Cervical spondylosis and migraines?

Megrose489 Member Posts: 765
edited 16. Oct 2023, 08:57 in Chat to our Helpline Team

A year ago I woke up with an extremely painful/stiff neck on one side. The pain was excruciating. I saw our practice physiotherapist who gave me exercises to do and thought it was probably a herniated disc caused by cervical spondylosis. I didn't see a doctor. I do have osteoarthritis in many joints, including my spine. Now I have a creaky neck, although it's no longer stiff and a regular dull headache which radiates from the back of my neck to the top of my head. The muscles around my neck are tender.

I recently had five migraine episodes in two weeks - I don't get a headache anymore, only the aura - which I believe I've pinned down to the way I use my laptop - on my lap - with my head bent forward, looking down. Needless to say, I've stopped doing this! I mentioned the migraines to the GP - one aura lasted over an hour - but hadn't realised at that point what the trigger might be.

I have asked my GP for an x-ray or MRI to ascertain exactly what is going on with my cervical spine, but he is reluctant - I don't believe he thinks it is necessary. However, as I said, I haven't discussed the possible link with migraines. Considering the migraines, do you think I should push for some sort of scan? And should I see the physiotherapist again and get exercises to improve my posture and neck muscles? I can self-refer at my surgery, which is excellent.


  • Hi @Megrose489

    Thank you for posting on our Online Community, we are sorry to hear that you have been in so much pain recently with your neck.

    Spondylosis can happen as we age, it can cause small lumps of new bone called osteophytes to grow at the edges of the vertebrae and the facet joints. Over some time, the discs in your spine can also start to become thinner. These changes can be seen with an X-ray or a MRI scan so it may be beneficial for you to have one of these carried out in the future, it is important that tests are carried out as well as a physical examination so that a diagnosis can be confirmed so that you are able to manage the condition with the right treatment.

    Physiotherapy will also help with the condition so if you are able to access that through self-referral that is great.

    Best wishes


    Helpline Advisor