A headache arising due to a neck condition is called a cervicogenic headache. This is a common condition in which the cause originates from the neck or upper spine, often associated with muscles that are tightened at the base of the skull.
Cervicogenic headaches can often be misdiagnosed due to their common symptoms with other types of headaches such as migraines.
Symptoms of a cervicogenic headache can include some of the following:
Radiating pain from the front to the back of your head, a headache which can be affected by neck movement, sustained postures, or sleeping positions, a headache affecting the right or left side of the head, a headache where temporary relief is felt when applying pressure to the neck or base of skull.
It is important to address the primary factors which may be causing your headaches. An ergonomic assessment of your work station can often give you a clue to some of the causes as well as a good look at your posture.
Treatment of a cervicogenic headaches can include:
- Soft tissue mobilization or massage of tight muscles
- Stretching exercises
- Strengthening for weak muscles of the neck
- Heat treatment
- Dry needling or acupuncture
- Postural education and ergonomic advice