Cervicogenic headaches, or headaches caused by structures in the neck, are caused by irritation or injury to the structures of the upper neck region, resulting in local neck pain as well as referred pain to the temporal (at the side of the eyes) and facial (on the cheeks and forehead) regions. This headache is often precipitated or aggravated by head and neck movements, by stress and tension, or by leaning on the upper neck muscles as when slouching in a chair.
After neck pain, headache is the most frequently reported complaint following whiplash injury. In one study, those patients in whom headache was a dominant pain complaint, 53% were found to be caused by the C2-3 posterior spinal joints.
In another study, researchers set out to determine the effectiveness of spinal manipulation in the treatment of cervicogenic headaches. Fifty-three patients were placed into one of two groups which received either,
After the 6 weeks, researchers found that those receiving the chiropractic spinal manipulation:
Lord et al, J. Neuro. Neurosurg. Psychiat 1994
Nilsson, DC, MD et al. JMPT 1997
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