The cervicogenic headache is a headache that arises from painful disorders of the neck. There is an irritation of the upper three cervical roots of their nerves and branches. This kind of headache is often confused with a migraine or a tension-type headache. The only migrainous feature is the headache is typically unilateral.

With a cervicogenic headache, there is an irritation of the upper three cervical roots of their nerves and branches. The pain becomes more severe and develops a constant dull ache and non-pulsed-styled quality. Pain may spread into the occipital area and in fact may often involve occipital, frontotemporal and ocular regions of the head. The headache may occur persistently on one side of the head. The headache may be precipitated by head movement or pressure.

Treatments for the cervicogenic headache include NSAIDs, occipital nerve blocks, and radio frequency ablation when indicated after diagnostic nerve block has been performed. A steroid injection may also be indicated.

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The PainExam podcast: Orofacial Pain and Cervicogenic Headache

Dr. Rosenblum reviews orofacial pain and the cervicogenic headache. Discussed in the full version of this podcast: cervicogenic headache, tic douloureux, trigeminal neuralgia, acute herpes zoster, ostherpetic neuralgia, raeder’s syndrome, geniculate neuralgia/ramsay hunt syndrome, glosssopharyngeal neuralgia, superior laryngeal neuralgia, hypoglossasal/vagus neuralgia, tolosa-Hunt syndrome, thalamic pain and SUNCT pain syndrome.

Need a review of orofacial pain? Listen to the podcast above.

DISCLAIMER: Dr. Rosenblum is here solely to educate, and you are solely responsible for all your decisions and and actions in response to any information contained herein. This blog and related podcast is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of a physician to a particular patient or specific ailment.