10 October 2018 Comments Off on What You Need to Know About Cervicogenic Headaches

What You Need to Know About Cervicogenic Headaches

Headache1Disorders in the neck region cause Cervicogenic headaches. The condition comes about when one of the three or four top neck joints are affected. A cervicogenic headache usually affects the head on one side, and it never swaps to the other side of the head. The intensity of a cervicogenic headache ranges from mild to moderate and is accompanied by neck pain. The pain spreads from the neck to the side of the head where it causes a headache.


What Leads to a Cervicogenic Headache?

Sitting or working in unusual neck postures strains the neck. The neck pains and headaches usually get worse if one sits or works for long in one lousy position and makes neck movements. The excessive strain then leads to irritation on the upper neck joints, causing a cervicogenic headache. The neck joints can also be wounded during a sporting activity or a vehicle crash and lead to a cervicogenic headache. Middle-aged to older people might experience headaches as a result of osteoarthritis on the upper neck joints.


Symptoms of A Cervicogenic Headache

A notable symptom is a throbbing pain in the head, usually on one side. Other symptoms include:

  • A stiff neck.
  • Pain around the eyes.
  • A headache associated with some neck postures or movements.
  • Pain while sneezing or coughing.


A cervical headache may also lead to symptoms that are similar to those of migraine headaches. Such symptoms include blurry vision, noise sensitivity, light sensitivity, and an upset stomach. It can, therefore, be confusing to differentiate the real symptoms a cervicogenic headache at times. However, proper diagnosis can help detect the type of headache for proper treatment. The main difference is that a migraine headache originates from the brain while cervicogenic headaches are implanted in the cervical spine or the base of the skull.


Treatment and Management of a Cervicogenic Headache

A doctor may recommend you take oral medication to relieve inflammation and problems in the nerves, tendons, muscles, and joints that lead to headaches. Muscle relaxants, acetaminophen (Tylenol) and corticosteroid are some of the medications that can help.


Physical therapy may also help strengthen weak neck muscles. Massage therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, cognitive behavioral therapy, and relaxation techniques can help relieve a cervicogenic Headache. You can also manage the pain by preventing activities that worsen it and practicing to sit, stand or drive in the right posture.


In rare cases, a doctor might recommend a spine surgery to relieve a cervicogenic headache caused by nerve compression. A doctor can also treat a cervicogenic headache using a nerve block. This treatment involves injecting a corticosteroid or a numbing agent into the nerves at the back of your head.



A cervicogenic headache cannot be prevented if a headache stems from conditions such as osteoarthritis which set in with age. However, if there are no underlying problems, the condition can be prevented. Some strategies for managing pain are also essential in preventing headaches. One can practice good posture and avoid sleeping with the head positioned too high on the pillow. It is also good to collisions between the head and neck when during sports activities. This keeps the spine safe from injury.

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