Headaches aren’t all the same. There are a range of types, each with a different cause. The term cervicogenic headache is specific. “Cervico” refers to the neck, or more precisely the cervical spine. “Genic” means produced by. The literal translation then, is a headache caused by the neck.
How do you know you have a cervicogenic headache?
Cervicogenic headaches can mimic migraines, so it may be difficult to tell them apart. The main difference is a migraine headache is seated in your brain, and a cervicogenic headache comes from your cervical spine (neck).
Your head may hurt on one side, and pain can extend from your upper neck or skull forward and around your eye. Moving your neck can intensify pain, and there may be tenderness when you touch your neck and skull on the headachy side.
How can chiropractic care help?
Effective treatment depends on finding and addressing the root cause. Makes sense, right? You wouldn’t treat a broken arm with a sticking plaster or a kidney problem with a new pair of shoes. However a diagnosis of cervicogenic headache is often missed, which means effective treatment can be missed too. But there is hope...
By assessing the joints of your upper neck we can detect dysfunction. We can identify “stuck” and painful joints. This is an effective way to determine whether your neck is the likely source of the headaches; to know if a headache is cervicogenic in nature. Certain muscles at the front of your neck, shoulder, and face can also feel tender. Pressing in particular spots can refer pain to the headache’s location.
Once correctly diagnosed, treatment can begin. This may include chiropractic adjustments, soft tissue work, exercises, or other approaches. We will recommend the most suitable treatment for you depending on the assessment findings, your condition, and your preferences.
Is treatment safe?
Yes, chiropractic care is safe and this includes treatments to the upper neck. We commonly provide treatment for the cause of some headaches in our practice, including the cervicogenic type.
The majority of patients with cervicogenic headache experience no side effects from their treatment; however some people may have mild discomfort. This has been shown to pass quickly. Many patients report a reduction in the intensity and frequency of their cervicogenic headaches.
If you think your headaches may be caused by an associated neck issue, speak with us. A diagnosis of cervicogenic headache may lead to fewer headaches and less pain, or even getting rid of it for good!
Adam's Back is a team of dedicated complimentary health professionals. Our aim is to support you in finding drug-free solutions for better health.