Cervicogenic Headache Pain - What Is It?

What is Cervicogenic Headache Pain?

Cervicogenic headache or CH is the pain caused by an underlying condition in the cervical and occipital region of the body. It is one of the examples of what is known as a secondary headache or referred pain. These types of pain are perceived as occurring in a part of the body other than their real source. Thus, an actual cervicogenic headache will have its cause rooted in the upper neck or back of the head regions.

The headache is characterized by the feeling of pain that radiates from the back of the neck towards the frontal area. This trait frequently makes cervicogenic headache to be misdiagnosed as migraine and tension headaches because they are also often accompanied by neck pain. Several reasons can cause headaches. However, if it is happening at the same time as problems with your neck, the specialists will lean towards it being a cervicogenic type of headache.

What happens when a person suffers from CH?

There are two reliable indicators of cervicogenic headache; one is that pain coming from the sudden neck movements, and two is from the other end of the spectrum when your neck has not moved for some time. If these two are accompanied by the following, it is a sure sign that you have this type of headache.

  • Steady pain that does not throb or pulsate
  • Pain that is localized, such as in one of your eyes or any part of the head
  • Long-lasting pain, may last from a few hours or go on for days
  • Normal neck movement seems stiff and causes pain
  • Accompanying pain in the arms or shoulder
  • You may have bouts of being sick to your stomach
  • Sensitivity to sound and lights
  • Blurry vision

When left without pain management or health care, this seemingly trivial pain can become a debilitating health issue. When confronted with severe pain and when accompanied by the development of rashes, vision loss, and muscle weakness, it is best to consult a medical professional immediately for treatment.

What causes such a headache?

CH is a result of a physical problem with the cervical vertebrae located at the top of the spine, designated as the C1-3 vertebra. Most of those who suffer from CH are involved in activities that strain their necks, especially those that have manual jobs, such as factory workers, drivers, or laborers. People that are sometimes involved in an accident that injured their neck areas can also develop CH. Other causes are the medical conditions themselves, which include infections, fractures in the neck area, tumors, or arthritis of the upper spine.

All medical conditions, if left untreated can worsen and may no longer respond to treatments. Never let any condition worsen by being complacent or just self-medicating. It is often for the best interest of the patient to work with health professionals for a comprehensive treatment plan to overcome this pain and the earlier it is given treatment and attended to, the greater the chances of recovery one will have.


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  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324108.php
  • https://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/cervicogenic-headache-facts_#1
  • https://www.healthline.com/health/headache/cervicogenic-headache
  • https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/cervicogenic-headache/


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