What causes a headache? You might be surprised.

One very common type of headache is called a Cervicogenic headache. If you know how to handle them, it is not hard to treat and prevent these types of headaches.

There are over 17 different types of headaches. Chiropractic has been shown to be very effective for the relief of certain types of headaches. One, in particular, is called a Cervicogenic Headache. In the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, Cervicogenic Headaches are defined as a syndrome characterized by chronic hemicranial pain (pain on one side of the head) that is referred to the head from either bony structures or soft tissues of the neck. In addition, the Journal notes that medications alone are often ineffective or provide only modest benefit for this condition. (JAOA, April 2005)

In a study published in the Spine Journal, researchers found that spinal manipulation was not only effective at treating Cervicogenic Headaches for the short-term, but continued to be effective 1 year after treatment. Additional studies have also shown that treating the cause of the headaches (ie. the neck) with spinal manipulation is an effective therapy for the resolution of Cervicogenic Headaches.

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to help people suffering with Cervicogenic Headaches. Often times, seeking my care after medications and other treatments had failed. Although chiropractic care has been proven to be a safe and effective way of treating these types of headaches, many of these cases could have been avoided in the first place.

7 things you can do to prevent Cervicogenic Headaches:

  1. Make sure your computer/workstation is set up ergonomically correct

  2. Sleep with only one pillow (that is sized correctly for you)

  3. When talking on the phone, don’t hold it against your ear with your shoulder

  4. Don’t lie or sleep on the couch (especially while watching TV)

  5. Don’t read or watch TV in bed

  6. Perform neck exercises and stretches 2 to 3 times per week

  7. Use a neck roll when relaxing

Implementing these tips and strategies, maintaining proper posture, and strengthening the muscles of the neck and upper back, are all easy ways to help to prevent Cervicogenic Headaches from occurring.

If you are having persistent or severe headaches, always consult a doctor.

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Wishing you good health,

Dr. Hagman