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Cervicogenic Headache – Could your neck be the cause of your headaches?

Posted on: May 18th, 2017 by The Physio Movement | Categories: Sports Medicine & Nutrition

There are approximately 300 different known causes of headaches. Cervical headache or cervicogenic headache are terms used to describe headache caused by abnormalities of the joints, muscle, connective tissues and neural structures of the cervical region.

Of all chronic headaches, cervicogenic headache is one of the more common types of headache. The incidence of it is estimated to be 14-18% of all headaches. Notably, women are four times more frequently affected than men, although some research about prevalence between the sexes is contradictory. It is important to distinguish cervicogenic headache from other forms of headache like migraine or tension headache etc.

Common presentation of cervicogenic headache includes a headache, which has developed coinciding with the onset of a cervical disorder. Commonly, cervical range of active movement will be restricted and there will be pain or the headache will be felt on one side of the head only (the same side as the neck pain). The headache will be made significantly worse by provocative movements. A dull or intense ache feeling is felt with cervical headache whereas other forms of headache may be throbbing type pain. As seen below, these are the common areas where you may feel your headache if it is cervicogenic in nature.

Manual therapy techniques have been shown to be the treatment of choice for cervicogenic headache so if you are having headaches that aren’t going away, perhaps its time to see a physio or a chiro to see if its coming from your neck!

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