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CERVICOGENIC HEADACHES

Cervicogenic Headaches

What is a Cervicogenic Headache? Cervicogenic headache is a headache that originates in the neck. Stress of the neck may result in Cervicogenic headache. There are many possible causes of stress affecting the neck including whiplash injury, sleeping problems, poor posture, disc problems, arthritis, overworked or weak muscles.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CERVICOGENIC HEADACHE?

Symptoms of cervicogenic headache may be similar to other types of headaches. Symptoms may include severe headache, tenderness or stiffness of the neck. Patients may experience pain that radiates up from the base of the skull into the head and even the face. Pain may occur above and around the eye, as well as along the trigeminal nerve of the face. Pain may also radiate down into the shoulders and shoulder blades.

HOW ARE CERVICOGENIC HEADACHES DIAGNOSED?

Your physician will gather an extensive medical history and may then order imagings such as X-ray, CT scan and MRI to assess your condition. However, some patients may be symptomatic with normal findings, just as some patients may be asymptomatic with abnormal findings. Diagnosing cervicogenic headache is a process that involves history, test results, and responses to medications and treatment modalities.

WHAT KIND OF TREATMENT IS AVAILABLE?

Treatments for cervicogenic headache may include education about posture and sleeping positions, medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy including  massage, spinal mobilization, and strengthening exercises. You also may benefit from procedures such as occipital nerve block, trigger point injections, cervical epidural injection, and radiofrequency treatment.

WHAT KIND OF RESULTS CAN BE EXPECTED?

Proper diagnosing and progressive treatment by an experienced pain physician can yield positive results in a short period of time. Patients can expect not only to decrease their pain but also to learn strategies and techniques that may help to prevent recurrence, increase range of motion, and resume daily activities.

 

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