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Cervicogenic Headaches

Cervicogenic Headache, in a way, is one of the the most unusual headache disorders because the pain truly isn’t in the head.

Cervicogenic headache is referred pain ( pain perceived as occurring in a part of the body other than its true source) perceived in the head from a source in the neck.

Cervicogenic headache is a secondary headache, which means that it is causedby another illness or physical issue. In the case of cervicogenic headache , the cause is a neck disorder or lesion.


Cervicogenic Headache typically occurs due to activities placing excessive stress on the upper joints of the neck. This may occur traumatically due to a specific incident ( whiplash or heavy lifting) or more commonly, due to repetitive or prolonged activities such as slouching, poor posture, lifting or carrying. Excessive bending or twisting of the neck, working at a computer or activities using the arms in front of the body (e.g. housework).


A through subjective and objective examination of a physiotherapist is usually sufficient to diagnose cervicogenic headache. Occasionally, an xray , MRI or CT scan may be required to assisted diagnosis.


Most patients with this condition heal quickly and have a full recovery with physiotherapy treatment. Recovery time varies from patient to patient depending on compliance with treatment and severity of injury. With ideal

treatment, patients with minor cases of cervicogenic hedache may be as free in as little as a couple of days, although sometimes it may take 2- 3 weeks. In severe or chronic cases a full recovery may take weeks or months.