A cervicogenic headache is a type of a secondary headache-- usually the result of problems with the neck. Here is a brief guide to this health issue:
This type of headache tends to initially cause a dull, throbbing pain in the back of the skull. The pain then spreads to the temples and above the eyes. In most cases, the pain is worsened when the sufferer moves their neck.
People with cervicogenic headaches also sometimes experience a reduction in their necks' range of motion and feel a sensation of pressure around their upper neck area. Additionally, they may occasionally feel lightheaded and dizzy.
The pain can be similar to that experienced by migraine sufferers, in regards to its intensity.
Headaches of this kind can be caused by several things, one of which is poor posture.
If a person habitually hunches over whilst sitting down and tends to keep their shoulders rolled forward when they stand and walk, they can strain the ligaments and tendons in their upper back and neck, and create tension in the muscles in these parts of their body; this, in turn, can cause cervicogenic headaches. Office workers who sit slouched at their desks for several hours a day are particularly prone to this issue.
People who routinely sleep on their stomach are also more susceptible to this type of headache, as keeping their neck twisted to one side all night can strain its muscles and ligaments.
Over-the-counter analgesics, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, can help to temporarily ease mild to moderate cervicogenic headaches. If a person is suffering from severe levels of pain, however, they may need to get a prescription from their doctor for stronger painkillers, such as opioids.
Whilst the above-mentioned medication can provide short-term relief, they will not address the root cause of the problem and as such, should only be used for a few days, or weeks at most.
Most sufferers should be able to gain permanent relief by seeking out the help of a healthcare professional who offers chiropractic services.
Chiropractic services will be able to provide the patient with immediate pain relief, by manipulating their cervical spine and massaging their neck muscles. They will also be able to determine and address the source of the problem (such as the above-mentioned issues of poor posture and incorrect sleeping positions) so that the patient does not end up suffering from the same issue again in a few months' time.