Cervicogenic headache causes, symptoms, treatment

Cervicogenic headache – this is a list of symptoms caused by anatomic tumors in the neck. The causes of the disease is often problem with the working of the ligaments and muscular tissues of the neck caused by injury or degenerative disorder of the spine.


The main reasons of this disease are injuries of the spine in the neck region, soft tissue damage.

To serious precipitating factors include:

  1. Neoplasms.
  2. Arthritis.
  3. Fractures.

Often the cause of pain is a disorder of the ligaments and muscles of the neck, caused by pathogenic processes in the spine.

Often the painful symptoms go away within 3 months after the main cause of the pathology is resolved.

Other reasons:

  • Stretching the muscle tissues in the neck. Problems can occur during prolonged work at the computer in an unnatural position.
  • Joints wear out with age, there is damage to the intervertebral cartilage. The amount of bone tissue in the problem region is increased, deteriorating the mobility of the joints, there is pain.
  • Compression of the nerve root. Nerve tissue is compressed, the discs are displaced, prevent friction between the vertebrae. The hernia appears as a result of weakening and deformation of the outer shell disks. As a result, the substance inside is more pressing on the outer shell until it breaks. After that, the content flows into the spinal canal where the spinal cord is located. Herniation often compresses located next to the nerve root. This causes pain and other neurological signs.
  • Infection, pathology, neoplasms. Disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or Oncology provoke pain that is transferred to the occipital.
Features of clinical manifestations

For many years were treated in the clinic Hypo where cervicogenic factors were studied in detail. Distinctive features of cephalgia were able to identify the specialists with the painful changes of spine patients in the neck. Symptoms proximally, the attacks have a high duration in comparison with the paroxysm. Cephalalgia refers to a burning and pulsating disorder, accompanied by nausea, adverse reaction to bright light, sensitivity ear drum, problems with hearing. Often a symptom of gives in the head and arm.

Cervicogenic headache occurs on the basis of injury of the spine bone tissues or joints.

The important role played by the violation of the biomechanics of the spine:

  • Changing posture and gait.
  • Appears scoliosis.
  • Overtraining certain muscles.
  • Changing the biomechanics of the cranium and spine.

What could be provoking factors:

  • A sharp turn of the head left or right.
  • Wrong posture during sleep or work.
  • Continuous isometric tension.
  • The impact of low temperatures.
  • Stress.

Main features:

  1. The pain occurs along with dizziness.
  2. Problems with hearing and vision.
  3. Laterality.

The mechanisms of disease development:

  1. Vascular.
  2. Neuralgic.
  3. Muscle.

Vascular is classified into:

  1. Vasomotor.
  2. Ischemic.
  3. Venous.

Venous character development causes hypertension. Mechanisms of development are often combined, experts need to determine them all to the result of the treatment was optimal.


The main sources of the emergence of the BTF are:

  • Artery in the neck.
  • The top tendon on the muscle tissues.
  • Discs class C2 and C3.
  • Facet joints.
  • Connection uncovertebral type.

Approximately 20-25% of unilateral disorders falls on avicennia headaches. The symptoms of the disorder are expressed clearly, so diagnosing it is easy. You need to understand how specifically expressed pathology.

Because of this, you can easily determine CGB from complex diseases, stress, migraine, etc. the Clinical signs of cervicogenic headache is better divided into the following subcategories:

The symptoms appear at the CCH on the one hand unchanged. If we consider a migraine, there is often a change in the localization of pain. Unilateral symptoms occur first, the development of the disease, but as the worsening spread to most part of the head. This happens in rare cases. If timely medication, the disorder terminated in the shortest possible time, spread to other parts of the head occurs.

The pain is not excruciating, dull, throbbing, starts near the neck, gradually flows on the back of the head, goes on the frontal part. In comparison with pigment cervicogenic headache lasts longer. In the early stages of BTF develops sporadically, then develop a chronic form that is difficult is eliminated.

If this process proceeds quickly, then the patient exactly TSGB. In the neck are the main triggers of painful episodes.

Injuries can be not only direct but also indirect. From patients complain of stiffness in the neck or ossification, it becomes difficult to move my head. Headaches are getting worse because of increasing pressure in the occipital region.

Pain in the neck, head or upper limbs occur at different times within a few hours. Discomfort can cause loud noises and intense lighting.

