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If you frequently experience headaches and neck pain, your job may be to blame. There are a number of jobs that can cause headache, neck, and shoulder pain without you even knowing it. 

Let’s take a look at a handful of jobs that can contribute to neck pain and headache, and some of the reasons why.

Factory work

Factory work can cause headaches and next pain for several reasons. First, these are jobs that frequently involve repetitive movements, particularly turning, lifting, and stretching. These types of movement may cause muscle strain on the neck and back muscles, or even do damage to discs and nerves

One of the other reasons that factory work makes our list is that these jobs frequently require shift work. If you work days sometimes and graveyard shifts other times, this may result in poor sleep or even unhealthy sleep habits. This can mean waking up with headaches and neck pain.

Construction and trades

Jobs in the construction trades can sometimes cause neck pain and headaches. This might be caused by muscle strain from repetitive motion, improper lifting, or injury. But you may not know that some trades might cause a cervicogenic headache.

As the name implies cervicogenic headaches start in the cervical spine (your neck and shoulder area). WebMD explains that these headaches “can come from problems with the bones in your neck (vertebrae), joints, or neck muscles that happen over time. For example, people in certain jobs, like hair stylists, carpenters, and truck drivers, can get CH from the way they hold their heads when they work.”

Cervicogenic headaches tend to be localized on one side of the body, so if you experience right-side neck pain and headache, it’s definitely worth a chat with your doctor.

Driving Jobs

Driving jobs of all kinds, including ride-sharing or delivery, can cause headache and neck pain. Certainly that’s true in the event of an accident, but your sitting and driving posture might cause discomfort or even severe right or left neck pain and headache. 

The discomfort you may feel might come from muscle strain, or from something as serious as a herniated disk.

Food Service

Lifting and carrying trays of food, hours on your feet, or repetitive motion in a kitchen or behind a bar; there are lots of ways that food service jobs might cause many types of headaches or neck pain. And, food service is often very stressful, so tension headaches are always a possibility. 

The Mayo Clinic says that a tension headache is “generally a mild to moderate pain that’s often described as feeling like a tight band around the head. A tension-type headache is the most common type of headache.” Even if you are used to having frequent tension headaches, if you experience sudden or severe neck pain and headache at the base of the skull, you should talk to your doctor right away.

Office Work

Those who work in offices may experience neck pain and headaches for a variety of reasons. From the cervicogenic headaches we mentioned before to compression of the spinal cord (cervical myelopathy) caused by sitting with bad posture, there are many ways that office work may bother your head and neck. Eye strain might bother your occipital nerve, and if you have frequent head pain and take over-the-counter medications for it, you may get a medication overuse headache.

If these things sound familiar, you may want to talk to your doctor about another treatment option.


Posture can cause problems for hairdressers, stylists, or barbers as well. Just like food service or construction jobs, these positions require long hours on your feet, and often require holding your head at strange angles. These things might cause arm and neck pain, or even spinal stenosis


Nurses are heroes, but they are prone to all of the types of headaches and neck pain we’ve discussed. 

Pushing, pulling, yanking, carrying, and leaning may cause muscle strain, injury, or disc problems. High stress may cause tension headaches. Shift work might cause sleep disruptions. The need to focus while standing in difficult conditions might cause cervicogenic headaches.

If you are experiencing headache, neck, and shoulder pain, your job may be a factor. But never fear, Desert Spine and Scoliosis Center is here! 

Book a consultation – Call the experts at Desert Spine and Scoliosis today!