Last week we discussed tension headache, this week we will look at cervicogenic headache, more commonly known as “neck headache”.
Four times as many women suffer from this type of headache than men, and 1-2% of the general population. Of the chronic headache sufferers, up to 20% have been diagnosed with cervicogenic headache. The frequency and intensity of these headaches varies, but can occur on a daily basis for some people.
Most of us don’t care what “type” of headache we have…. more importantly we just want relief from the pain. However if you know the type of headache you are suffering from, it may require treatment, and more serious causes may need to be ruled out.
A neck headache may present similarly to other well-known headaches such as migraine and tension headache. It is the source of pain that is likely to be different.
Common symptoms of the neck headache are tenderness at the base of the head and top of the neck, neck stiffness or loss of neck movement.
Recent research from 2012 has show that spinal manipulation of the cervical and thoracic spine is effective in the treatment of cervicogenic headache1,2,3 . One study concluded that spinal manipulation is more effective than massage therapy for relief of cervicogenic headache4.
Manual therapy focusing on active trigger points in the neck can relieve pain caused by cervicogenic headache1. This is a type of treatment that both David and myself employ in combination with our adjustments.
Chiropractic joint mobilization and manipulation along with soft tissue therapies including myofascial release and trigger point therapy can provide alternatives to medication while still providing pain relief.
If you would like to discuss your headaches, aches or pains with David or myself, please contact the clinic and book in a time to see us, we will be more than happy to help.
Yours in chiropractic,
- Gema Bodes-Pardo, Daniel Pecos-Martín, Tomás Gallego-Izquierdo, Jaime Salom-Moreno, César Fernández-de-las-Peñas, Ricardo Ortega-Santiago. Manual Treatment for Cervicogenic Headache and Active Trigger Point in Sternocleidomastoid Muscle: A pilot randomized clinical trial. J Manipulative And Physiological Therapeutics 2013; 36 (7): 403-411.
- Chaibi A, Russell MB. Manual therapies for cervicogenic headache: a systematic review. J Headache Pain 2012; 13:351-9.
- Vernon H, McDermaid CS, Hagino C. Systematic review of randomized clinical trials of complementary/aIternative therapies in the treatment of tension-type headache and cervicogenic headache. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 1999; 7, 142-155
- Bronfort G, Assendelft WJJ, Evans R, Haas M, Bouter L. Efficacy of Spinal Manipulation for Chronic Headache: A Systematic Review. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2001; 24(7), 457-466
- Cervicogenic Headache (2015); http://www.cervicogenicheadache.org/