Cervicogenic headaches are a common cause of headaches that many people are not aware of. They can easily be confused with migraines. However, they have different underlying mechanisms that require different approaches for pain management and recovery. If you suffer from chronic headaches, it is worth reviewing what a cervicogenic headache is and how to treat it below.
What is a Cervicogenic Headache?
A cervicogenic headache is considered a secondary headache because of the underlying trigger. Cervicogenic headaches begin in the neck and back of the head, primarily felt as muscle tension. This tension then causes pain in the back of the skull that often radiates upwards and into the front of the head. It is fairly common for someone suffering from this type of pain to only notice the head pain and not realize it is coming from a stiff neck.
Symptoms associated with this type of headache most often include:
- Stiffness in the neck that limits range of motion
- Neck pain, particularly when triggered by certain movements or postures
- Tenderness to palpation in the shoulders, neck, and back of the skull
- Pain around the eyes, neck, or one side of the head
- Nausea and sensitivity to light
What Causes Them?
Most often, cervicogenic headaches are triggered by underlying structural issues with the cervical spine (neck) itself. This root cause leads to poor nerve flow, muscle imbalances, and connective tissue strain that leave the entire upper neck feeling stiff. Previous neck injury, working at a job that strains the neck (such as a slouching at a desk, manual labor, or hair stylists), and whiplash are some of the primary causes for this type of pain.
Getting the Right Treatment
One of the primary treatment recommendations from traditional medicine is use of pain medications. Unfortunately, when it comes to cervicogenic headaches, it is easy to understand that this will not fix the underlying neck issues that are causing your pain and will result in long term suffering. It is essential to find a healthcare professional that can help restore optimal cervical spine alignment. This will help restore balance and nerve health to the entire upper body to reduce symptoms and promote sustainable healing.
One of your absolute best options for addressing spine alignment is a chiropractor, particularly one that is certified in Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP). They are expertly trained to use science based, rigorously tested, and effective treatment techniques that yield results. They are the go-to specialists for underlying spine misalignment. With their help, you can find ways to manage or even recovery from your headache pain. Once spine alignment is addressed, they can make recommendations for natural pain management, exercise, posture, and more.
Imagine how living a life with fewer or no headaches could be? Get in touch with a CBP provider in your area today to see what treatment options are available for you.