Is your headache cervico-genic?
Headaches are a very common chief complaint in a Chiropractic office. Headaches can be caused by a number of factors. One common type of headache is known as the cervicogenic headache. Cervicogenic headaches arise from the joints and muscles of the neck. They typically cause pain at the back of the head which may spread to the top of the skull and often to the forehead or temple. It may also be associated with pain or discomfort behind the eye.There is usually associated neck pain or discomfort, and sometimes the neck pain and headaches become more or less severe at the same time. Nausea, poor concentration and irritability are frequent symptoms.
Three factors have been identified that may lead to cervicogenic headaches.
1. Forward head carriage: a condition that is very common
2. Weakness in the muscles of the upper neck.
3. Joint dysfunction or lack of movement of the joints of the neck. The joints most commonly associated with cervicogenic headaches are the joints of the upper two bones in the cervical spine (C1 and C2). Headache sufferers were also found to have decreased range of motion of the neck.
Treatment Delaware Injury Care seeks to treat cervicogenic headache by treating joint dysfunction and increasing range of motion of the neck. Neck rehabilitation helps to increase muscle strength, reduce forward head posture, and maintain the normal curve of the neck. Myofascial release is able to reduce trigger points in the muscles that may cause pain to radiate to the head or face. Shoulder shrug exercises and rowing motions are helpful in reducing shoulder positions which also exacerbate cervicogenic headaches. In addition, laser therapy decreases pain and speeds up the healing process of any damaged tissues.
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According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, chiropractic manipulation therapy (spinal manipulative therapy) is an effective treatment in the management of cervicogenic headaches.