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Cervical headache

A cervicogenic headache is simply another name for a headache originating from the joints of the neck, being the most common type of headache people experience. Cervicogenic headaches typically occur due to damage to one or more joints of the neck, muscles, ligaments or nerves of the top 3 vertebra of the neck. These headaches often occur in the neck however refer up into the head, causing mild to severe pain or a steady ache or dull feeling. The location of pain can vary causing referred pain in the base of the skull, forehead, jaw line, back of the eyes and ears due to the nerve that supplies these areas of the head. Symptoms of cervicogenic headaches include side-locking which means they occur on one side of the neck, head and/or face, poor posture resulting in an increase in stress on the cervical neck, stiff joints, muscle imbalance, trauma to the area cause by whiplash or external forces or your posture when working of sitting for prolonged periods of time. Often cervicogenic headaches are diagnosed through subjective and objective examination from a physiotherapist however the use of x-ray, CT or MRI scans may be of benefit to assist this diagnosis. Most patients with this condition recover quickly and make a full recovery with adequate physiotherapy treatment, with recovery time varying from patient to patient depending on the severity of the injury. With adequate treatment, people experiencing cervicogenic may be pain free within days, however may take up to 2 – 3 weeks for a complete recovery.

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