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Cervicogenic Headache and Migraine

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Cervicogenic Headache and Migraine

It means a chronic headache on a part or parts of cranium or around face origin from upper cervical spine or neck called as cervicogenic headache. It results mostly from an injury in cervical spine or a neck disorder.

As per International Headache Society (IHS), the headaches are deemed secondary as they supposedly arise from cervical spine either through some physical entity, other disorder or nociception (neural tissue’s response after being threatened).


Cervicogenic headache is reported to constitute between 14-18% of all chronic headaches. The disease has however been found to have prevalence rate of about 2.2% in a recent study.


Cervicogenic Headache Symptoms

However, it is difficult most times to establish the diagnosis of cervicogenic headache. It usually presents as tedious headache that radiates from the center to the backside of the head. On other occasions, pain is felt behind the temples and/or eyes or at the forehead, top of head, or around the ears area.

Other symptoms of cervicogenic headache include:

Dominant unilateral headache.
Muscle pain and stiffness in the neck.
Poor posture resulting in inflammation leading to neck movements that aggravated the condition.
Difficulty while turning your head.
Joint tenderness in the region of the neck.
Because of the dysfunction or neck pain, they have generalized symptoms.
Most patients suffer the trigger points and tension in levator scapulae, upper trapezius, suboccipital extensors and scalene when the headaches are migraines or cervicogenic migraine.
Deep neck flexors weakness.
elevated superficial flexor muscle tone in neck.

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Diagnosis Of Cervicogenic Headache

Diagnosis of cervicogenic headache requires appropriate clinical examination and assessment. On many occasions, physiotherapist perform proper physical and thorough check up for accurate diagnosis of cervicogenic headache. Sometimes, diagnose may be only possible with the help of MRI or CT, or X-ray before administering any specific therapy.


Treatment Of Cervicogenic Headache

Mostly, the following protocols are used for treatment of cervicogenic headache:

Treatments such as manual therapy targeting spasm as well as pain.
Strengthening of upper quarter muscle and flexors of neck in cervicogenic headache exercises.
Manipulation of thoracic spine.
The SNAG’s of C1 and C2.
Cervical spine mobilization and manipulation.
Strengthening exercises.

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There Are Certain Educational Tools That Will Help in Reduction of Cervicogenic Headache

Training the patient about flexor muscles of craniocervical spine.
Neck extensors and flexors co-contraction.
The strengthening of the deep and superficial flexor synergy.
Scapular muscles retraining
Maintain proper posture
Progressive training and exercises in sensorimotor training.


Physical Therapy for Cervicogenic Headache

Cervicogenic headache treatment at LEPR is wise and integrative. Our doctors conduct suitable anatomic and physiologic diagnosis to pinpoint the specific reason for your headache to choose the most effective treatment options.
The qualified physiotherapists are skilled in manual therapy, neurological, orthopedic, and sport rehabilitation. With years of experience, we learned that in our protocols a variety of types of therapies could work together towards successful treatment.
Unlike other clinics, our facility offers specialized examinations and latest technological equipment which allows us treat a reason for pain rather than just relieve symptoms. The design is very unique, and we have a one-on-one approach treat your cervicogenic headache.

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Migraine Headache Specialists At LEPR

The leading edge and unique treatment protocols of cervicogenic headache include:

Dynamic neuromuscular stabilization (DNS)
Sensory motor training
Proper posture training
Soft tissue mobilization


Migraines and Headache

These headaches present in different forms. The most significant types of primary headaches include tension headache, cervicogenic headache, migraine, and cluster headache.
Cervical components play a significant role in most types of headaches. Chiropractic and physical therapy can control cervicogenic headache only. Many children and adolescents have this kind of headache. Misdiagnosis and poor management of these types of headaches arise due to lack of diverse functional diagnostics. This could lead to excessive use of different pain remedies and cervical spondylosis which may be unnecessary. Cervicogenic headache is caused by the dysfunction of cervical spine. It is also known as upper cross syndrome. It encompasses tightness of the soft tissues and neck muscles, poor cervical and thoracic postures, dysfunctions of the temporomandibular joint, abnormal locomotor systems’ patterns of motion, disrupted the other type is known as Cervicogenic pain syndrome, which may be referred to as cranio—cervical syndrome or vertebrogenic headache.


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