Health blog

How to tell if you suffer from cervicogenic headaches

December 7th, 2018
Cervicogenic Headaches causes

There are many types of headaches, but cervicogenic headaches are specifically related to having tightness and tension in the muscles of the back of the neck. The pain can be severe, and often be accompanied by pain or tightness in the neck. Physical therapy can help people with all types of headaches. Rehab Access explains how to tell if your headaches might be cervicogenic headaches.

Causes of cervicogenic headaches

By far the most common cause of cervicogenic headaches is poor posture. Sitting hunched over at a desk with the back rounded and head tilted forward put enormous strain on the muscles and vertebrae in the neck. This forward head position can cause the vertebrae in the neck to shift forward out of its normal alignment.

In addition, sudden trauma such as whiplash from auto collision or a neck fracture can cause cervicogenic headaches. Osteoarthritis can also reduce the lubricating discs between vertebrae in the neck causing compression of the nerves.

Symptoms of cervicogenic headaches

While all headaches or very uncomfortable and have a pain component, there are some specific symptoms to look for in cervicogenic headaches including:

  • Pain that also radiates to your arm or shoulder
  • Stiff or limited motion in the neck
  • Sensitivity to light and sounds
  • Pain that occurs while coughing, sneezing or breathing
  • Pain that stays on one side of the head

Treating cervicogenic headaches at Rehab Access

Fortunately, the physical therapists of Rehab Access are experts when it comes to treating patients with cervicogenic headaches. Individualized treatment plans are developed with each patient to help treat the pain. Exercises and specialized neck movements are designed to strengthen the neck muscles and regain range of motion. Massage therapy or dry needling may be used in conjunction with these exercises to relieve tension in the muscles.

Cervicogenic headaches do not have to prevent you from enjoying your daily activities. Physical therapy techniques can help treat and relieve the symptoms of these headaches. If you or a loved one suffers from chronic headaches, contact Rehab Access today to schedule your initial consultation.