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The relationship between neck pain and headaches

Cervicogenic headaches are a type of headache that originates from issues in the neck (cervical spine) and can cause pain that radiates to the head. These headaches can be challenging to diagnose, as their symptoms can overlap with other types of headaches. Common symptoms of cervicogenic headaches include:

  1. Unilateral Pain: The pain is typically felt on one side of the head and may extend to the forehead, temple, eye, or back of the head.

  2. Neck Pain: There is usually significant pain and discomfort in the neck, often originating from the base of the skull or upper neck.

  3. Pain Triggered by Neck Movement: Certain neck movements or positions can trigger or worsen the headache. For example, tilting or rotating the head may cause an increase in pain.

  4. Limited Neck Range of Motion: Individuals with cervicogenic headaches might experience stiffness and reduced range of motion in the neck.

  5. Pain Radiation: The pain might start in the neck and then radiate upward to the head. It may also radiate to the shoulder or arm on the same side.

  6. Headache Duration: Cervicogenic headaches are often prolonged, lasting for hours or even days. They might be constant or have periods of exacerbation.

  7. Pain Patterns: The pain might follow certain patterns, such as starting in the neck and spreading upward, or starting in the neck and moving toward the temple or eye.

  8. Nausea and Sensitivity to Light: Some people with cervicogenic headaches may experience symptoms commonly associated with migraines, such as nausea and sensitivity to light (photophobia).

  9. Secondary Symptoms: There can be associated symptoms such as dizziness, blurred vision, and even pain or tingling in the shoulder or arm on the affected side.

It's important to note that the diagnosis of cervicogenic headaches requires a thorough assessment by a medical professional, this is because the symptoms of cervicogenic headaches can overlap with other types of headaches like migraines or tension headaches. Treatment approaches might include physical therapy, medications, and lifestyle modifications.


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