Are migraines related to neck and shoulder pain?

Doctors appt today! Sounds like a silly question because from my own experience I would answer with a yes! I’ve been having migraines for years but this last year it’s been a lot. It triggers from caffeine, sugar and sleep position for me and probably many other things I have yet to notice. Even when I am very careful they still come. Does anyone else get migraines from how they sleep?

My neck will be so stiff, base of my skull down to the top of my spine will hurt (I no longer sleep on my stomach) and my neck will feel like it’s burning. I have plenty of knots in my shoulders that when they are massaged will feel better but only temporary. I’ve seen a Chiro on and off for a year and I always leave feeling great but it doesn’t last. I have an appt with my regular doctor to see if he can offer more help. Does anyone have any advice for this appt today?


Community Answers
  • RebWil17 author
    9 months ago

    Thank you for all of your responses. My appointment was the last one of the day and unfortunately it felt like my dr was tired and ready to go home. A lot of his suggestions I was already doing and he didn’t think there was much else I could do other than a daily pill to prevent them, which he didn’t think I really needed. I will try again with an earlier appt and see if he’s more helpful but until then I’ll browse through this site to find out more about the different solutions.

  • up-late
    9 months ago

    I get migraines triggered by neck pain, I used to go a chiro when I had a bad one instead of emergency and they would fix it faster than painkillers. Still felt washed out after but at least the adjustment got rid of the pain. These days I use a massage technique on my upper back with a tennis ball my physio showed me to loosen up the muscles that go into the neck and see an osteo whenever I feel my jaw or the back of my head neck area tightening up.

  • Alyaine
    9 months ago

    I get a lot of neck pain with or without migraines (probably triggered by computer work). I Here are a few things that have helped the neck pain (and helped the headaches):
    1-A good pillow with neck support
    2-A 15 minute leisurely walk. This consistently helps my neck. I discovered when I walk I naturally move my head left/right and up/down to look at trees, the sky, birds…which gently stretches my neck. I’m not trying to stretch or move unnaturally. I’m moving the way my body intended which makes it happy. The fresh air is a bonus.
    3-When my neck is sore I give my neck a massage. However, I don’t just rub which tends to make me nauseous. I bought massage oil at Whole Foods and gently rub the back of my neck and shoulders. I do this before my shower. I try to make the experience relaxing. I sit on the floor and turn the lights low. It feels amazing.
    Best wishes and I hope you feel better.

  • Bombus
    9 months ago

    Hello and sorry this is late but YES! I have only just realised this after years of taking codeine for a neck problem which turns out to be migraines. It is not a stupid question at all – it would seem they are different but in reality neck pain can trigger migraines. Do let us know how you got on, I hope your appointment was helpful.

  • LizShelton
    10 months ago

    I royally screwed my neck up from years of looking down at notebooks and writing for hours on end. My neck was actually curving in the wrong direction and I started getting severe pain in my neck and head, which was later determined to be migraines. Getting chiropractic care and later on deep tissue massage therapy helped, but now my migraines are caused by other things and I do still have chronic neck problems that contribute to the attacks. Neck pain is a very common symptom with migraines and can certainly set one off, or start after the migraine itself has already began. I realize I’m commenting late and your appt is already over, but for future reference, my advice (that I wish I had followed myself way back when) is to just be honest and open about your symptoms and concerns; don’t downplay them, but don’t exaggerate. The doctor will need as clear a picture as possible to diagnose and treat your pain. And if you feel like they’re just throwing pills at you without actually trying to find the root cause or blowing off your condition as no big deal, find another doctor.

  • Ronan
    10 months ago

    This may help you feel not so alone https://migraine.com/migraine-tools/migraine-symptom-checker/ Neck pain is common. I do get neck stiffness/pain at times too. Usually the next day of the main Migraine.

    I also get a burning sensation in my neck when I have a UTI so I would definitely go see your GP to make sure things are ok there too.

  • Joanna Bodner moderator
    10 months ago

    Hi there @RebWil17,
    Thanks so much for your question which is by NO means silly! There sure can be a strong connection between neck pain and migraine & it is great to hear you are talking to your doctor. As you wait for possible feedback from the community, I wanted to share a similar question that was asked here where there may be some helpful comments for you to review – https://migraine.com/q-and-a/neck-pain/.

    Will you let us know how your appointment went?
    Take good care & good luck!
    -Joanna (Migraine.com Team)

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