Cervicogenic Headache or more simply, neck headache, is a secondary headache disorder. This means the headache is a result of a secondary cause – being a joint problem in your neck. In order to alleviate the headache, you need to resolve the joint dysfunction in your neck.
A neck headache commonly occurs because of Musculoskeletal or Neurovascular structures in the neck. Issues within these structures can trigger pain signals which are eventually transmitted into your brain and interpreted as a headache.
Simply put, your neck joints will cause headaches or pain if they are stiff or are kept in an abnormal position (e.g. poor posture).
A neck headache can be misdiagnosed for Migraines as most head pain is felt in the same areas. Common characteristics of a neck headache are:
- Tenderness at the base of skull lowering down the neck
- Neck stiffness or decreased range of motion
- Headache radiating from back to front of the head
- Headache appears worsened on one side of the head
- Headache can ease when pressure or massage is applied to the neck or base of the skull
A great product which allows self-management of neck pain and Cervicogenic headaches at home is the NeckRest– This effective tool allows for the maintenance of treatment safely at home. Ask your Physiotherapist about the appropriate uses of the Neck Rest and grab one during your next appointment!
The difference between a neck headache and a migraine is that a neck headache can be alleviated immediately with correct physiotherapy treatment. If you are suffering from a sore neck and or headaches book in to have your condition assessed with our Physiotherapist today!