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Cervicogenic Headache


Cervicogenic headaches are headaches caused by the cervical spine. The cervicogenic headache is an incredibly serious problem, and must be taken with the utmost seriousness. The trigeminocervical nucleus is a region of the upper cervical spinal cord where sensory nerve fibers in the descending tract of the trigeminal nerve (trigeminal nucleus caudalis) are believed to interact with sensory fibers from the upper cervical roots. It may be instigated by chronic tension or acute whiplash injury, intervertebral disc disease or progressive facet joint arthritis etc.

Cervicogenic headache is a relatively common and still controversial form of headache arising from structures in the neck.

Diagnosis of Cervicogenic headaches

Diagnostic criteria have been established for cervicogenic headache, but its presenting characteristics occasionally may be difficult to distinguish from primary headache disorders such as migraine, tension-type headache, or hemicrania continua.

Cervicogenic Headache Treatment

Physical therapy, provided by an expert spine therapist, is critical to the success of most other treatment modalities, whether those include pain injections or surgery or relaxation and posture techniques. Injections can take the form of muscle (or myofascial) trigger point blocks, nerve blocks or epidural spinal injections.

The most effective injections for cervicogenic headaches usually end up being x-ray guided facet joint blocks, especially of the upper facet levels.

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