Cervicogenic headaches.

Headache picture.jpg


How to know when it’s time to pay a visit to a physiotherapist.

In this article we will help you understand a specific type of headache that can be treated with  physiotherapy.


What they are

Cervicogenic headaches are caused by a certain structure and dysfunction in the neck. Unlike other types of headaches, cervicogenic headaches are almost always mechanical in nature.   Meaning that the root cause is from a structure that needs correction.  It is an accumulation of tension or a muscle imbalance that creates a restriction in the structure.


Common examples of mechanical reasons include:

  • Poor posture
  • Prolonged sitting and uninterrupted postures at work (try moving every 20 minutes or so to increase blood flood and reset the posture)
  • Prolonged reading or staying in the same position for a long time.  It  put stress on the structure and tension will accumulate and create pain
  • Repetitive neck movements such as looking up or turning from side to side.  Stretching is a good idea to incorporate if it is necessary for    you to do these repetitive movements.


4 common characteristics to help you identify if your headache is coming from the neck:


  1. Pain on one side: In majority of cases, the pain remains on one    side of the head and remains consistent. It should not switch from one side to the other depending on the episode. 
  2. Lasting effects: It can be a long-lasting headache which can span hours to days (with no specific time pattern) 
  3. No response to medication: you may not be responding to over the counter medication like Advil 
  4. Associated pain:  You can also have associated neck pain, however this is not necessary   (explain associated neck pain)

Your physiotherapist can help you identify the recurring cause of your headache as well as use various manual therapy techniques and exercises to help relieve your symptoms!

Call us today to book your appointment