So we are going to take a look at the characteristics and presentation of cervical genic headache. Headaches can manifest on their own but are also a very common symptom in neck pain patients as more than 60% of patients with a primary neck pain complaint report of having concordant episodes of headache, therefore it’s essential to find out what kind of headache the patient is suffering from, to start off, let’s differentiate between primary and secondary types of headaches but what does that mean? simply put, primary headaches are the disease themselves whereas in secondary headaches, the headache is a symptom of another condition, so primary headaches would be migraines tension type headaches and cluster headaches. Secondary type headaches are headaches caused by tumors, hemorrhage other trauma like TMJ dysfunction substance, overdose or neck pain aka the cervical genic headache. Now let’s take a closer look at cervical genic headache which is a secondary type of headache, cervical genic headache has a prevalence of point seventeen to four percent and as the name suggests, it is a headache caused by a disorder involving the cervical spine and its bony discs and or soft tissue elements and it is usually but not invariably accompanied by neck pain, in order for headache to qualify as cervical genic headache, it has to fulfill certain criteria, first and foremost….there will be clinical laboratory and or imaging evidence of a disorder or a lesion in the cervical region known to be able to cause headache such as for example the facet joints or certain muscles, furthermore at least two of the following criteria have to apply, one the headache has developed after the onset of the cervical disorder or lesion so during patient history, taking patients will probably describe a trauma to the headache improves or resolves in parallel with improvement in our resolution of the cervical disorder or lesion 3 cervical range of motion is reduced, the painless movement on posture dependent and headache is made significantly worse by provocative testing.
Common Symptoms of Cervicogenic Headache
CGH symptoms are almost always side-locked, which means they occur only on one side of the head and/or neck. Common symptoms of CGH may include one or more of the following:
Dull, moderate to severe intensity pain. The pain in CGH is most commonly described as dull and non-throbbing type and of moderate to severe intensity in the head and neck region.
Reduced flexibility of neck. The pain typically starts at the back of the neck or head, which may lead to some neck stiffness and reduced range of motion.
Pain in multiple areas. From the back of the head, the pain may extend toward the front following the scalp, forehead, area around the eye, temple, and area surrounding the ear.
Blurred vision in one eye. Blurring of vision may be felt in the eye of the affected side
Pain beneath the neck. Pain in the shoulder, arm, or between the shoulder blades is also common.
It is possible to have Cervicogenic Headache without accompanying neck pain. Sometimes cervical joint issues may not be painful continually but may be tender to touch. This is also indicative of a neck issue giving rise to headache. The frequency and duration of pain may vary every time CGH occurs.