Okay, so we’ve covered the causes and effects of cervicogenic headaches in part 1. Now let’s look at the treatment options that can help reduce their severity and frequency, as well as lifestyle and postural changes to eliminate the root cause. It can be difficult to determine the cause of the cervicogenic headache. The more we know what caused it, the better the prognosis and recommendation.
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This article will be divided into two categories: acute or recent onset, which is a result of an injury or event, and chronic or long-term conditions that are not accompanied by a history. A sports injury or an auto accident is the most common cause of acute injury or trauma. Even though you are not the accident driver, your body still suffers the same injuries. 5 to 7 G’s of force. 22 cervical ligaments and tendon in the neck absorb this force.
These tendons attach key muscles that allow for movement and overall function. Acute cervical injuries can lead to cervicogenic headaches.
Common treatments include muscle relaxants and pain killers, manipulation / chiropractor, physical therapy, massage, and other therapies. Studies show that all of these treatments can be combined to achieve the best results. Due to their addictive properties and potential side effects, pain killers should only be used as a last resort. The muscle relaxants do exactly that. They relax muscles that are spasming.
These muscle spasms are the body’s natural defense mechanism. However, if they remain in spasm for too much time they can cause long-term problems such as cervicogenic headaches. The anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxer, and painkiller (preferably over-the-counter) allow the body to rest, which is crucial when injured. It does not treat the root cause of the injuries. This includes the strain or sprain of the cervical spine muscles, ligaments, and possibly the misalignment of the cervical vertebrae.
To ensure proper nerve flow, the manipulation process focuses on the top three vertebrae. Think of it as a water hose with a knot in it. Then, you can release the hose to its normal position. To maintain proper alignment, massage and physical therapy are also required. If the bones can be manipulated to relieve pressure on the nerves, but the muscles are still in spasm, the muscles will pull the bone back to the point it was before the accident or injury.
A combination of the above options seems to be the best for acute injuries. You can use any combination of the above options to treat chronic or long-term cervicogenic headaches. However, the body may have already adapted with cervical muscle scar tissue or cervical spine osteoarthritis depending upon the events that led up the headaches.
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While the body will heal itself as best it can, and protect itself for the short term, if the body’s joint integrity and/or muscle tone are compromised for a prolonged period of time, this healing process may not be biomechanically correct, which could lead to chronic cervicogenic headaches. Postural imbalances are the most common cause of cervicogenic headaches. Postural imbalances can cause headaches by putting your head forward or flexing your neck while working at computers.
Headaches are becoming more common due to poor posture, sitting, standing, and sleeping. According to some studies, more than 2% of the population has suffered from cervicogenic headaches. This amounts to 18 million people who are subject to clinical outpatient visits each year.
Apart from the mentioned treatment options, it is important to be aware that poor posture can have a negative impact on your neck and how it relates to cervicogenic migraines. The treatment options for chronic cervicogenic headaches include the adjustment of any book, computer, etc. To be in a position that doesn’t require the neck to be in an extended position for prolonged periods of time, Headsets are better than having a phone in your ear (including cell phones) for phone work.
Daily stretching and range-of-motion exercises for the neck are important. Finally, it is important to be good at sleeping habits. A cervical pillow can be used to help you sleep on your side or back. The cervical pillow is designed for supporting and resting overstressed muscles while we sleep. It helps to keep the neck in good alignment.
Cervicogenic headaches can be difficult to diagnose and treat. These suggestions should be discussed with your doctor, as each case is different and results may vary. You might find that the headaches you used to live with are no longer an issue. It could affect the quality of your life.