In a previous post, we discussed tips for treating headache after auto accidents in Aloha and Beaverton, OR. One of the most common headache types we see in our auto-injury clients is cervicogenic headache. These headaches are characterized by pain at the base of the skull which may emanate to the neck, upper back, between the shoulder blades, and sometimes, above the eyes. It is also common to experience dizziness and symptoms similar to migraine headache.
The name "cervicogenic headache" refers to where the headaches originate in the cervical spine, or neck. Whiplash, neck injuries, or cervical disc herniation can damage the ligaments, joints, and nerves in the cervical spine, leading to referred pain in the head and face.
Medical studies show that chiropractic adjustments are effective for easing cervicogenic headache (CGH). In one study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, researchers compared the effects of chiropractic adjustments to light massage in treating 80 patients with CGH. The chiropractic patients had significantly better results, with the average patient experiencing a 50% reduction in headache symptoms. Other research has also shown that combining chiropractic care with exercise may enhance treatment results. Another therapy we often use, called trigger point therapy, was found to reduce headache pain by 71% in other research.
If you suspect you could be suffering from cervicogenic headache, our Aloha & Beaverton chiropractors can conduct a complete diagnosis to see whether your symptoms are related to any dysfunction in the cervical spine. We'll then use gentle chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, and exercise to reduce your existing symptoms and prevent future headache. Call our office in Aloha/Beaverton to find relief from cervicogenic headache today.
Bodes-Pardo G, et al. Manual treatment for cervicogenic headache and active trigger point in the sternocleidomastoid muscle: a pilot randomized clinical trial. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2013; doi 10.1016/j.jmpt.2013.05.022.
Haas M, Spegman A, Peterson D, Aickin M, Vavrek D. Dose response and efficacy of spinal manipulation for chronic cervicogenic headache: a pilot randomized controlled trial. The Spine Journal 2010; 10: 117-128.
Jull G, Trott P, Potter H, et al. A randomized controlled trail of exercise and manipulative therapy for cervicogenic headache. Spine 2002; 27(17):1835-1843.