Pinpointing the source of pain

When you have a headache, you might be tempted to think that the pain comes from your forehead or has something to do with your brain. However, it might surprise you to know that the source of the pain could be the muscles in your neck and head. But how can a neck muscle cause your head to hurt?

It’s all because of a type of pain called referred pain. Referred pain happens when your brain confuses pain signals from one part of the body and thinks that they are coming from another part of the body.

Due to the way our brain and nerves connect, our brains can sometimes become confused about where pain is coming from. So when the muscles in your neck and head are sore, you may feel it as a headache. And with more than 20 different neck and head muscles, that’s a lot of potential for a headache!

The source of common headache pain

One of the most common types of headache feels like a band of pain wrapped around your forehead. However, this pain could be due to a muscle somewhere in your neck or another part of the head.

So what is it about those head and neck muscles that’s causing your head to ache?

It may be because the muscles in your neck are becoming tight and strained. When this happens, sore knots develop in the muscles. These tender muscles knots send pain signals to the brain. It’s the pain signals from these muscle knots that you feel as a tight band of pressure around your head.

Ways you can manage headache pain 

There are many things you can do to ease achy muscles in the neck and head – a source of headache pain.

Stress relief: If you feel busy and stressed, relaxation and stress management techniques such as mindfulness or simple breathing exercises may help. It also helps to maintain a good work-life balance. Just making time to catch up with friends or to improving your sleeping patterns can bring stress levels back to normal.

Heat therapy: Next time you get a nagging headache, try placing a heat pack across your shoulders and neck to reduce pain and muscle spasm. Having a hot bath is another option.

Pain-relief medication: If you are worried about headache pain slowing you down, pain relievers can help you get relief. For fast pain relief, try Nurofen Zavance to relieve your headache. Not only are Nurofen Zavance tablets and caplets absorbed up to twice as fast as standard Nurofen, they work at both the site of pain in the body and on the pain signals that reach the brain.