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Effective Chiropractic Treatment for Cervicogenic Headaches

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Headaches can be debilitating. While we're familiar with tension-type headaches and migraines, there's another type that warrants attention—cervicogenic headache (CGH). Unlike common headaches, this condition originates from neck problems but presents as head pain.

Let’s explore this condition and how chiropractic treatment for cervicogenic headaches can help.

Causes and Symptoms of CGHafg

A cervicogenic headache is a secondary headache, which means it’s a symptom of another condition. In this case, a disorder of the neck is the culprit. The disorder is usually associated with inflammation, injury, nerve compression, and disk issues in the cervical spine. The headache is actually a referred pain—perceived in the head but originating from the neck.

Symptoms

woman with neck pain

Common symptoms of cervicogenic headaches include the following:

  • Pain that starts at the back of the head and spreads to the front or the face, often affecting one side
  • Neck stiffness or reduced range of motion.
  • Increased pain with specific neck movements or applied pressure

Causes and Risk Factors

The most common cause of CGH is injury such as neck strain (whiplash), sprain, and fracture. Conditions such as arthritis, pinched nerves, and herniated disks in the neck may also trigger CGH.

Poor sitting posture is a significant risk factor. Prolonged periods of sitting with improper ergonomics can strain the muscles and joints of the neck, leading to tension and stiffness that contribute to headache symptoms.

Similarly, poor sleeping posture can increase the risk of CGH. Sleeping without adequate neck support or sleeping on a pillow that doesn't maintain proper alignment can strain the neck, leading to muscle tension and cervical spine misalignment. Over time, this can result in chronic neck issues that manifest as cervicogenic headaches.

The Role of Chiropractic Care in Treating Cervicogenic Headaches

Chiropractic care offers a holistic treatment approach that focuses on the alignment of the spine. A chiropractor for cervicogenic headaches recognizes that the spine's alignment directly affects the nervous system's function, which in turn impacts overall body health. By ensuring proper spinal alignment, chiropractic treatment for cervicogenic headaches reduces interference in the nervous system and alleviates associated symptoms.

In diagnosing cervicogenic headaches, ruling out other types of headaches is necessary. This may involve imaging tests such as MRI, CT scans, or myelograms to confirm the presence of cervical spine disorders. Nerve blocks may also be used. If numbing the neck alleviates the headache, it provides strong evidence supporting the diagnosis.

A thorough and accurate diagnosis is crucial. It allows chiropractors to tailor treatment plans that alleviate pain and prevent desensitization of the nervous system, promoting long-term relief and improved quality of life for patients.

Chiropractic Treatment Techniques for CGH

To treat cervicogenic headaches, chiropractors use various techniques.

female patient getting spinal adjustment for Cervicogenic headache

Spinal Adjustments

Spinal adjustments are a cornerstone of chiropractic care for cervicogenic headaches. They alleviate pain by correcting misalignments in the cervical spine, reducing nerve irritation, and enhancing overall spinal mobility. Specific techniques used for the cervical spine include manual manipulation and decompression, as well as the drop table technique.

Soft Tissue Therapy

Soft tissue therapy is essential for addressing muscle tension and inflammation associated with cervicogenic headaches. This therapy involves techniques such as myofascial trigger point therapy, which applies pressure to localized areas of muscle tightness and sensitivity (trigger points) to release tension and improve blood flow to the affected muscles.

Posture Correction and Ergonomic Advice

Maintaining proper posture is crucial in preventing CGH. Chiropractors emphasize its importance and can provide practical guidance on achieving good posture throughout daily activities.

Some valuable tips on workplace ergonomics include the following:

  • Adjust chair height so that your feet are flat on the floor and your knees are at a right angle.
  • Position computer monitors at eye level to avoid neck strain.
  • Use a supportive chair with good lumbar support to maintain spinal alignment.
  • Take frequent breaks to prevent prolonged sitting.

Similarly, chiropractors can offer tips on maintaining proper sleeping posture, including the following:

  • Use a pillow that supports the natural curve of the neck to prevent strain.
  • Sleep on the back or the side with proper pillow support. Avoid sleeping on the stomach.
  • Get a mattress that provides adequate spine support.

Exercise and Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation exercises help prevent future headaches by enhancing muscle strength and promoting better posture. Regularly doing these exercises can lead to sustained relief and improved neck health. Recommended exercises include 

  • neck rotation; 
  • neck stretches; 
  • forward flexion; 
  • side bend, forward bend, and neutral strengthening; and
  • chin tucks.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care for CGH

Chiropractic care offers numerous advantages for patients suffering from cervicogenic headaches.

Pain Relief and Improved Mobility

woman doing a neck tretch

Chiropractic care alleviates pain and enhances mobility. Addressing spinal misalignments and muscle tension can reduce headache frequency and severity while improving overall neck and shoulder movement.

Non-Invasive and Drug-Free Treatment

One of the key benefits of chiropractic care is its noninvasive nature. Instead of relying on medications or surgeries, chiropractors use adjustments to treat the root causes of headaches. This approach minimizes the risks and downtime associated with medications or surgeries.

Holistic and Personalized Care

Chiropractic care takes a holistic approach by considering the interconnectedness of the spine, nervous system, and overall health. Treatment plans are personalized to address the specific needs and underlying causes of cervicogenic headaches in each patient. This personalized approach ensures comprehensive care tailored to promote long-term relief and wellness.

Takeaway

Chiropractic treatment for cervicogenic headaches opens up new possibilities for managing your condition. This holistic approach not only relieves pain but also considers your overall well-being. With chiropractic care, you can explore effective, drug-free solutions that address the root causes of your headaches, leading to long-lasting relief and a better quality of life.

Dr. Shahen Simian of Allied Pain and Wellness brings extensive experience and a compassionate approach to chiropractic care. He understands that each patient is unique, which is why he offers personalized treatments tailored to your specific needs. He is also committed to helping you understand and improve your spinal health.

Call (818) 688-2275 today to request an appointment. Discover how chiropractic care can make a difference in managing your cervicogenic headaches and restoring your overall well-being.

  • Office Hours

    Monday: 9:00am-7:00pm
    Tuesday: 9:00am-7:00pm
    Wednesday: 9:00am-7:00pm
    Thursday: Closed
    Friday: 9:00am-7:00pm
    Saturday: 9:00am-3:00pm
    Sunday: Closed

  • Location

    Allied Pain and Wellness
    1209 N Hollywood Way #200
    Burbank, CA 91505
    Phone: (818)-688-2275
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    contact information

    Allied Pain and Wellness

    1209 N Hollywood Way #200
    Burbank, CA 91505

    Phone: (818)-688-2275

    office hours

    Monday: 9:00am-7:00pm
    Tuesday: 9:00am-7:00pm
    Wednesday: 9:00am-7:00pm
    Thursday: Closed
    Friday: 9:00am-7:00pm
    Saturday: 9:00am-3:00pm
    Sunday: Closed

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