Understanding Cervicogenic Headaches

7 Oct, 2019

Are you suffering from a headache that exacerbates with neck movement? Read on!

It is important if you suffer from regular headaches to be informed as to what type of headache you are suffering from. This is so you can receive the best practice treatment available. Cervicogenic headaches are a type of headache that effect people from all walks of life. However, if you have experienced a neck injury or whip lash in the past you are more likely to experience these.  Additionally, women are 4 times more likely to have cervicogenic headaches than men (Page,2011). In this blog we’ll delve into the term cervicogenic headaches, what it means and the symptoms to recognise if you suffer from headaches.

What are Cervicogenic headaches?

Cervicogenic headaches is a term used to describe headaches that originate from the neck. Therefore, it technically referred pain where the originating issue is the neck. The distinguishing symptom from other types of headaches is that it is aggravated by neck movements and/or postures.

Additionally, it is a headache that is on one side of the head. Usually the originating area is the upper part of our neck from the base of our skull. People with cervicogenic headaches often have reduced range of movement of their neck.  The pain may also radiate from the neck/back of the head to the front.

Cervicogenic Headaches

Why is it important to know what type of headache you have?

The prevalence worldwide of headaches is around 47% and of these it has estimated that 15% of chronic headaches are Cervicogenic (Page,2011). It is important if you suffer from frequent headaches that you get assessed by a health care professional. There are a few symptoms of cervicogenic headaches that overlap with other very common headaches and a physiotherapist can help distinguish between them.  Don’t wait too long to let headaches hold you back in life. Especially in the case of cervicogenic headaches, various physiotherapy treatments targeting the neck have been shown to help. This treatment may include strengthening the muscles of the neck.

3 main symptoms to remember that indicate a Cervicogenic Headache:

  1. Headaches worsen with a change of neck position and/or posture.
  2. Tenderness in the upper part of your neck/ base of your skull.
  3. Unilateral (one sided) headache).

Cervicogenic headaches are extremely common and evidence shows they can respond well to physiotherapy treatment. If the information provided in this blog sounds like what you are experiencing, don’t hold back from having an assessment. From an assessment a physiotherapist will get started on working towards a solution personalised for YOU!

If you or anyone you know are suffering from headaches and would like an assessment, give us a call at Gen Physio. Our physiotherapists are trained to be able to assess various types of headaches and distinguish between them. We are mobile and come to your own home to conduct an examination. Give us a call on 1300 122 884 to book a consultation today.

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