Understanding Cervicogenic Headache: Relief Through Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care


Cervicogenic headache (CGH) is a secondary headache, which means another illness or physical issue causes it. This type of headache is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed, primarily because it can mimic other types of headaches like migraines or tension headaches. However, CGH originates from the cervical spine or the base of the skull and can cause a significant reduction in the quality of life for those affected. This blog post aims to shed light on CGH and explain how upper cervical chiropractic care can offer a pathway to relief.

What is a Cervicogenic Headache?

CGH primarily stems from the cervical vertebrae, intervertebral discs, or soft tissues within the neck. The pain is referred to the head from the neck and can be triggered by an injury, arthritis, or other conditions affecting the cervical spine. Unlike migraines, CGH pain is usually side-locked (it always affects the same side of the head and neck) and can be accompanied by restricted neck movement, and shoulder or arm pain on the same side.

Symptoms of Cervicogenic Headache

Recognizing CGH involves understanding its unique symptoms, which include:

– Steady, non-throbbing pain at the back and base of the skull, often extending downwards to the neck and between the shoulder blades.

– Pain on one side of the head, although it can occasionally become bilateral.

– Pain triggered or worsened by certain neck movements or positions.

– Reduced range of motion in the neck.

– Pain that can last for hours or days without relief.

Causes and Diagnosis

CGH can be caused by a variety of conditions, including but not limited to degenerative disc disease, neck injuries (such as whiplash), and chronic tension in the neck muscles. Diagnosis often involves a thorough physical examination, patient history, and sometimes imaging tests to rule out other causes of headache and to identify the source of neck pain or dysfunction.

How Can Upper Cervical Chiropractic Help?

Upper cervical chiropractic focuses on the precise and gentle adjustment of the upper two vertebrae in the neck, the atlas (C1) and the axis (C2). This specialized area of chiropractic care is based on the understanding that misalignments (subluxations) in these upper cervical vertebrae can affect the nervous system and lead to various health issues, including CGH.

The Specificity of Upper Cervical Care

Upper cervical chiropractors use detailed imaging studies to understand each patient’s atlas and axis misalignment. This precision allows for a targeted adjustment unique to each individual, avoiding the more general manipulation techniques used in traditional chiropractic.

Benefits of Upper Cervical Chiropractic for CGH

Patients with CGH who undergo upper cervical chiropractic care often report:

– Decreased headache frequency and intensity.

– Improved range of motion in the neck.

– Overall reduction in neck pain and discomfort.

– Enhanced quality of life.

Patients need to have a comprehensive evaluation by a healthcare professional to determine if upper cervical chiropractic care is a suitable option for their specific condition.


Cervicogenic headache is a condition that can significantly affect an individual’s daily life, but understanding its origins and treatment options can offer hope. Upper cervical chiropractic care provides a targeted, non-invasive approach to addressing the root causes of CGH. By focusing on the intricate relationship between the upper cervical spine and the nervous system, upper cervical chiropractors can help alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with CGH, offering patients a pathway to recovery and improved well-being.

Take The First Step Towards Relief

We understand the impact that cervicogenic headaches can have on your life, affecting everything from your daily routine to your overall happiness. It’s not just about managing pain; it’s about finding and addressing the root cause of that pain to improve your quality of life.

At our office, we specialize in upper cervical chiropractic care, focusing on the precise and gentle adjustment of the cervical spine to alleviate the symptoms associated with cervicogenic headaches. Our team is dedicated to providing personalized care, using state-of-the-art techniques and a holistic approach to ensure that you receive the treatment best suited to your individual needs.

Why Choose Us?

– Expertise: Our chiropractors are highly trained in upper cervical care, possessing the knowledge and skills to address the unique challenges of cervicogenic headaches.

– Individualized Care: We understand that each patient is unique. That’s why we create personalized treatment plans tailored to your specific condition and health goals.

– Comprehensive Approach: Beyond adjustments, we offer guidance on lifestyle adjustments, exercises, and ergonomics to support your journey to wellness.

– Welcoming Environment: Our office is designed to be a space where you can feel comfortable and supported throughout your treatment process.

Your Journey to Wellness Begins Here

Don’t let cervicogenic headaches control your life any longer. We invite you to visit our office and discover how upper cervical chiropractic care can make a difference. Whether you’re seeking relief from chronic headaches, improving your range of motion, or simply aiming for a healthier lifestyle, our team is here to support you every step of the way.

Take the first step towards a life free from pain. Contact us today to schedule your consultation. Let’s work together to create a personalized care plan that addresses your needs and sets you on the path to recovery and wellness.

We look forward to welcoming you to our office and helping you achieve the relief and health you deserve.

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