Learn more about headache symptoms and how to get pain free.
Headaches are extremely frustrating to deal with and they also impact almost half of the population. Of all the types of headaches that people suffer from roughly fifteen to twenty percent of all headaches arise from problems in the neck and are classified as "cervicogenic headache." The most common trigger for cervicogenic headache found when there is limited movement of the joints in your upper cervical spine.
Normally, each of the joints in your neck move freely and independently of one of each other but when there is a blockage of some kind this does not take place. Sometimes, restrictions in the upper cervical spine initiate a painful cycle of stiffness, muscle tightness and joint inflammation. This in some cases may cause some form of irritation to the sensitive nerves leading from your neck into the back of your head.
Cervicogenic headaches are most commonly one-sided, but on some occasions they may be present themselves on both sides of the head. Pain often comes from the base of your skull toward the top of your head and sometimes even above your eyes.
In rare cases, the pain may travel into your arm as well. These headache episodes may range from lasting for an hour or even for days. The pain is in most cases almost continuous but fluctuating and is often described as "deep." You may also be prone to chronic neck tenderness and stiffness.
Cervicogenic headache symptoms are often triggered or reproduced by awkward movements and postures. The condition is more common in patients who have recently experienced some form of traumatic event, especially a motor vehicle accident or an earlier concussion.
The condition often affects middle-aged adults and is known to be much more commen in women at a rate of almost four to one. Cervicogenic headaches are in some cases accompanied by poor posture, including a "slouched" or "forward head" posture.
Always be sure to alert us if you are starting to feel that your headaches are becoming progressively worse over time, if you experience sudden onset of a severe headache, a new or unfamiliar headache, or if you notice significant neck stiffness, rash, numbness or tingling on your face, light-headedness, dizziness, loss of consciousness, difficulty speaking, difficulty swallowing, difficulty walking, nausea, numbness radiating into your arms or legs, or fever.
Being dehydrated can in many cases aggravate or cervicogenic headaches. It is best to be drinking 6-8 glasses of water each day, more in hot weather or when you've been sweating. Since cervicogenic headaches result from a mechanical problem, medicines are often ineffective. Fortunately, our office has multiple ways to help solve this problem.