Cervicogenic Headache

By Justin Delicato, PTA

Cervicogenic Headache

Cervicogenic Headache is something JOI can treat.

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What is Cervicogenic Headache?

Cervicogenic headaches are often referred to as head pain and commonly are misdiagnosis as a migraine. While some of the symptoms are similar to a typical headache, Cervicogenic headaches result from structural impairments in the neck from either the vertebrae or soft tissue. These headaches are secondary and typically occur due to an underlying condition such as severe high blood pressure, neck injuries, and infections. Below, this article will discuss symptoms, causes, and treatments associated with this diagnosis.

Symptoms of a Cervicogenic Headache

Cervicogenic headaches are different from migraine and primary headaches, but they also have similar symptoms, as seen below.

  • Stomach sickness.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Increased pain with loud noise or bright lights.
  • Pain with a quick or sudden movement.
  • Pain while maintaining a static position for a period of time.
  • Neck stiffness or decreased range of motion.
  • Pain is localized in one area, for example, the eye or back of the head.
  • Pain can range from minutes to hours.

Causes of Cervicogenic Headaches

Cervicogenic headaches are typically associated with dysfunction to the first and second vertebrae and occasionally the third vertebrae. Occupations such as computer or desk work, driving, and manual labor can contribute to causing poor postural habits or prolonged static cervical positioning, which are causes for Cervicogenic headaches. Other medical causes are listed below.

  • Arthritis.
  • Whiplash.
  • Infections.
  • Fractures.

Treatment/Physical Therapy

Fortunately, Cervicogenic headaches can be treated without any surgical interventions….surgical interventions are rare. Treatment options include

  • Medication:
    • Pain relievers, muscle relaxers, and anti-inflammatory.
  • Nerve Block:
    • Injection of an anesthetic close to the nerves that are causing the pain.
  • Physical Therapy:
    • Therapy can consist of stretching and stabilization exercises to help reduce pain. Other interventions can include soft tissue massage and manipulation techniques, depending on what your physical therapist feels is needed.

How does JOI treat Cervicogenic headaches?

JOI has a dedicated team of physicians that are dedicated to your orthopedic treatment. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above and would like to see a physician regarding this, JOI offers 12 different locations, and they are located throughout the northeast Florida area.

JOI also offers physical therapy in numerous areas in northeast Florida if your referring MD feels physical therapy would assist you in relieving these symptoms.

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment at JOI Rehab for physical therapy, call (904) 858-7045. Come see us!

By: Justin Delicato, PTA


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