A cervicogenic headache is a secondary headache, implying that it is caused by another illness. In most cases, the condition is related to a neck based disorder. Neck pain and neck tenderness are commonly associated with this pain. There is almost always a history of neck trauma or injury. There is also accompanying shoulder pain with restricted movement of the neck.
HOW IS CERVICOGENIC HEADACHE DIAGNOSED?
Cervicogenic headache are diagnosed by a neurologist who will perform a thorough physical examination of the neck and its movement. Diagnostic imaging such as radiography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT) myelography cannot confirm the diagnosis of cervicogenic headache but can lend support to its diagnosis.
HOW IS CERVICOGENIC HEADACHE TREATED?
The treatment includes a prescription of pain reliving medication by the Orthopaedic specialist. This medication may include over the counter drugs as well as other prescription drugs like acetaminophen. Also, surgery and other procedures may be recommended for severe cases for administration of botulinum toxin A or Botox.
DID YOU KNOW?
Cervico-’ means neck, and ‘-genic’ means origin. The various causes and risk factors include:
• Excessive twisting/bending of the neck
• Sudden movement of the neck
• Heavy lifting
• Spinal disc problems
• Prolonged sitting (i.e. working at a computer)
• Poor desk setup and sleeping posture
• Sedentary lifestyle