There are three types of headaches which are most commonly experienced by people of all age groups, specifically by adults and elderly. They are categorized as vascular or neurological headache, muscular or myogenic headache and cervicogenic headache. The common neurological headache is migraine which presents vascular symptoms. Muscular or myogenic headache is typically tension or anxiety associated headache. Cervicogenic headache is usually caused by a combination of neural and skeletal problem in the neck.
The origin of a cervicogenic headache may be perceived at the neck but in reality the cause is in the spine. Different types of cervical sprain including whiplash, physiological ailments such as arthritis and injury in the neck, spine, shoulders or anywhere in the back can cause cervicogenic headache.
The most common and obvious symptom of cervicogenic headache is a consistent and steady pain at the base of the skull, in the neck, throbbing pain in the forehead and behind the brows. The pain can also stretch over to the shoulders, the blades and to the arms. Upper back pain is not often felt but it exists and is suppressed by the more strenuous pains in the neck and head. Stiffness in the neck, muscle stiffness and immobility around the neck and shoulders are also common. Some associated symptoms of cervicogenic headache are vomiting, fatigue, nausea, dizziness and blurred vision.
There are not many cures of cervicogenic headache in conventional medication. All drugs that are prescribed for cervicogenic headache are aimed at reducing the pain and are thus painkillers, antidepressants and anti-inflammatory drugs but none of them actually target the root cause of the problem. The symptoms may be controlled but the ailment is not cured with such attempts.
Chiropractic treatment is the best solution for cervicogenic headache. Chiropractic treatment doesn’t use any medication or invasive procedures. It simply uses manipulation techniques and various physical therapies to offer a solution. Chiropractic treatment is safe, cost effective and also doesn’t lead to any side effects which are unavoidable with all medications that you would otherwise take.
According to a study, people suffering from cervicogenic headache when subjected to chiropractic treatment experienced reduced disability and pain. 50% of the people reported reduction in all pains, 33% reported reduction in medication usage and 50% witnessed reduction in headache frequency.
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Reference – Haas M. Spegman A, Peterson D, Aickin M, Vavrek D. ‘Dose response and efficacy of spinal manipulation for chronic cervicogenic headache: a pilot randomized controlled trial’. The Spine Journal 2010, 10: 117-128.