Cervicogenic Headache (Neck Problems Causing Headache)
With Cervicogenic Headache, head and neck movement increase headache. Problems with the facet joints of the upper neck are often associated with this type of pain. These facet joints commonly develop arthritis. The upper three joints are associated with the origins of the greater occipital nerve. This large nerve travels from the base of the skull to the hairline near the forehead. Often, headache associate with these problems can cover most of one side of the head. In addition, the pain can occur on both sides of the head.
To complicate the problem even more, Cervicogenic Headache can trigger migraines. This is because the greater occipital nerve “talks” to the trigeminal nerve which is involved in migraines. Therefore, multiple approaches are often required to treat this type of headache. I often stun the nerves in the neck that form the greater occipital nerve with radiofrequency energy. This treatment can be quite helpful.
At our Northshore Clinic, a complete analysis of the contributing factors to headache is done. An individualized therapy plan is done with myself and the patient working together.