Fifteen to twenty percent of all headaches arise from problems in the neck and are classified as "cervicogenic headaches." The most common trigger for cervicogenic headache is limited movement of the joints in your upper cervical spine. Normally, each of the joints in your neck moves freely and independently.
Upper cervical spine constraints can often set off a painful period of stiffness, muscle tightness, and joint inflammation. The sensitive nerves that run from your neck to the back of your head may be irritated as a result.
Pain often radiates from the base of your skull toward the top of your head and sometimes over your eyes. In rare instances, the pain may travel into your arm. These headache episodes may last from hours to days.
The pain is constant but varies in intensity, and it is often defined as "deep." You can also experience persistent neck pain and tenderness.
Patients who have recently suffered trauma, such as a car accident or a previous concussion, are more likely to develop the disorder. The disease most often affects middle-aged people, with women outnumbering men four to one.
Cervicogenic headaches are sometimes accompanied by poor posture, including a "slouched" or "forward head" posture.
If you note that your headaches are getting worse over time, please let us know. If you experience a 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.
Make sure you drink 6-8 glasses of water per day, more if it's hot outside or you've been sweating a lot. Since cervicogenic headaches result from a mechanical problem, medicines are often ineffective. Fortunately, our office has several tools to help solve this problem.