Headaches where the pain originates in the cervical spine, neck and upper shoulders are often referred to as a cervicogenic headache. Many times, these headaches can be a byproduct of whiplash, neck injury or muscle trauma due to poor prolonged posture or severe stress.
One of the most common ailments in modern society, more than 42 million Americans suffers from headaches each year. Usually these are minor stress or tension related headaches, and in some people are more severe migraine headaches. Unfortunately, one type of headache that is often overlooked and misdiagnosed is the cervicogenic headache.
This headache, which is clinically defined as pain that is present in the head, but which originates in the cervical spine.
Cervicogenic headaches, like other types of headaches are different for different people; some are more severe, some present in the head while others have pain behind the eyes.
If we first look at the commonalities between migraines and cervicogenic headache symptoms, we can then discuss the unique symptoms. Both types of headaches affect a largely female population and are unilateral in nature. Both migraines and cervicogenic headache sufferers complain of severe pain, head throbbing, nausea, phonophobia (sensitivity to sound) and photophobia (severe sensitivity to light). However, these symptoms are reported far more frequently in migraine sufferers. This is primarily where the similarities end as migraine headaches have no association with the cervical spine and do not originate in the neck region.
Symptoms that are specific to cervicogenic headaches include a marked decrease or lowering of the pain threshold, meaning a decreasing intolerance to accept or manage the pain that comes with the cervicogenic headaches. If this is a concern, your pain threshold can be measured by an algometric instrument and must be done by a professional.
Additionally, pain that begins in the occipital region, meaning near the base of your neck in the cervical spine and then progressively spreads upwards into the head is a classic symptom of cervicogenic headache.
For those that suffer from these types of headaches, it should be said that although the intensity of pain will fluctuate from mild to moderate to severe, cervicogenic headache symptoms occur daily.
There are two symptoms that are generally exclusive to those with cervicogenic headaches. The first is that the headache can be made worse or actually onset by head or neck movement. The second is that there is marked tenderness in the suboccipital region.
It is obvious that when it comes to cervicogenic headache symptoms, the neck plays a significant role in diagnosing and assessing symptoms. Some may experience symptoms that are not covered here and still be suffering from cervicogenic headaches. It goes without saying that as a unique individual; you should be diagnosed and treated as such.
Next article: Cure Your Cervicogenic Headache
Do you know that there are home treatment systems available to treat cervical related problems? When properly used, these special devices can provide traction for the neck and back which helps to correct the problem in the long run. This is also the best way to treat cervical headaches since the root cause will be eliminated.
ComfortTrac is a popular and reliable brand which has a good kit to offer. Check them out at Head Neck Spine Cervical Traction Kit Set Device System.