Why You Have Headache, Neck Pain, and Nausea All at Once

Headache, Neck Pain, and Nausea

A headache can completely ruin your day. When you have it, it's really tough to get through the day and not feel terrible about yourself. Sometimes neck pain and nausea come with headaches too, which makes them even more challenging to handle!

There are a couple of conditions that can cause headache, neck pain, and nausea to exist at the same time. For doctors to develop a solid care plan, it is vital to give you an accurate diagnosis. Take a look at the most common conditions that trigger headache, neck pain and nausea.

Table of Contents

  • Conditions that Can Cause Headache, Neck Pain, and Nausea
  • Migraine
  • Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome
  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
  • Occipital Neuralgia
  • Cervicogenic Headache Nausea
  • Temporomandibular Joint Headache
  • Mixed Tension Headache
  • Signs Your Headache, Neck Pain, and Nausea Are More Serious
  • Tips to Prevent Headache, Neck Pain, and Nausea
  • Headache, Neck Pain and Nausea—How to Ease Them

Conditions that Can Cause Headache, Neck Pain, and Nausea

Neck pain, headache and nausea are painful occurrences that may be trivial to some. However, it is important not only to take the symptoms seriously but also to have peace of mind by knowing what they might mean for your overall health.


Migraine is one of the most common causes of headache, neck pain and nausea. Also, an upset stomach is pretty usual for migraineurs. Other symptoms of migraines are below:

  • Dizziness
  • Stiffness of the muscles
  • Increased thirst
  • Vomiting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Increased sensitivity to noise, lights, and odors

Types of migraine that can cause headache, neck pain, and nausea:

  • Migraine with Aura and Without Aura – migraines without aura can cause an episode of severe headache and nausea. On the other hand, people who suffer from migraines with aura experience neck pain about 20 minutes up to 1 hour before getting headaches, nausea, and vision problems. 
  • Abdominal Migraine – abdominal migraine does not happen frequently, but there are cases when children could develop stomach pain instead of a throbbing headache. This condition could trigger vomiting and nausea. 

Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome 

This syndrome causes people (particularly children) to experience episodes of nausea and vomiting. This condition is highly related to migraines. Kids who suffer from this syndrome at an early age are more likely to develop a migraine as they grow up.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo  

BPPV can affect anyone but is most common to people over 60 years of age. People with BPPV experience a spinning sensation that causes them to feel sick or vomit.

Occipital Neuralgia 

Its headache can be painful and sharp, particularly at the back of the head. It may also affect the neck and ear area. The electric-like pain usually storms from the upper neck and then makes its way to the rest of the head. 

Cervicogenic Headache 

This causes dull or odd pain in the back of the neck. The pain hits, then crawls upward to the head, and usually affects one side. 

Temporomandibular Joint Headache

TMJ headache begins at your temples and mimics the feeling of an earache. Neck pain creeps out due to muscle weakness and fatigue. When you have this condition, you might encounter some involuntary clenching of the teeth (bruxism). Bruxism can cause your TMJ muscles to feel tired, thus results in soreness in the face and neck.

Mixed Tension Headache

Mixed tension migraine is a condition that shares the symptoms of migraine and tension headaches. Patients with a mixed tension headache can suffer from severe head pain accompanied by neck pain, nausea, and sensitivity to lights and sounds. 

Headache, Neck Pain, and Nausea

Signs Your Headache, Neck Pain, and Nausea Are More Serious 

How do you know if a headache, neck pain, and nausea are just typical symptoms or signs of something more serious? It’s more serious if these are involved: 

  • Fainting
  • Pain that wakes you up in the middle of the night
  • Sudden bleeding of the nose
  • Getting a fever with a temperature of higher than 104 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Loss of balance and dizziness
  • Blurred or double vision 
  • Having difficulty walking
  • Seizures
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Chills and night sweats
  • Swelling on your face or some areas of your head
  • Very intense pain in the head
  • Stiff neck
  • Pain that gets worse if you move or change position
  • Confusion 
  • Slurred speech
  • If a simple cough and sneeze can trigger your headache

See a doctor if you experience these symptoms more frequently. 

Tips to Prevent Headache, Neck Pain, and Nausea

  • Fuel your body with nutritious foods
  • Eat regularly; don’t skip meals
  • Make a healthy exercise plan
  • Quit smoking
  • Avoid caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol
  • Keep your body hydrated

Headache, Neck Pain and Nausea—How to Ease Them

Headache, neck pain, and nausea may stem from a misalignment in the upper cervical spine. Our upper cervical spine is vital in supporting the weight of our head. Therefore, injuries in this area of the body can cause moderate to severe problems. 

Upper cervical chiropractic care uses a gentle and non-invasive technique to access the root of your pain. Chiropractors will precisely reposition any misaligned parts of your upper cervical spine. This method can help release pressure between your spinal cord, nerves, head, and brainstem. 

However, before chiropractors do the realignment, a proper diagnosis must be made first. If you think that an upper cervical misalignment causes your headache, neck pain and nausea, you must book a consultation with an upper cervical chiropractor. Go to our directory so you can find the nearest upper cervical chiropractor near you. 

Find An Upper Cervical Doctor in Your Areato schedule a consultation today.

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Stop Nausea From Neck Pain?

Nausea triggered by neck pain may be alleviated by addressing the underlying cause of the neck pain. Remedies may include rest, gentle neck stretches, applying ice or heat, over-the-counter pain relievers, and maintaining proper posture. If the nausea persists or worsens, it's advisable to consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation.

Can Neck Pain Cause Nausea?

Yes, neck pain can sometimes cause nausea. This occurs when neck pain is associated with conditions like cervical vertigo, cervical instability, or certain cervical spine disorders. The pain signals from the neck can disrupt the body's balance system, leading to nausea as a symptom.

 Why Does Neck Pain Cause Nausea?

Neck pain can cause nausea when it affects the cervical spine or related structures. Discomfort or dysfunction in the neck can stimulate the body's vestibular system (responsible for balance and spatial orientation), leading to feelings of dizziness and nausea.

Can Neck Pain Cause Nausea And Headaches?

Yes, neck pain can be associated with both nausea and headaches. This can be due to various factors, including muscle tension, nerve compression, or referred pain from the neck to the head. Treating the underlying neck issue may help alleviate both symptoms.

What Causes Neck Pain And Headache?

Neck pain and headaches can have multiple causes, including muscle strain, poor posture, tension, cervical spine issues, or underlying medical conditions. Identifying the specific cause often requires a medical evaluation by a healthcare provider.

What Does A Stiff Neck Feel Like?

A stiff neck typically feels uncomfortable and restricted in its range of motion. It may be painful or tender when attempting to move the neck in various directions. Stiffness can result from muscle tension, injury, or underlying neck issues, and it may also be accompanied by headaches or shoulder discomfort.


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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.