Cervicogenic Headaches

 

Cervicogenic Headaches & Physical Therapy

Kevin Sisbarro

 

 

Headaches are common-place for society, what most people don’t realize is that a headache can actually be stemming from their neck. Most people sit with poor posture, especially now with the technology boom, causing more and more people to be sitting at computers or looking down at their phones. When you sit in these positions for prolonged periods of time, it can put a lot of stress on the neck and cause “referred” pain that can present as a headache.

Cervicogenic headaches (aka CGH) affect 22-25% of the adult population. It is thought that women are 4x more likely than men to develop CGH. Symptoms can include a single sided headache, feeling pain in the upper part of the neck below the base of the skull, dizziness and lightheadedness. These types of symptoms can arise from poor posture, arthritis or a traumatic event that causes a sudden forceful movement of the neck. If you or someone you know may have symptoms similar to these, Physical Therapy may be a viable option to help treat the pain. Our therapists are experts in evaluating posture by examining upper neck and cervical management. We will measure any restrictions and address the issues through joint mobilization and stretching. As well as addressing any strengthening for weaker muscles in the neck. Contact us if you suffer from headaches and we will provide a safe and drug free way to find relief!

 

 

What does the research say?

A study by Zito and Jull, Spine 2004 found that patients with cervicogenic headaches had stiffness in the upper cervical spine in 80% of the subjects.

A study by Jull et al. found that 72% of participants achieved a reduction of 50% or more and 42% reported a reduction of 80-100% after PT care.

 

References:

A randomized controlled trial of exercise and manipulative therapy for cervicogenic headache.” Jull, et al. Spine. September 2002 1;27(17):1835-43.