Neck Pain from Migraines

Rear view of a young man holding his neck in pain, isolated on w

A lot of people suffer extra aches and pains as a result of migraine it isn’t all just in one’s head. Migraines can actually cause full bodily pain with aura symptoms such as allodynia, which is the sensitivity of the skin. When you have an extra symptom like allodynia it only makes things many times worse as someone massaging your back feel like knives rubbing against your skin constantly cutting you. I know it’s a gruesome example but that’s how painful an aura can be at times it can be worse than the actual migraine pain itself. The neck area seems to be particularly painful for many migraineurs so let me explain why and how one might combat such an issue.

Migraines often affect one eye and travel slowly past one’s temple to the back of the head and eventually rests at the back of the neck for many sufferers no matter which side is dominant for your migraines. Therefore all this pain and achiness causes stress on the muscles causing your back and neck to tense up quite easily. My chiropractor can literally feel what I call my “cluster knot” on the right side of my head where the throbbing begins when a shadow or cluster headache is coming. The cluster headaches only make the situation worse and this most likely affects all people with headache disorders. I hypothesize that this is why chiropractors, massage therapists, and acupuncture are all so popular as therapies for migraine and cluster headache. Everyone is looking for any relief they can get at this point and I understand that. Those back and neck muscles get tense and it feels like a bull dog has bit down on the muscle and is hanging from it. Sorry if that analogy seems a bit gruesome but that’s the best way for me to describe exactly how this feels as I am dealing with that feeling right now despite Oxycodone, Advil, Ativan, and a heating pad. So let me describe a few different ways to deal with this situation:

  1. Take pain medication don’t be afraid to do so unless you have a migraine or cluster headache at the time in which case this should be avoided as it can exacerbate or make worse the head pain.
  2. Utilize a heating pad, cold packs, a warm shower, neck massage device, or hot tub to help soothe your muscles. You’ll want something different each time so make sure you have all the options. I like the Elastogel neck ice pack the most and use it most often for my neck it gets extremely cold which I enjoy and stays that way for 45 minutes or so. In terms of heating pads mine is a cream colored Sunbeam brand heating pad that has an ergonomic remote that does from heat levels 1-8. Level eight is hot but comfortably so when you have severe muscle aches, I’d recommend these two products to anyone.
  3. Lie in a bath of Epsom salts with a towel over your eyes it’s soothing if you can stand it, I know some people are very sensitive to smells too, try and use salts with a soothing odor to them again only if it will be beneficial to you, mint typically clears my sinuses allowing me to breathe better helping my vasculitis.
  4. Buy a neck pillow memory foam or comfort beads to rest your neck on it’ll make car rides, plane rides, taxi rides, and just sitting around in seats with a backrest much more comfortable.
  5. If you feel weak always use a seat with a backrest, if you don’t see one ask for one and explain you need it for medical purposes. Having support for your neck and not always having it tense is going to help you avoid this pain altogether.

Anyway those are my tips for soothing neck pain if you have anything to add or tips please leave them in the comments and if I find It useful or forgot to add it I will add it to the information in this article. Neck and back pain from migraines and similar headache disorders are an unfortunate reality of this disease but that’s why I’m writing this article to give you a way out or at the very least a way to soothe the pain. Thank you all for reading and I’m sorry for not releasing an article yesterday I was all set to then I took my chemotherapy medication and my whole day just shattered to pieces. I will try to always write and publish prior to taking that now when possible.

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