Can a Pinched Nerve Cause Headaches?

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University of Maryland Medical Center reports that a pinched nerve in the neck can cause headaches in the back of the head, called occipital headaches. This condition also causes pain in the neck, shoulder, arm and hand, according to UMMC.

According to, cervical radiculopathy is the condition in which these symptoms occur. explains that nerve irritation in the neck causes the symptoms. It is brought on by nerve compression, or pinching in the upper spine due to a herniated disc, narrowing of the spinal canal or degenerated discs that cause bone spurs.

UMMC states that treatments for cervical radiculopathy include: medications to control pain, inflammation, sleep issues and muscle spasms, use of a cervical collar to limit motion and provide support as the nerve heals, and use of a cervical pillow to help position the head properly while sleeping. Epidural steroid injections and surgery are considered in severe cases, according to UMMC.