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Cervicogenic headache- an evidence led approach

Cervicogenic headaches are one of the most common types of headaches in today’s generation, especially in occupations which involve a lot of computer work, hairdressers, carpenters and habitual readers. This problem is often difficult to diagnose and treat since it is confused with other types of headaches like migraines. As the name suggests, it originates from the upper cervical spine and refers to upper regions of head, neck and face. Structures that contribute to the development of this type of headaches include the muscles, ligaments, joints and discs of the upper cervical spine and muscles around the skull.

Usually the symptoms are unilateral i.e. on one side but there have been cases of bilateral as well. The headaches are provoked by neck movements, optical strain with long hours on the desktop and more commonly the palpation of the upper cervical spine. Unilateral pain with facet locking irritates from the back of neck limiting neck range of motion.

To prevent these headaches from occurring regularly it is advised to practice these simple physiotherapy exercises:

  • Ball massage
  • Upper cervical muscle control
  • Neck flexor curls
  • Resisted neck retraction

You can practice these exercises in the comfort of your home or office but we highly recommend you visit the expert physiotherapists at ProHealth Asia for a full assessment. Our team of physiotherapists will evaluate you and  provide a customised physiotherapy treatment plan.

Author by Sonika Sudan, May 29, 2019,

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