Cervicogenic headaches refer to headaches which originate from tissues and structures in the cervical spine or neck region. The headache is generally a very constant, strong, yet dull pain. The most common location of pain is around the orbital (eye) region and upper neck area but may also include other areas of the face, head and neck. The headache will typically last for one to three days and reoccur until properly treated.
Cervicogenic headaches are caused by irritation or injury to the structures of the upper neck region, resulting in local neck pain as well as referred pain to the temporal and facial regions. This headache is often precipitated or aggravated by head and neck movements such as forward head posture when sitting or by acute trauma to the neck such as from a fall or motor vehicle accident.
Migraine headaches often have coexisting muscle tension and cervicogenic factors which contribute to the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks.
The pain generated by migraines has a throbbing quality and usually involves one side of the head initially. The headache tends to reach its peak intensity after about 30 minutes. Migraines may or may not be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. During severe attacks, sensitivity to sound and light may occur forcing the individual to seek a dark and quiet room. The duration of the headache can vary from a few hours to 1 to 2 days.
Supporting proper functioning of the neck with periodic treatments minimizes the stresses to joints and associated muscles and nerves.
Practicing proper posture, lifting techniques and ergonomics are essential in reducing stress to the neck at work and play.
Routine physical activity keeps the body strong and healthy. We will work with you to develop an effective exercise routine that will work with the time you decide to dedicate, and the goals that you set for yourself.
Providing your body with the proper fuel increases performance, reduces the likelihood of injury and sickness, speeds recovery after injury, and keeps you feeling good. It may be time to add whole food supplements to your diet. Also, if you suffer from migraines be sure to avoid foods that trigger attacks – chocolate, caffeine, nuts, MSG, foods containing nitrates, and alcohol.