Cervicogenic headache, often misdiagnosed due to its complex nature, is a chronic headache that originates from the neck but is perceived as pain in the head. This phenomenon arises from the convergence of nerves supplying the head and neck, leading to a miscommunication in pain perception. Here we delve into the comprehensive details of cervicogenic headaches, including their symptoms, causes, diagnostic criteria, and the crucial role of physiotherapy in their treatment.
Symptoms of Cervicogenic Headache
Cervicogenic headaches are characterized by specific symptoms that help differentiate them from other types of headaches. The primary symptoms include:
Unilateral pain in the head or face.
Stiffness in the neck.
Pain around the eyes.
Pain exacerbated by coughing, sneezing, or specific neck movements.
Headache triggered by certain neck postures or movements.
Additional symptoms resembling migraine headaches, such as light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, blurry vision, and nausea.
Causes and Factors Triggering Cervicogenic Headache
Cervicogenic headaches can stem from various factors and conditions that affect the neck. These include:
Degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis.
Prolapsed disc in the neck.
Trauma from falls or sports activities.
Poor posture, especially during prolonged sitting or standing.
Cervical protraction, pushing the chin forward and moving the head ahead of the body.
Awkward sleeping positions, compressing or pinching nerves in the neck.
Diagnosis and Diagnostic Criteria
Accurate diagnosis of cervicogenic headache involves a thorough assessment based on specific diagnostic criteria, which include:
Localized pain in the neck and occiput, often spreading to other head areas unilaterally.
Aggravation of pain by specific neck movements or sustained postures.
Presence of resistance or limitation in passive neck movements.
Abnormal changes in neck muscle contour, texture, tone, or response to stretching.
Radiological evidence of movement abnormalities, abnormal posture, or distinct pathology.
Role of Physiotherapy in Cervicogenic Headache Treatment
Expert physiotherapy plays a crucial role in the treatment of cervicogenic headaches by addressing the underlying causes and promoting long-term relief. The physiotherapist’s responsibilities include:
Identifying cervicogenic headaches caused by neck dysfunction.
Accurate assessment of the type of dysfunction.
Treating the root cause to ensure optimal outcomes.
Physiotherapy Assessment Process
The comprehensive assessment process involves meticulous evaluation of the patient’s history, symptoms, and physical findings. This includes:
Gradual onset of symptoms.
Consistency of symptom episodes.
Specific pain location (unilateral).
Differentiating neck, occipital, parietal, and orbital pain.
Duration of headache episodes.
Aggravation by neck movements or sustained postures.
Physiotherapy Treatment Approaches
Based on the assessment, physiotherapy treatments may include:
Exercise combined with mobilizations as an effective treatment option.
To know about the neck pain and role of physiotherapy please read here.
Connect with Physioheal Physiotherapy
If you’re experiencing symptoms matching those of cervicogenic headaches, reach out to the experts at Physioheal Physiotherapy. Physioheal is one of the best physiotherapy center in Gurgaon with team of physiotherapist led by Dr Divya Gaur, best physiotherapist. Dr. Divya Gaur and her team provide specialized care to ensure your rehabilitation process is successful and smooth. To book an appointment, call +91-9999259307 or contact online. Experience relief from cervicogenic headaches and regain your quality of life with Physioheal Physiotherapy in Gurgaon.