Your question: Can cervical spine problems cause headaches?

WHAT MAY CAUSE CERVICOGENIC HEADACHES? Any type of neck condition can result in these types of headaches, including; degenerative cervical spine disease (arthritis), a disc prolapse in the neck, or a whiplash injury.

What does a cervical headache feel like?

A cervicogenic headache presents as a steady, non-throbbing pain at the back and base of the skull, sometimes extending downward into the neck and between the shoulder blades. Pain may be felt behind the brow and forehead, even though the problem originates from the cervical spine.

How do you treat a cervical headache?


  1. Medicine: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (aspirin or ibuprofen), muscle relaxers, and other pain relievers may ease the pain.
  2. Nerve block: This may temporarily relieve pain and help you better work with physical therapy.
  3. Physical therapy: Stretches and exercises can help.

Can C5 and C6 cause headaches?

It has been reported that pain from the C2-3 and C3-4 cervical facet joints can radiate to the occipital area, frontotemporal and even periorbital regions. Even pathology in C5 or C6 nerve roots have been reported to cause headache.

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How long can a cervicogenic headache last?

A “cervicogenic episode” can last one hour to one week. Pain typically is on one side of the head, often correlating with the side of the neck where there is increased tightness. Almost certainly, range of motion will be compromised. Common causes of CGH can be chronic: poor posture, as noted above, or arthritis.

How can I permanently relieve cervical pain?


  1. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. While some types of NSAIDs are available over the counter, you may need prescription-strength versions to relieve the pain and inflammation associated with cervical spondylosis.
  2. Corticosteroids. …
  3. Muscle relaxants. …
  4. Anti-seizure medications. …
  5. Antidepressants.

How do I calm my occipital nerve?

You can try to:

  1. Apply heat to your neck.
  2. Rest in a quiet room.
  3. Massage tight and painful neck muscles.
  4. Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, like naproxen or ibuprofen.

What is a cervical headache?

Cervicogenic headache is referred pain (pain perceived as occurring in a part of the body other than its true source) perceived in the head from a source in the neck. It is a secondary headache, which means that it is caused by another illness or physical issue.

How do you prevent a cervical headache?

Physical therapy

  1. avoiding activities that worsen pain.
  2. applying ice or heat for 10 to 15 minutes, several times a day.
  3. using a neck brace when sleeping upright to prevent bending your neck forward.

Can neck tightness cause migraines?

Neck Pain Can Be Associated With Tension Headaches

Tension-type headaches can be the result of neck and scalp muscles tensing or contracting, according to MedlinePlus. Stress, depression, head injury, anxiety, and any activity where you hold your head in one position without moving can cause the muscle contractions.

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What nerves are affected by C4 C5 C6?

Classic Patterns of Cervical Radiculopathy

Nerve root Interspace Pain distribution
C4 C3–C4 Lower neck, trapezius
C5 C4–C5 Neck, shoulder, lateral arm
C6 C5–C6 Neck, dorsal lateral (radial) arm, thumb

Can a pinched nerve in your neck cause headaches?

One of the more common medical causes of headaches are pinched nerves in the neck. Pinched nerves in the neck cause headaches by compressing the nerve which generates a feeling of pain along the nerve’s pathway. Cervical Radiculopathy is a medical condition where a nerve in the upper spine becomes compressed.

What nerves are affected by C4 C5 C6 and C7?

C5, as mentioned earlier, along with C3 and C4, contributes to the phrenic nerve that innervates the diaphragm. Roots C5, C6, and C7 produce the long thoracic nerve, responsible for controlling the serratus anterior.

Can a cervicogenic headache go away?

Most cervicogenic headaches get better with physical therapy and pain relievers. In some cases, a minimally invasive pain relief procedure such as a nerve block can be helpful. You have options for relief, so don’t try to tough it out.

Is cervicogenic headache a disability?

The level of disability is associated with the severity of pain only in primary headaches, but not in pain syndromes of vertebral origin (cervicogenic headache and low back pain). Disability is associated with the severity of depressive symptoms in all headache types but not in low back pain.

Can cervicogenic headaches last for months?

The cervicogenic headache is the result of a primary issue – usually a sickness o physical problem in another part of the body. These headaches can last for several months to years. This is why it is so important to be diagnosed and treated as soon as you start to notice these headaches occurring.

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