the neck pain came first

Other factors that can cause neck pain

  • Neck injury
  • Ruptured disk
  • Fractures
  • Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal)
  • Poor posture
  • Osteoporosis
  • Infection of the spine
  • Cancer that involves the spine
  • Arthritis
  • Meningitis
  • Bone spurs
  • Muscle strain
  • Compressed nerves
  • Worn joints
  • Whiplash
  • Fibromyalgia


Managing migraine symptoms can be helped by keeping an accurate account of each migraine attack in your migraine journal. Rate the severity of your symptoms, how often they occur and how long they last. This will help determine what your migraine triggers are as well as help you prepare to treat migraines before the pain becomes too severe. Your migraine journal will also help you discuss your symptoms with your migraine specialist.

Written by: Otesa Miles | Last review date: November 2010
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