What To Do When You Have A Cervicogenic Headache

Experiencing headaches? Want to learn what you can do about them?

Let’s take a moment to discuss the type of headache that is typically glossed over in shorter reviews. A cervicogenic headache represents a fascinating type of headache that is completely different than all other headaches you may experience. What sets a cervicogenic headache aside from the caffeine headaches, barometric pressure headaches or scintillating scotoma? What should you do if you begin experiencing a cervicogenic headache and what are the treatments and recovery like? Let’s take a moment to answer these questions and more as we get to the bottom of a cervicogenic headache.

What Is A Cervicogenic Headache?

According to the American Migraine Foundation as well as the National Institute of Health, a cervicogenic headache is a chronic, hemicranial pain syndrome. Simply put, the pain that we feel in our head is not actually coming from our head. Unlike every other kind of headache out there, the cervicogenic headache originates in another part of the body before making its way to the head where we experience. Typically, a cervicogenic headache is a secondary headache that is caused by another physical issue or illness.

Locations Of Cervicogenic Headaches

Based on the diagram provided by Health Hype on the different regions of the skull where headaches can occur, the cervicogenic headache is most likely to occur occipital and potentially parietal parts of the skull. A cervicogenic headache is diagnosed when the patient puts the origin point of a headache at the base of the neck, and imaging evidence is shown of a lesion in the soft tissue at the base of the neck.

Cervicogenic Headaches That Require Medical Attention

Above, we briefly discussed how cervicogenic headaches can occur when there is a lesion in the soft tissue around the neck. While this is not the only case in which cervicogenic headaches can occur, it is the most common. The lesion will have to be removed in order for a cessation of the headaches to occur. Typically, results are seen within 3 months of the operation. Cervicogenic headaches can also occur if there is a neck disorder. Whether or not the cause can be treated directly will depend heavily on the kind of disorder causing the cervicogenic headaches. Finally, these painful headaches can occur in a small number of occurrences where the neck is injured. They will typically go away on their own as the neck repairs itself. No matter the cause, you should have cervicogenic headaches looked at by your doctor.

Treatments For Cervicogenic Headaches

As briefly mentioned above, the primary cervicogenic headache treatment options is an operation to remove the lesion causing the headaches in the first place. Prior to and in the 3 months following the operation, you may need to find ways to dull the pain. This can be done through prescription pain medication for cervicogenic headache provided through your doctor, through over the counter pain relief found in any drug store, or through natural remedies as found online on sites like the Reader’s Digest.

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