How a pinched nerve in the neck causes headaches and where to find treatment

Pinched Nerve in the Neck and Headaches

People who are dealing with pain related to a pinched nerve in the neck often deal with a number of radiating symptoms, including headaches. That’s because the nerves in the upper, or cervical, spine travel to other areas of the body. Certain cervical nerves actually travel up into the head, providing important sensory and motor information. 

If these nerves become pinched by displaced spinal anatomy such as a bulging or herniated discs, severe headaches known as cervicogenic headaches can develop. While these symptoms can turn an already difficult condition into a devastating one, there are effective treatment options, including physical therapy. 

How can a physical therapist help with headaches caused by pinched nerves? 

While physical therapy is not a cure for spine conditions affecting the neck, it can go a long way toward taking pressure off spinal nerves and relieving symptoms. By reviewing your medical history, performing a physical examination and conducting movement tests, your therapist can identify some of the biomechanical contributors to your nerve compression. 

A physical therapy program can then be designed that addresses these causes through the following treatments: 

  • Manual therapy to relax tense muscles and release painful bundles of tissue that contribute to compression in the spine
  • Therapeutic exercises to strengthen the neck and relieve stress on spinal anatomy
  • Postural training to better distribute weight on the neck and spinal nerves
  • Education about spine-healthy lifestyle factors and ergonomic choices 

While you should always be prepared to be patient as you work to find the right combination of treatments for you, many patients are surprised by the steady progress and long-lasting results that physical therapy can achieve for headaches and other symptoms related to a pinched nerve in the neck. 

Reach out to our caring experts today

Specialists in Sports and Orthopedic Rehabilitation is committed to helping you achieve your treatment goals and get back to a healthy and active lifestyle. Our highly skilled therapists will work with you one-on-one to develop a personalized therapy program to address your headaches and relieve nerve compression. 

Contact us today to learn more and start your treatment journey.