Cervicogenic headaches are a type of headache that originates from the neck and cervical spine. They are often misdiagnosed as migraines or tension headaches due to the similarities in symptoms. However, cervicogenic headaches have distinct features that set them apart. They are typically described as a dull, aching pain that starts at the base of the skull and radiates to the forehead, temple, or eye. The pain is often aggravated by neck movements, poor posture, or prolonged sitting or standing. Other symptoms may include nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and stiffness in the neck and shoulders.
Cervicogenic Headaches: Understanding Causes and Effective Treatments
Cervicogenic headaches are caused by dysfunction or irritation of the cervical spine or soft tissues in the neck. Common causes include whiplash injuries, poor posture, osteoarthritis, and disc degeneration. The pain is usually unilateral (affecting one side of the head) and can last for hours or days. Unlike migraines, cervicogenic headaches do not have an aura or other neurological symptoms.
Treatment for cervicogenic headaches focuses on addressing the underlying cause and relieving pain. This may involve physical therapy, chiropractic care, massage, acupuncture, or medication. Lifestyle modifications such as improving posture, regular exercise, and stress management can also help prevent and manage cervicogenic headaches. In severe cases, injections or surgery may be necessary. It is important to seek proper diagnosis and treatment to effectively manage cervicogenic headaches and prevent them from interfering with daily activities and quality of life.