A cervicogenic headache is the result of what’s called referred pain. This is pain that is felt in one area of the body although it is physically occurring in another part of the body. The cervicogenic headache is the result of a primary issue – usually a sickness o physical problem in another part of the body. These headaches can last for several months to years. This is why it is so important to be diagnosed and treated as soon as you start to notice these headaches occurring.
The part of the body that is usually causing the referred pain in a person experiencing a cervicogenic headache is the cervical spine, soft tissues, and discs. Several pain generating areas can be found where the spine and skull meet. This includes the lining of the cervical spine, nerves, and arteries.
While the term cervicogenic headache makes it seem like this issue afflicts just the head, the truth is the pain that is felt can include neck pain. This is because the pain is typically the result of a lesion in the spine or soft tissues in the neck. Additionally, fractures and infections of the cervical spine can also cause cervicogenic headaches.
What are the symptoms of a cervicogenic headache?
People with a cervicogenic headache typically experience poor range of motion in their neck, and pain that radiates from one side of the neck up the front of the head and behind the eye. While this pattern is not exact, some type of variation of it is usually what a person suffering from it can expect.
The pain that results from a cervicogenic headache is one that doesn’t throb, but is instead steady. Additional symptoms can be similar to a migraine, including nausea, light sensitivity, throwing up, and pain in your arms or shoulders.
How are these headaches treated?
There are a variety of treatments available for cervicogenic headaches. Nerve blocks can be used to numb the area that is causing the pain and also help with diagnosis. Additional treatments include physical therapy, medications, and exercise. We tend to see the best results from patients that follow a clear exercise and physical therapy regimen.
What if I think I suffer from a cervicogenic headache?
If you believe you’re suffering from a cervicogenic headache, get in touch with our office so you can be assessed by Dr. Bromberg. We’ll look at what the primary cause is, as well as secondary factors.
We can also come up with a treatment plan that will help you regain your quality of life and either drastically reduce the probability of these headaches occurring or eventually get rid of them for good.