Headache symptoms originating from the neck, otherwise known as cervicogenic headache, are often overlooked as the source of the problem. This type of headache stands as only 1 of over 300 potential diagnoses known to modern medicine. As a result, cervicogenic headache is emerging as a frequently MISSED diagnosis. As a guide to health professionals, and of course to sufferers, here are some signs from the Watson Headache Institute that your neck is to blame:
- You have a one-sided headache that swaps sides between episodes or within the same episode.
- A global (both-sides) headache that is stronger to either side between or within the same episode.
- The headache starts in the neck and/or the headache is accompanied by neck discomfort.
- Your headache is locked to one side, or has a typically stronger side when both sides are affected.
- The symptoms may be triggered by sustained postures, most commonly the forward head posture.
- The headaches were preceded by a head and/or neck trauma
- Episodes are increasing in frequency.
If you or anyone you know ticks ANY of these boxes then your neck has a strong chance of being involved in your headache/migraine symptoms. Thankfully, these patterns in your history will also indicate that you have an opportunity to take control of the situation through physiotherapy.