Many headaches can be caused by tightness in the muscles surrounding the neck and head. These types of headaches, known as cervicogenic headaches, are often confused with migraine headaches. Here is what you need to know about both cervicogenic headaches and migraine headaches, as well as what you can do to treat them.
Cervicogenic headaches have the following traits:
- They are often on one side of the head or face without shifting between sides. In some cases it is occasionally on both sides.
- It is localized to a certain region of the head.
- They are moderate to severe in intensity and may last hours to days with constant pain or constant pain with superimposed attacks.
- Pain is generally deep and nonthrobbing.
- Head pain is triggered by neck movement, certain neck postures,
- Neck stiffness
- And have signs and symptoms similar to migraines such as nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light and sound.
Migraine headaches often have an aura which are a series of sensory and visual changes that range from seeing black dots, to zig zags, tingling and numbness on one side of the body.
- Migraine headaches are often throbbing in nature on one side of the head and cause sensitivity to light and sound.
- Migraines are also often on one side of the head.
- Migraines are made worse with physical activity and cause nausea and vomiting.
- Migraines are classified as a neurological disease and can be classified into different types.
- Migraines often require pharmacological intervention that can be prescribed by an MD.
Headaches can be complicated and difficult to treat. They may require inter-professional collaboration for proper treatment. In the case of cervicogenic headaches, these may often be treated by a physical therapist that is specific to the patient's needs that are identified through a thorough evaluation. Check out the video below to learn more.