Today, there are several misunderstandings about cervicogenic headaches. Before diving into those, you must first understand what a cervicogenic headache is.
What Is a Cervicogenic Headache?
A cervicogenic headache is a headache that arises from problems in your neck. These headaches are often caused by physical conditions or tramas such as a prolapsed or dislocated disc in your neck, a whiplash injury, or cervical fractures. Forward head posture can also lead to uncomfortable cervicogenic headaches or migraines due to the stress placed on your neck and base of your skull.
On rare occasions, underlying medical conditions such as cancer, infections, or rheumatoid arthritis could be the cause of your headache.
The pain can exist in your cervical spine, up the back of your neck, and into your forehead, eye, temple and ear. If you or someone you know may be dealing with a cervicogenic headache, as always, we recommend talking to a medical professional.
Now that you are up to speed on what a cervicogenic headache is, here are five additional facts you need to know about cervicogenic headaches:
Cervicogenic Headaches Are Different Than a Tension Headache
Poor Posture Can Trigger a Cervicogenic Headache
Neck Injuries Are The Leading Cause of Cervicogenic Headaches
Cervicogenic Headaches Feel Different Than Migraines
Awkward Sleeping Positions Can Cause Cervicogenic Headaches
Tension-type headaches are often mistaken for cervicogenic headaches. Tension headaches do not typically stem from underlying medical conditions and are the most common form of primary headaches seen through the general population. Both forms of headaches may be described as dull, or achey and accompanied by neck pain. Tension headache symptoms and cervicogenic headache symptoms are triggered by poor posture which can make the line between the two blurry. As mentioned earlier, cervicogenic headaches tend to arise from a physical condition categorizing them as a secondary headache, therefore making tension headaches and cervicogenic headaches different.
If you are one that suffers from headaches, take a moment to critique your posture. Poor posture is what could be the cause of daily headaches and neck pain. When added stress and weight gets put on your neck from bad posture, the domino effect works its way up to your head. Maintaining straight posture to keep your spine in it’s natural alignment without added tension is the simplest thing you can do to avoid head pain. If you are unsure if your posture is the problem, read more on the 5 different posture types.
Slouching While Sitting Can Result in Headaches
With technology quickly growing, and working from home becoming more popular, practicing good sitting posture has never been more important. This goes for driving posture, eating posture, etc. Most of us have a tendency to drop our heads forward, with our shoulders to follow making for a forward-leaning bad posture neck. That added tension on your upper back into your neck can ultimately lead to cervicogenic headaches. Practice good posture as often as you can for overall body health.
Poor posture is certainly a major trigger for cervicogenic headaches, but injuries to the neck are the main culprit to your head and neck pain. Abnormal movements of your neck from whiplash, coughing or sneezing, sports injury, or falling are all common reasons for neck injury that can lead to cervicogenic headaches. If you have experienced any of these neck injuries, you may benefit from one of our neck injury treatment braces.
If you are experiencing headaches and aren’t sure if it is a cervical headache or a migraine, begin by pinpointing where your pain is located. Cervicogenic headaches have some unique symptoms that separate them from regular headaches. If you are feeling a dull pain that is consistent and worsens with movement in your head and neck region, it is most likely a cervicogenic headache. The pain typically starts at the base of your skull and radiates up one side.These headaches may come with neck stiffness and the pain can move down to the shoulders and upper back. If you have any kind of throbbing, noise or light sensitivity, or nausea, it is safe to say you are experiencing a migraine headache.
Maintaining good posture through the night is just as important as during the day. Having poor sleeping posture can increase your risk of cervicogenic headaches. When you sleep, it is your body's time to rest and recharge for the next day. That does not happen if you are putting your body in harmful sleeping positions overall creating more stress on your body.
Sleeping on your flat on your back in the healthiest sleeping position for your neck. Use a pillow that keeps your head in a neutral position over your shoulders. Avoid using pillows that are big and fluffy that may create an unnatural lift to your head. Place another pillow under your knees to keep your spine neutral. Try your best to keep your body in its most natural alignment through the night.