Dealing With Headaches & Migraines?
A significant portion of people suffering from headaches do so because of problems in the neck and are classified as "cervicogenic headaches." In most cases, the triggering effect of a cervicogenic headache is limited movement of the joints in your upper cervical spine. Normally, each of the joints in your neck moves freely and independently.
There may be constraints in the upper cervical spine that cause a painful period of stiffness, muscle tightness, and joint inflammation in some people. This may cause increased irritation and sensitivity in the nerves leading from your neck into the back of your head.
Pain often is found in the base of your skull and then moves toward the top of your head and even over your eyes. In more rare circumstances, the pain may go into your arm.
These headaches can last anywhere from a few hours to several days. The pain is constant but varies in intensity, and it is often defined as "deep." You may also be subject to chronic neck tenderness and stiffness.
Patients who have recently suffered trauma, such as a car accident or a previous concussion, are more likely to develop the disorder.
The condition often affects middle-aged adults and is significantly more common in women by a rate of four to one. Cervicogenic headaches are on occasion brought on by poor posture, including a "slouched" or "forward head" posture.
Always reach out and inform your doctor as soon as possible if at any point you find yourself experiencing a sudden onset of a severe headache, a new or unfamiliar headache, or if you notice significant neck stiffness, rash, numbness or tingling on your face, light-headedness, dizziness, loss of consciousness, difficulty speaking, difficulty swallowing, difficulty walking, nausea, numbness radiating into your arms or legs, or fever.
Make sure that you are drinking 6-8 glasses of water each day, more in hot weather or when you've been sweating. Since cervicogenic headaches are the result of a mechanical problem, medicines are often ineffective. Fortunately, our office has a number of resources to assist us in resolving this issue.