Your headaches could be ‘cervicogenic’; identify the signs

Some people suffer from it headache much more often than others. There is often a source from which it spreads to the rest of the head, and while people may not be aware of it, the neck could be a problematic area that can lead to tearing pain.

Therefore, more importance must be attached to cervicogenic headaches Pain radiating from the neck and goes to the head, mostly on one side. They are not to be confused migraine or other headaches, says Dr. Sai Krishna B. Naidu, HOD, Trauma and Orthopaedics, Bone and Joint Surgery, Fortis Hospital, Richmond Road Bengaluru.

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according to dr Naidu is mostly unaware of the cause of such headaches. “But neck problems like whiplash, cervical spine problems, arthritis, working long hours on a laptop with incorrect posture, etc. could contribute to cervicogenic neck pain,” he says.

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Certain professionals whose job it is to bend the neck like hair stylistIT professionals, surgeons, etc. are vulnerable, he adds.

What are the symptoms?

The doctor explains that the symptoms most people experience are the sudden movement of the neck that causes this headache and neck painNausea, vomiting, pain around the eyes, etc.

Other signs can be:

– Pain on one side of head and neck radiating up and down
– Constant pain that does not throb
– Headache when coughing, sneezing or deep breathing
– Stiff neck causing inability to move freely
– Pain localized in one area, either in the front, back of the head or around the eye

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Although cervicogenic headaches and migraine are different, some of the symptoms may be similar. For example you can:

– Feeling of nausea and vomiting
– Have pain in your arm or shoulder
– Nausea/vomiting in bright light and loud noise
– Blurred vision

Can these headaches be prevented?

“Working on correcting posture, buckling up even in the back seat, strengthening the neck muscles and exercises are helpful in preventing cervicogenic headaches,” advises the expert.

He adds that the diagnosis of cervicogenic headache is made by a specialist and most of the time is done via exclusion criteria. Scans and other tests may be essentially normal.

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The diagnosis is “followed by physical therapy/physiotherapy”. “Other alternatives such as TENS devices, neck injections, etc. help. Home remedies like SNAG (Sustained Natural Apophyseal Glide) can help with pain relief. Medications like ibuprofen, muscle relaxants, etc. along with good sleep and relaxation techniques like yoga and hydrotherapy can help,” says Dr. Naidu.

However, he warns that while stress may not cause these headaches, it can make the existing condition worse, along with a lack of sleep, smoking and alcohol consumption.

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