The symptoms of cervicogenic headache:

  1. If specific physical effort to influence the overall structures of the neck, after some time there is pain.
  2. The symptoms are initially localized in the neck or upper neck.
  3. An uncomfortable feeling in the neck accompanies the main symptom, dizzy, pain in my shoulders.
The nature of the headache

Headaches arising from problems with neck, manifested intense closer to the forehead. The symptoms are moderate or very strong. Rarely there are situations when the pain is intolerable. Not always there is a feeling of pulsation.

The duration of the painful attacks is variable, can be several hours or weeks.

Symptoms sometimes resembles other diseases. Sometimes the pain similar to a migraine or symptoms of hypertension. They can have unilateral or bilateral in nature.


The neurologist defines cervicogenic headache. During examination revealed weakness in the muscles, the localization of tension, numbness, compares the mobility of the neck with normal indicators. For diagnosing specialist will take the results of radiographic examinations.

Such surveys include:

  • An x-ray. By the pictures you can determine the condition of the bones, developmental abnormalities or damage.
  • MRI. The problem area is scanned with the magnetic waves. In the end we can obtain high quality images. MRI enables the display of soft tissues, nerves, as the spinal cord or muscles of the neck.
  • Procedure CT is used as an alternative to MRI. To scan uses x-rays that do not interact with metal objects.
  • Electromyography is performed when there is suspicion of disease of the spinal cord. In muscle introduce the needle sensors, to measure the speed of nerve impulses.
  • A blood test can help identify inflammation and infection that can provoke or exacerbate cervicogenic headache.

If symptoms persist, to proceed immediately to treatment, good results will be achieved for several months.

Cervicogenic headache is treated in several ways:

  1. Invasive refers to the use of potapochkina that affect the occipital nerves, dorsal columns are stimulated, made injections with the use of steroids and anti-inflammatories.
  2. Non-invasive methods include psychotherapy, decreased physical activity, relaxation exercises, the use of medications.
  3. Cervicular headache resolved with analgesics non-narcotic actions.
  4. In a certain period was used drugs, relevant in the development of migraine. Sometimes after eating them the pain decreased, but in most examples, a good result could not be obtained.
  5. Medications category of triptanov eliminate the pain.

When selecting non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs you need to consider pain. You need to reduce intense symptoms. These drugs have considerable side effects as erosive and ulcerative transformations of the gastrointestinal tract.

If you use drugs too long can have serious consequences. The duration of therapy is determined by your doctor. Simultaneously with non-steroidal means used medications that protect the lining of the gastrointestinal tract.

When receiving these drugs should be treated with caution to patients with ulcers in the digestive system. Therefore, the choice of anesthetics is necessary to consider related disorders individually, to further diagnose the internal organs.

Combined treatment is necessary in chronic forms of CGB. When a patient develops depression, and underestimated the emotional background, it is necessary to use psychotropic drugs.


This question should be approached with caution, since such treatments often cause headaches. A positive effect can be obtained after the first sessions. Symptoms were successfully relieved if the treatment takes a professional. If such procedures cannot prevent the surge of muscle tissue

But without addressing the main causes of cervicogenic headache to eliminate the symptoms will not succeed.

If you have problems with intervertebral discs

Blocked parts of the spine is better to use intermittent traction in combination with lateroflexion. It is necessary to reduce the duration of the procedure up to 3-10 seconds. Low-amplitude high-speed equipment used for the impact problem of PDS. In this case, the dentist must consider the patient’s complaints and to take the necessary measures. If in the treatment of CHB only solve the problem of joint function and to repair muscle defects, the positive result will hold for long.

Patients will be advised to do exercises to strengthen the muscles of the neck and between the shoulder blades that are responsible for the normal position of the cervical discs.

Ergonomic retraining of the patient

Means the cessation of making movements and classes of provisions can cause stretching of the cervical PDS and irritation of blood vessels. Patients with impaired blood flow in the vertebral vessels after a course of MT is assigned has Vazobral and Sermion. In the chronic form there is a depression. Such patients prescribed antidepressants.


Mechanisms of development headaches are caused by problems with the spine in the neck. Some of the theories of pathology relate to the hypotheses. When damage to the nerves stimulated by the work of nociceptors. When the stimulus lasts longer, decreases the threshold of perception of irritation. Symptoms refers to the hyperalgesia. This is a strong reaction to prolonged pain.

Problems with the spine in the neck region the most common mechanisms of occurrence of headaches, because these symptoms often occur in the neck Department, then flow to the frontal or temporal part. In the cervical transformation can occur in patients who are over 40.

The location of pain and degenerative changes are acceptable factors, among the more common causes of painful symptoms. Doctors have proved that such transformations are the most common among patients not collide with cephalalgia.

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