Neck Pain and Cervicogenic Headache

Neck Pain and Cervicogenic Headache 2022

Neck Pain and Cervicogenic Headache: Cervicogenic headache (CGH) is a pain that spreads from the neck to the back of the head and is dull and non-throbbing. The discomfort may expand over the scalp, affecting the forehead, temple, and eye and/or ear region. Let’s know more about Neck Pain and Cervicogenic Headache.

CGH is a type of secondary headache that develops when pain in the head is caused by an underlying source in the neck. Injury or trauma to the cervical spine, as well as systemic disorders including rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, or infections, are all common causes of CGH.

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Headaches can occur for a variety of causes. It might be difficult to determine which type you have and what is causing it. If your headache is caused by a problem in your neck, it’s most likely a cervicogenic headache (CH).

How Neck Pain May Feel With CGH

CGH discomfort typically begins in the neck and manifests as a dull aching that is exacerbated by particular activities or postures. While CGH is usually a one-sided discomfort, depending on the intensity, both sides of the neck may be bothersome. Neck discomfort is generally only present on the afflicted side of the neck in moderate CGH; but, in severe instances, both sides of the neck may be unpleasant. In extreme situations, however, discomfort on the afflicted side is more dominating. 1 CGH can also cause neck stiffness and a reduction in range of motion. Let’s know more about Neck Pain and Cervicogenic Headache.

CGH can cause a headache without causing neck discomfort. The source of CGH in these circumstances may not produce neck discomfort, although it may be painful to the touch. CGH can be triggered by abnormal head motions or putting pressure to the back of the neck (by pushing).


Other Symptoms of Cervicogenic Headache

CGH can be sporadic or present as a persistent headache. Other typical CGH symptoms, in addition to neck discomfort, include: Let’s know more about Neck Pain and Cervicogenic Headache.

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• Headache. The discomfort in the neck extends to the back of the head, along the scalp, and then to the top of the skull. A dull, non-throbbing pain of mild to moderate severity characterises the headache.

• Pain that spreads to other parts of the body. The discomfort might spread to the forehead, temples, and/or the region surrounding the eye and/or ear.

• Shoulder and arm aches and pains Pain in the afflicted side’s shoulder and/or arm is also prevalent.

• Pain on one side of the body. One side of the head and neck is usually affected.

• Vision that is hazy. In rare circumstances, the afflicted side’s eye may have hazy vision.

Other CGH symptoms, such as nausea, sensitivity to light or sound, and dizziness, are possible but less prevalent. CGH might begin as an occasional headache and grow to a constant chronic headache over time. Each episode/exacerbation of CGH headache has a different severity and duration, ranging from moderate to severe.

Comparison of CGH with Other Headaches


Although CGH is an unique condition, some of its symptoms might be mistaken for migraine or tension headaches.

• Migraines, like CGH, usually affect one side of the head; however, CGH pain is non-throbbing and affects the same side every time.

• In rare cases of CGH, migraine symptoms such as nausea and sensitivity to light and sound may be present.

• Migraine pain intensifies with extended activity, much as it does with CGH.

• Tenderness in the muscles of the head and neck is prevalent in both CGH and tension-type headache, and CGH can occur alongside or even provoke migraine headache or tension-type headache.

Hair stylists, carpenters, and drivers, for example, may be more susceptible to CGH because of their work-related head position. 2 A physical examination, medical history, and diagnostic testing can help distinguish CGH from other headaches. Nerve block studies can help doctors pinpoint the specific location of CGH discomfort in the cervical spine.

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When to Seek Medical Attention in CGH

CGH caused by significant underlying illnesses such as infections, malignancies, or vascular problems in the head or neck requires immediate medical intervention. Severe headache that persists after therapy, pain and tingling down the arms, high temperature with stiff neck, convulsions, and/or discomfort when coughing, sneezing, jogging, bending, or doing the Valsalva manoeuvre are all possible symptoms in such circumstances.

CGH can be effectively treated after it has been diagnosed. Manual therapy, medicine, exercise, instrument-assisted soft tissue mobility, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation are typical non-invasive therapies (TENS). In extreme instances of CGH, injections or procedures may be explored.

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