Cervicogenic headaches are among the most unusual headaches because the pain is not originating in the head. This happens to make them the hardest to diagnose. But for people who have experienced trauma to the neck, back or head at any point in their lifetime, cervicogenic headaches are worth considering as a root cause if you suffer from chronic headaches.
How it works:
Whether because of trauma, repetitive stress or poor posture, nerves in the neck are impinged due to misalignment of the spine. These nerves are sending signals which travel up the spinal cord and merge with nerves in the brain. When the pain is manifest from nerves in the brain rather than the neck, a headache is the logical outcome. The idea that pain can manifest in a place different from where it originates is called reference: nerves in the neck are referring pain to nerves in the brain. Cervicogenic headaches are often misdiagnosed unless the neck is examined for misalignment. There are also over 20 muscles in the upper back and cervical region that can refer pain to the head if they are tightened or strained.
Regardless of where headaches begin and end, it is important to approach them with the right attitude: headaches are not just a part of life. They are a clear signal that something is wrong, that a dysfunction exists within your body. Diet, exercise and nutrition are great ways to manage your symptoms, but sometimes it takes a little more research and treatment. That is where we come in: call our office in Houston at (713) 862-2440 to schedule an appointment today.
Dr. Randall Holmes, D.C.