You may be having cervicogenic headaches if you are feeling pain behind your head. There are different types of headaches but this one is characterized by the feeling of one-sided pain that moves from the back of your head to the front. Even though cervicogenic headaches are not common, chiropractic care can help provide relief.

What Are Cervicogenic Headaches?

Cervicogenic headache is a type of headache that stems from potential damage to the nerves and upper spine. Unlike common headaches, cervicogenic headaches arise from various factors such as an underlying medical condition, injury, or stress.

The pain typically manifests intensely in the lower back of the head, near the neck, and the intensity and location of eyebrow pain can vary from person to person. Cervicogenic headaches can be debilitating, hindering daily activities due to the severity of the pain.

Management of this condition can be achieved through medical intervention and other treatment modalities. Chiropractic care and intervention offer several benefits for treating cervicogenic headaches and can effectively alleviate pain.

What Causes Cervicogenic Headaches

Cervicogenic Headaches

Cervicogenic headaches originate from dysfunction of the nerves in the upper cervical spine. This dysfunction can stem from direct nerve injury or various underlying conditions. Although cervicogenic headaches share similar symptoms with migraines, they are different.

Several factors can contribute to the development of cervicogenic headaches and may include the following:

  • Neck injuries or trauma: Previous neck traumas, like whiplash from a car accident or an injury sustained during sports activities, can result in cervicogenic headaches. The impact of these injuries can damage the structures of the cervical spine, causing pain that spreads to the head.
  • Muscle tension and tightness: Prolonged muscle tightness in the neck and shoulder area can contribute to cervicogenic headaches. This muscle tension can arise from poor posture, stress, or extended periods of sitting in a static position.
  • Cervical spine disorders: Issues with the neck, such as arthritis, bulging discs, or the gradual wear and tear of discs, can irritate or compress nerves. This, as a result, can lead to cervicogenic headaches.
  • Neck joint dysfunction: Problems with the facet joints in the neck, which enable movement between the vertebrae, can lead to cervicogenic headaches. Irregular movement or alignment issues in these joints can cause pain to spread to the head.
  • Nerve compression: Discomfort or damage to nerves in the neck can lead to head pain, often caused by conditions such as cervical spondylosis or foraminal stenosis.

Symptoms And Diagnosis of Cervicogenic Headaches

A persistent ache in the head and neck is a common symptom of cervicogenic headaches. One-sided pain that shifts from the neck to the head and frontal lobe is a typical symptom. Long-term shoulder, back, and neck pain as well as an abrupt increase in the intensity of shooting pain are other symptoms of cervicogenic headaches.

Typical symptoms include one-sided facial pain, stiff neck, and headaches when coughing or sneezing. A physical examination may be necessary when seeking a diagnosis from a physician. A few exercises and movement-related activities may be used to make a diagnosis.

To further understand the condition and find any injuries in the area, MRI, CT, and X-rays of the neck and shoulder may also be recommended. This will make it possible for professionals to identify the underlying cause of the ailment and administer the proper care, such as spine care chiropractic techniques.

Chiropractic Care for Cervicogenic Headaches

Cervicogenic Headaches

Cervicogenic headaches are often caused by problems with the muscles, bones, and nerves in the upper neck. These problems can lead to pressure and irritation of the nerves, which can cause pain in the head, neck, and shoulders.

Chiropractors are specialists in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, including cervicogenic headaches. They can provide a variety of treatments, such as spinal adjustments, heat therapy, and exercise, to help relieve pain and improve function.

Below are means by which cervicogenic headaches can be treated using chiropractic care:

1. Spinal manipulation

Through focused pressure applied to specific points on the spine, chiropractors can adjust the spine’s alignment to a more correct position.

When there is a spinal cord misalignment that causes discomfort, limited movement, and nerve compression, this procedure is used to correct the alignment of the spinal cords. Pain relief, improved range of motion, and possibly a reduction in headache intensity are the objectives.

2. Trigger point therapy

Chiropractors use trigger point therapy to target particular body parts to reduce pain and improve range of motion. Chiropractors seek to enhance mobility, reduce pain, and enhance well-being by applying specific force to these regions.

Trigger points are localized areas of muscle tightness or spasm that may contribute to discomfort and limited motion. The goal of this therapeutic approach is to identify and address these points.

3. Joint mobilization

This type of therapy uses passive joint manipulation to gradually relieve pressure on the shoulders and neck. Strengthening the neck muscles is the goal, which should help to lessen pain in the head and neck region.

Joint mobilization is a method that helps to increase the overall strength of the neck muscles. It promotes controlled joint movements, which relieves pain in the affected areas.

4. Physical therapy

Neck pain can be effectively managed with physical therapy, which uses a variety of methods including hot and cold therapy, gentle stretches, and mobility exercises. These techniques help to strengthen the supporting muscles, lessen inflammation, and enhance blood flow and neck mobility.

Furthermore, massages can release tension in the shoulders and neck, allowing the spine to be soothed. To provide the best care possible, a chiropractor will use these methods after carefully evaluating each patient’s condition.


To treat cervicogenic headaches, chiropractic care is a safe, efficient, and drug-free method. Chiropractic adjustments can reduce pain, improve range of motion, and improve overall function by addressing the underlying musculoskeletal imbalances that cause these headaches. See a chiropractor to go over your options for treatment for long-lasting relief if you are suffering from cervicogenic headaches.