Cervicogenic headaches: a real pain in the neck.
Cervico genic headaches (CGH) are a secondary form of headache that develops from somatic referred pain originating in the upper cervical spine (the neck). CGH is often misdiagnosed as a migraine or tension-type headache, as the symptoms can be similar. However, the distinguishing feature of CGH is that the pain is triggered by movement or pressure on the neck, such as turning the head or maintaining an awkward position for an extended period. Unlike migraines, there is no nausea or vomiting associated with CGH.
Treatment for CGH usually involves a combination of physical therapy, medication, and lifestyle modifications. Physical therapy can include exercises to strengthen the neck muscles, massage, and manual therapy to improve the neck’s range of motion. Medications may include anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, or nerve blocks. Lifestyle modifications such as avoiding repetitive neck movements, maintaining good posture, and managing stress may also help alleviate symptoms.