Cervicogenic Headache Program

Cervicogenic Headaches – Is your neck the cause?

What are Cervicogenic Headaches?

Cervicogenic headache can be defined as “a potential spectrum of pain sources and pathology of the upper cervical spine, a disorder located in the articular, neural, muscular or other soft tissue structures of the neck.”1 What creates cervicogenic headaches is the convergence of the afferent nerves in the upper three cervical spine nerves and the trigeminal nerve on the common neurons of the trigeminocervical nucleus.2 This functional convergence allows for the bi-directional referral of pain sensations between the neck and trigeminal receptive fields of the face and head.3 This type of pain is prevalent in 20% of chronic cases.

How Do I Know I Have a Cervicogenic Headache?

A cervicogenic headache has very specific diagnostic criteria that differentiates it from other forms of headaches. These include:

  • A one-sided headache without change (infrequently both sides)
  • The headache starts in the upper neck, can be felt in the back, side and front of
    the head. Shoulder and arm pain are possible.
  • Moderate to severe pain, usually starting in the neck
  • Headaches increase with neck movement or awkward neck positions
  • Restricted neck movements
  • Pain in the upper neck – especially to the touch
  • Medication has no or little effect to alleviate the pain.
  • Headaches are more common in females but also present in males.

Cervicogenic Headache Treatment

The physical therapists at Pro-Motion Physical Therapy have studied and received specialized training in the treatment of cervicogenic headaches. Their unique expertise relieves your pain and even can reduce the incidence of cervicogenic headaches. This “evidence-based” approach focuses on joint mobilization of the upper three cervical vertebra and a low-load cervical spine program. A randomized clinical trial demonstrated that this approach can reduce the symptoms of cerviogenic headache, as well as maintain the results.4 Patients can experience relief from cervicogenic headache pain in as few as six visits.

Take Charge of Your Pain Today

Contact us today to see how we can help alleviate your cervicogenic headache pain.

1. Biondi 2004   2. Bogduk 1994   3. Bogduk 1992   4. Jull et al 2002