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Cervicogenic Headaches


This week's Speaking of the Spine is focused on another extremely common problem, headaches. Over half of the world’s population will experience a headache in their lifetime (1). There are a variety of different types of headaches. Some of the most common types are tension-type, migraines (both are primary headaches), and cervicogenic (a secondary headache, meaning it comes from something else). The prevalence of headaches makes it no surprise that headaches are one of the top three reasons people seek out chiropractic care (2).


To narrow the discussion of such a far-ranging condition, we will focus on the most common secondary headache previously mentioned, cervicogenic headaches (CGHA). In these cases, the name speaks for itself, cerivco-, relates to the seven bones that make up our necks known as cervical vertebrae. Hence, CGHA are secondary to a dysfunction within the cervical spine. This variety makes up roughly 20% of headaches that people experience (3). Adjustments to the neck have been found to help decrease the pain intensity, frequency and disability associated with CGHAs according to the recent systematic review (3).


Headaches can be debilitating and keep you from living your life to its fullest potential. If you have failed to mention your history of headaches, make sure to let Dr. Kennedy know at your next visit! Or if someone you know has suffered from headaches and has not thought of going to a chiropractor for help, share this info with them. Any questions about cervicogenic headaches, or any of the other varieties that chiropractic care can ALSO help with, feel free to email us at advantagechiropllc@gmail.com .






Sources

  1. Haas, M., Bronfort, G., Evans, R., Schulz, C., Vavrek, D., Takaki, L., Hanson, L., Leininger, B., & Neradilek, M. B. (2018). Dose-response and efficacy of spinal manipulation for care of cervicogenic headache: a dual-center randomized controlled trial. The spine journal : official journal of the North American Spine Society, 18(10), 1741–1754. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2018.02.019

  2. Bryans, R., Descarreaux, M., Duranleau, M., Marcoux, H., Potter, B., Ruegg, R., Shaw, L., Watkin, R., White, E. (2011). Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 34(5), 274-289.

  3. Fernandez M, Moore C, Tan J, et al. Spinal manipulation for the management of cervicogenic headache: A systematic review and meta-analysis. European journal of pain (London, England). 2020;24(9):1687-1702. doi:10.1002/ejp.1632




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