A cervicogenic headache begins in the cervical spine, or the neck. Sometimes these headaches mimic migraine headache symptoms. Initially, discomfort may start intermittently, spread to one side (unilateral) of the individual head, and become nearly continuous. Furthermore, pain can be exacerbated by neck movements or a particular neck place (eg, eyes centered on a pc monitor).
Possible Causes of Cervicogenic Headaches
The trigger of a headache is often associated to extreme tension to the neck. The headache may be a consequence of cervical osteoarthritis, a broken disc, or whiplash-type movements that irritates or compresses a cervical nerve. The neck’s bony structures (eg, aspect joints) and its delicate tissues (eg, muscles) can give rise to the improvement of a cervicogenic headache.
Nervous System Function
Certain nerves structures are involved in several cervicogenic headaches. Spinal nerves are signal transmitters that allow the body via the spinal cord and communication between the brain. At each level of the cervical spine is one on the right of the spine and a set of nerves; one on the left side. C1, C2 or C3 may be involved in development of cervicogenic headaches because these nerves permit function (motion) and feeling of the head and neck. Compression can cause pain and inflammation.
Cervicogenic Headache Symptoms
A cervicogenic headache provides in base and the back of the skull as a steady, non-throbbing pain, sometimes extending downward into the neck and between the shoulder-blades. Pain could be felt behind forehead and the brow, although the problem originates in the cervical spine.
Pain usually starts after a sudden neck movements, such as a sneeze. Along with head and neck discomfort, signs may include:
- Stiff neck
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Pain in both arms or one
Risk facets that will be engaged in headache on set or irritate cervicogenic headaches include:
- Sleep difficulties
- Disc problems
- Current or neck injuries that are preceding
- Poor posture
- Muscular stress
Diagnosis of Cervicogenic Headaches
The analysis of a headache commences using a thorough medical background using a physical and neurological evaluation. Diagnostic testing may include:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- CT Scans (rarely)
- Nerve block injections to validate the diagnosis, cause
Treatment for Cervicogenic Headaches
Initially, your doctor may advise an over-the counter nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drug (eg, aspirin, Aleve). If this is ineffective, then a prescription anti-irritation and pain reliever might be prescribed. Other treatment options, outlined in purchase of from non-invasive to invasive, include:
- Spinal manipulation or alternative manual therapies
- Behavioral methods (eg, bio feedback)
- Trigger level injections
- Facet joint blocks (a type of spinal joint injection)
- Nerve blocks (this is generally of the medial branches of the nerves that provide you with the the facet joints)
- Radiofrequency pulse ganglionotomy of the nerve root (eg, C 2, C-3)
- Spine surgery to reduce nerve or vascular compression (this is rarely necessary)
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
By Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topics: Cervicogenic Headache and Chiropractic
Neck pain associated with whiplash-associated disorders resulting from an automobile accident are reportedly the most prevalent cause for discomfort along the cervical spine. The sheer force of an impact from a rear-end car crash or other traffic incident can cause injuries or aggravate a previously existing condition. While neck pain is commonly the result of damage to the complex structures of the neck, cervicogenic headaches may also result due to neck issues. Chiropractic care can help carefully restore the alignment of the cervical spine to relieve headaches and neck pain.