Chronic Cervicogenic Headaches

Chronic Cervicogenic Headaches

Chronic Cervicogenic Headaches is a condition that affects the nerves in the neck or shoulders, a type of hemicranial pain that relates to bony structures and tissues in the neck. The pain can also travel up to the head where severe headaches can occur. Sometimes this can give a mis-diagnosis of the problem. More about this will be explained below when I write about my own experience of suffering from severe headaches for a number of years.

Note that this not a medical solution or official guide. This has been created by someone who has been suffering from chronic headaches for many years.

What Causes Chronic Cervicogenic Headaches?

Chronic Cervicogenic Headaches are classed as a secondary type headache. Secondary meaning that the headache is caused by something that is related to other factors, not usually diagnosed from a primary headache such as tumours, damage to the brain, nerve damage etc. A secondary headache can be very dangerous depending on the cause, so it is best to get it checked out by a professional.

The exact cause of Chronic Cervicogenic Headaches can be unknown as it may be an event that occurred years ago and has only just began to show up. It can be caused by jobs, car crash injury, whiplash or even arthritis. The list could be endless.

Some of the main causes of Chronic Cervicogenic Headaches are listed below. You do not have to have every symptom listed below.

  • A feeling of pain in the head area of face.
  • A pain that does not throb, but does not go away.
  • Pain that is felt in the same area on a regular basis. This is also similar to having pain in the spot.
  • Stiff neck when the pain or damage to the nerves are inflamed or sore.
  • Pain gets worse when you cough or sneeze.
  • Have blurry vision or problems seeing correctly.
  • Feeling nauseous such as feeling sick or wanting to be sick.
  • Feel uncomfortable with bright light or loud noises.
  • Have a pain in or near the neck area such as arms or shoulders.

Diagnosing Chronic Cervicogenic Headaches

Diagnosing the condition is not quite that easy, as the symptoms explained above can also be connected to other types of headache, primary or secondary.

If the symptoms are severe enough, then a doctor will refer you to a Neurologist for further examination. If the Neurologist feels there is something seriously wrong, then he/she may well request an MRI Scan, CT Scan and an EEG. Other tests may also be required, such as blood tests to make sure you have no other underlying condition.

Make sure you have notes when seeing the Neurologist. Be as detailed as possible, so the person can diagnose the condition as best as possible.

Chronic Cervicogenic Headaches

Chronic Cervicogenic Headaches Case Story

The Beginning

I have been a sufferer of severe and chronic headaches for a number of years with various diagnoses being given, medications and referrals to no success. I discovered that I was suffering from Chronic Cervicogenic Headaches by chance when I visited my local Chiropractor.

Before visiting the Chiropractor, I suffered endless days and months suffering from headaches on a daily basis. I even had periods where I would have it for days on end with sign of remission. It all began when my eye swelled up with no explanation. I visited the opticians but they could not find anything.

I then started to get pains in my head, in the front right area. This began in the same area along with a pulsating pain starting from the origin of the pain, then working its way to the back of the head.

Feeling Lost

At first I was very concerned about this. I never experienced a headache like this before. Over time, this was getting worse. The pulsating pain intensifying on a larger scale until I just broke down feeling confused. What I was suffering from at the time was totally unexplained and even confused Doctors and GP’s I have visited over the months.

For about two years I felt lost. I was given medication, but this was helping to relieve the pain, not solving it. It got to a point when i was getting frustrated, losing my concentration and having problems understanding people.

When I was referred to a Neurologist, he was also miffed by my symptoms. There were other symptoms I explained so he could not work out what was wrong as it was a mixture of cognitive & psychological problems. I had been suffering from these headaches for a long time and it was taking its toll on me.

He requested an MRI scan, EEG and blood tests. None of these results came back with anything particular. I felt like I was back to square one. People and friends around me thought I was suffering from a tumour, the way I was acting and reacting just was not my normal self.

More Suffering

I collapsed again, but made a recovery. This time I was feeling a lot worse with my health. I visited the GP but they could not anything to help except prescribe over the counter medication. This was not working. I was in pain day and night.

It got to a point when I was seriously down with myself and felt extremely depressed.

My partner at the time was suffering from a bad back. Whether this was because of the worry of my condition as not known, but she visited a Chiropractor for any help or relief.

They were able to help her. I then read the business card that was given to my partner and noticed that they could fix headaches.

A Solution

At first I was not sure if they could do anything for me, but I made an appointment. The Chiropractor did the normal routine checks like a Neurologist would, then asked me a series of questions.

The specialist told me that I was suffering from Chronic Cervicogenic Headaches which can be hard to pinpoint due to the pain mainly in the head, or at least it was in my case as I was not really feeling any pain in the neck area. There was a problem with the nerves in my neck area, but not enough for me to feel it.

After the first session, I felt worse if anything. The headaches were worse and the area around the neck was burning. After a few days I was beginning to feel better with myself. Could this have been the answer all along?

A few more sessions over the coming weeks with exercises at home provided by the Chiropractor has now helped me get my life back. I am now back to normal, doing everyday things. Right now I feel great.


Some more information regarding Chronic Cervicogenic Headaches can be found in the following links.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *