What is a cervicogenic headache?

A cervicogenic headache refers to a headache that comes from the neck.  Many times I see people here in Boulder Colorado who have had a trauma like a car accident that damages the soft tissue in the neck and during the healing process, they develop scar tissue that alters the way the neck moves.  If this is left untreated this can cause neck pain (cervicalgia) and headaches.  Many times people think that the only option is to take pain medication, but there are things you can do right now to help these cervicogenic headaches.  Here are my 5 tips to help you with these headaches.


1. Get movement into the area

Many times people’s instinct is to not move something that hurts.  That may seem like a good idea, but in reality, movement can actually decrease the pain.  When I say movement what I mean is just moving your head and neck through it’s regular range of motion.  Do not force extra range of motion. Also, this is great if you have a desk or a computer job. Taking 5-10 min to just get basic movement in your neck can help decrease neck pain through a long day.


#2 Find a good pillow

You should have a pillow that gives you support but is comfortable to sleep with as well.  This is something you need to try out. I do not think there is one pillow for everyone. Another pillow you should invest in is a bone pillow.  These pillows are mainly for when you are sitting in a chair, couch, or airplane. I have these pillows in our recovery room to give my patients support and comfort as they recline in our zero gravity chairs.  This can help reduce neck pain and headaches.


#3 Use heat on your neck pain

Heat not only makes your neck feel good, but it can bring blood and nutrients to the area that can facilitate in healing.  In my office I get the question all the time, “should I use heat or ice?” Mostly the rule of thumb is to use ice if the injury is within 24 hrs (acute)  and heat for a chronic issue. However, research is more and more pointing to not using ice at all and working with the body’s natural healing process by using heat and movement.


#4. Cut out sugar and Gluten

Sugar and gluten are pro-inflammatory.  Inflammation can cause pain and swelling in the body.

My number 5 tip is for those of you that have tried all of the previous tips.  What I have found is that most cases of chronic Cervicalgia and Cervicogenic headaches stem from the loss of proper biomechanics in the upper part of the neck.  This lack of movement will force other parts of your neck to move more to compensate for the issue. When that happens you can have neck pain and stiffness.


#5.  Have the biomechanics of your neck assessed

This is what our office specializes in.  We only analyze and work with the upper part of your neck.  After we take an intake on your history, we will perform orthopedic exams and take biomechanical motion x rays to see what exactly is going on.  Once we see what the problem is we come up with specific tailored plans based on your age, history, and trauma you have experienced in your life.

The only true way to know if our office can help you is to come in for a consultation.  We offer no-risk, complimentary 15 min consultation. This way you can meet our doctors and see our facility.  We will tell you if we can help you and if we can’t we will refer you to an office that can. To request your complimentary consultation call the office at 303-442-5911 or simply fill out the webform below.  What do you have to lose?


About Atlas Chiropractic of Boulder
At Atlas Chiropractic of Boulder we are not only concerned about your symptoms, but also you as a person and what is important to you. We know that not everyone’s the same and not everyone has the same goals. It is important to us that we present a chiropractic care plan that works for you and is tailored to you and your health concerns.

We’re a specialty Boulder Chiropractor focused on back pain, neck painvertigo, and migraine headaches. Our patients visit our Boulder office from all over Northern Colorado, including, Longmont, Erie, Superior, Lafayette, Niwot, Louisville, Broomfield, and Denver, Colorado.

Contact Atlas Chiropractic of Boulder today to schedule a free evaluation. Specialized upper cervical chiropractic care is by no means a “hail Mary” solution, but if you haven’t yet seen Dr. Bremner, you’re nowhere close to running out of options.