A sinus headache is typically the result of swollen and inflamed sinuses. A sinus infection, the common cold or allergies can cause inflammation in the nasal cavity, placing pressure on different parts of the head. A sinus headache is commonly confused with migraine headaches and should be diagnosed by a doctor, according to the Mayo Clinic. Sinus headaches can cause radial pain felt on the top of the head, the back of the neck or where the neck and head connect.
The University of Maryland’s Medical Center defines a sinus headache as a dull, throbbing pain, felt in the face and head that is caused by the sinuses. A sinus headache is commonly felt in the cheeks, behind the eyes, in the ears, upper teeth and the back of the neck.
A sinus headache with an neck ache will be accompanied with symptoms that point towards the sinuses, such as congestion, postnasal drip and sneezing. The head and neck pain can become worse when someone first wakes up, changing temperatures or by bending over. The person may also feel fatigue, notice dark yellow discharge and develop a low-grade fever.
The most effective treatment for sinus headaches with neck pain, according to Penn State University, is the use of over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen, aspirin or acetaminophen. Certain pain relievers can cause complications in young children and those with heart or liver disease. Talk with a doctor before using any over-the-counter medication. The University of Maryland’s Medical Center states that decongestants and antihistamines are used to treat sinus headaches. If the sinus headache is the result of a bacterial sinus infection, antibiotics may be prescribed.
Preventing sinus headaches with neck pain begins by identifying the problem. If the sinus headaches are the result of allergies, take a daily antihistamine and avoid allergens. If the sinus headache is a result of the common cold, wash the hands often and avoid people who are sick. Stay away from flying, underwater swimming and other activities that would change the air pressure, according to Penn State University.
A stiff neck accompanied with a fever, severe head pain and nasal congestion may be a sign of meningitis or a brain infection, according to the Mayo Clinic. If these symptoms develop, seek medical attention immediately to determine the cause of the symptoms.