Cervicogenic Headache

By Justin Delicato, PTA

Cervicogenic Headache

Cervicogenic Headache

Cervicogenic Headache

What is Cervicogenic Headache?

By: Justin Delicato, PTA

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 are a result of structural impairments in the neck from either the vertebrae or soft tissue. These headaches are known as secondary headaches 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 a 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

Symptoms typical of Cervicogenic headaches are:

  • Pain with quick or sudden movement
  • Pain while maintaining a static position for period of time
  • Neck stiffness or decrease range of motion
  • Pain localized in one area for example eye or back of head
  • Pain that 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 is 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

What JOI Has to Offer?

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 of these symptoms.

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

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