Can Shoulder Pain Cause Headaches? The Answer May Shock You
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Can Shoulder Pain Cause Headaches? The Answer May Shock You

Hello Maple Valley! This is Dr. Amy Konvalin, your go-to expert physical therapist.
Today, I’m diving deep into a question I often hear from my clients, especially those of us gracefully navigating the adventures of life past 40: Can shoulder pain lead to headaches?
You might be thinking, “How can pain in one part of my body affect a totally different area?” Well, the human body is a beautifully complex system, and sometimes, the source of one problem might just surprise you.
In this article, you will learn how shoulder pain can cause severe headaches, and how to solve them.

Understanding Shoulder Pain

As many of us know, our 40s and beyond can usher in a mix of challenges and joys. One common hurdle is dealing with bodily pains that weren’t as pronounced in our younger years. Shoulder pain is especially prevalent and can be the result of various causes:

  • Wear and tear from repetitive movements.
  • Injuries, old and new.
  • Arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis.
  • Rotator cuff issues.

Regardless of its source, shoulder pain isn’t just a localized issue. It can have ripple effects throughout our bodies. And yes, it can even play a role in those pesky headaches that crop up more often than we’d like.

Three Ways Shoulder Pain Can Lead To Headaches

Muscular Strain And Tension

Muscles in our shoulders are intricately connected to those in our neck. When there’s tension or strain in the shoulder muscles, it can lead to tightness in the neck muscles, which can manifest as a tension headache.

This chain reaction can lead to tension headaches. It feels like a tight, pressing pain encircling the head, sometimes dull, sometimes intense.

What you can do:

  • Stretch Regularly: Gentle stretches can alleviate muscle tension. Try simple neck and shoulder stretches daily.
  • Warm Compress: Applying warmth to tense muscles can help them relax.
  • Massage: Occasional massages can release pent-up tension, promoting relaxation.

Nerve Compression

If there’s an issue with your shoulder, like a pinched nerve, it can lead to referred pain.

This means that while the problem originates in the shoulder, the pain is felt elsewhere, such as the head. This is often a sharp, shooting pain that can feel like it’s radiating upward.

What you can do:

  • Postural Awareness: Being conscious of and correcting poor posture can alleviate undue pressure on nerves.
  • Physical Therapy: Targeted exercises can help relieve nerve compression.
  • Limit Repetitive Strain: If certain activities exacerbate the pinching sensation, try to modify or limit them.

Postural Changes

Finally, chronic shoulder pain can lead us to adjust our posture without even realizing it.

This might mean tilting the head or hunching over slightly.

Over time, these postural changes can strain the muscles at the base of the skull and lead to cervicogenic headaches – headaches that start in the neck.

What you can do:

  • Ergonomic Evaluation: Ensure your workspace supports a healthy posture.
  • Core Strengthening: A strong core supports a healthy posture.
  • Regular Breaks: If sitting for extended periods, stand up, move around, and stretch every hour.

Empower yourself to overcome the pain.  –  today.

Bonus – Free Neck And Shoulder Pain Report

Are persistent neck and shoulder aches holding you back from embracing life to the fullest?

Dr. Amy Konvalin, our expert physical therapist, has crafted a comprehensive report tailored just for you. Delve deep into the causes, the overlooked signs, and most importantly, effective strategies to reclaim your life from the clutches of pain.

What’s Inside the Report?

  • Root causes of neck and shoulder pain: demystified.
  • Simple everyday changes that can make a world of difference.
  • Expert advice and exercises to guide you on the path to relief.

It’s more than just a report; it’s a beacon of hope, a roadmap to a pain-free future.

Claim Your FREE Neck & Shoulder Pain Report Here!

The Final Step In Future Proofing Your Shoulders 

It’s time to harness the power of proactive health care. At Physical Therapy for Everybody, we delve deep into understanding your body’s intricacies. We don’t just skim the surface; we aim to unearth and treat the underlying issues.

From exercises to therapies tailored for your shoulder pain and the resultant headaches, An expert physical therapist is primed to craft a plan uniquely for you.

Why not gift yourself the comfort you deserve? Join us for a Free Shoulder and Neck Pain Assessment. This session promises one-on-one time with a skilled physical therapist ready to guide, answer, and design the road to a brighter, pain-free future.

If stepping into a clinic feels overwhelming right now, that’s perfectly okay. We offer a Free Telephone Consultation. In the safety and comfort of your home, chat with our experts, garner insights and know that there are no strings attached.

Shoulder pain, and headaches – they don’t define you. Let’s change the narrative together. Call us today at 425-658-4944 to book your Free Shoulder and Neck Pain Assessment or opt for the Free Telephone Consultation.

I encourage you to take advantage of our FREE Shoulder and Neck Pain Assessment at Physical Therapy for Everybody. This assessment will allow us to understand your unique situation and provide personalized advice to ease your pain and regain control.

Here’s to a life where you call the shots, not the pain! Stay vibrant, Maple Valley.

Still Unsure About Coming Into The Clinic?

We recognize that you might have reservations about how transformative physical therapy can be. Such doubts are natural and might be causing hesitation.

That’s why we offer a Free Telephone Consultation. Whether you’re lounging on your sofa or resting in bed, you can easily connect with our knowledgeable physical therapists and receive expert guidance with zero commitments.

Call us today at 425-658-4944 to book your Free Shoulder and Neck Pain Assessment Assessment or schedule your Free Telephone Consultation.

Take control of your health, now.

Dr. Amy Konvalin

Dr. Amy Konvalin

Struggling with pain and dysfunction can impact every part of our lives — it drains our energy, distracts us from our goals, and keeps us from the people and activities we love. As an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, Dr. Amy Konvalin understands how frustrating those limitations can be — and she knows how to help get you back to the life you want to live! Beginning with a focused evaluation, Dr. Amy works to determine the root causes of your pain, as well as understanding how it affects the way you move through your world. Dysfunctional patterns of movement often grow worse with time and cause further damage if left untreated — so it’s important to address these issues as soon as possible. Dr. Amy knows there is no one-size-fits-all plan for success, and she partners with patients to identify their unique treatment goals and personal values. Using these goals as a guide, Amy uses her doctorate training in manual (hands-on) therapy and exercise prescription to treat patients with a wide variety of medical challenges and histories throughout the Maple Valley, Black Diamond and Covington areas. Dr. Amy is also a wife to a Boeing superstar/former C-130 navigator. While they lived in Germany, Dr. Amy was able to volunteer with the US Army to treat military personnel and civilians on base. She has two beautiful teenage ballerinas who keep her on her toes and educate her on all things ballet! Bailey, the princess pup, is her running partner and her napping partner. In the spare moments in between, Amy enjoys reading, yoga, wine with friends, Pilates, and walking on the beach.
Dr. Amy Konvalin

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