The Common Link Between A Cervicogenic Headache & Your Neck Pain

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Have you ever experienced pain in your neck and a headache at the same time?

Maybe you thought the two were somehow related.

Chances are,

You were probably right.

A cervicogenic headache also known as a neck pain headache (headache originating from the neck) is becoming all too common in today’s society, especially if you spend most of your time sitting behind a desk!

 

What is a Cervicogenic Headache?

A cervicogenic headache is in fact not a headache at all.

This is because the underlying cause of the problem is from a change or dysfunction to the muscles, ligaments or joints in your neck.

Cervicogenic headaches (Neck pain Headache) usually relate to changes in the top 3 joints in your neck. The nerves that supply these 3 joints also run through to your head and face.

These changes cause pain to refer to specific parts of your head and face which give the perception of a ‘headache.’

 

Do You Know What Causes Your Neck Pain Headache

Changes to your neck come about due to altered biomechanics which therefore leads to increased strain and pressure on your joints.

The most common problem that leads to changes in your neck is poor posture.

Prolonged and repetitive activities such as sitting cause micro trauma to the joints because of forward head carriage and slumped shoulders.

Micro trauma doesn’t cause pain or headaches due to 1 or 2 days of sitting. Your body builds up stress over months to years until it can’t cope anymore.

That’s when the pain strikes.

Finding the underlying cause of your neck pain and headaches is vital to understanding why you are experiencing discomfort.

Trauma to the neck such as whiplash and osteoarthritis can also cause changes in the neck which bring on your headaches.

 

Your Cervicogenic Headache Symptoms Can Help your Diagnosis

While all headaches are different there is a lot of overlap in the symptoms you get between migraines, tension type headaches and cervicogenic headaches (neck pain headache).

There are specific cervicogenic headache symptoms you should look out for if you feel your neck is causing your problems. These are

  • Pain on one side of the neck
  • Certain movements such as flexing your neck bring on pain in your neck or head.
  • Pain which is felt around the neck or the base of your skull which also refers to your face, eyes, top of your head or jaw.
  • Increased tension or tenderness in your neck muscles
  • Neck pain and headaches which are aggravated by prolonged periods of sitting or poor posture
  • Noticeable decrease in movement of your neck
  • You may also experience dizziness, blurry vision or nausea

 

Cervicogenic Headache Treatment Can Give You Relief

When you experience cervicogenic headaches they can come and go so often that sometimes you don’t even remember a day without them.

Cervicogenic headache treatment can help to treat the underlying cause of your headache by diagnosing the specific condition in your neck that started your discomfort.

Always See a Professional

A professional like a chiropractor, physiotherapist or general practitioner can treat your problem and give you much needed relief through specific treatment and an exercise program to reduce tension around your neck.

A chiropractor can help increase movement through certain joints, decrease tension in muscle as well as strengthening weak muscles through adjustments/mobilisations (gentle movement of joints) and muscle techniques. This can help to correct your postural changes.

You should always see a health professional because in some cases your headache may be coming from a serious medical condition such as:

  • Dissection of an artery in your neck
  • Meningitis
  • Tumour

A detailed history and examination can determine this for you.

If you feel that neck pain headache treatment can help resolve your pain give us a call today or book online and quote this page for your free assessment.