Mississauga Chiropractor Presents: Cervicogenic Headaches

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Here’s another blog from a Mississauga Chiropractor…


A cervicogenic headache is head pain originating from the cervical spine localized to the neck & occiput.  Pain is precipitated or aggravated by specific neck movements or sustained postures & may radiate to the forehead, orbital region, temples or ears.


Potential Causes:

  • Prior neck trauma, cervical joint dysfunction
  • Sustained neck postures or repetitive neck or shoulder motions



  • Head pain localized to the neck & occiput
  • Pain may radiate to the forehead, orbital region, temples or ears
  • Often caused by neck movements and/or sustained awkward head positioning (such as painting the ceiling, or washing the floor)
  • Decreased or limited cervical range of motion



  • Pain can be reproduced with pressure over the affected upper cervical region
  • Multiple upper cervical joint restrictions or dysfunctions
  • At least one of the following:
    • Resistance to or limitation of passive neck movements
    • Changes in neck muscle contour, texture, tone or response to active & passive stretching
    • Abnormal tenderness of neck muscles



  • Cervicogenic headaches respond extremely well to standard cervical adjustments & mobilizations
  • Adjusting the upper cervical spine and occiput is also beneficial
  • Myofacial trigger point techques (upper trapezius, splenius, suboccipitals & SCM)
  • Soft Tissue Therapy or Active Release Technique (ART)



  • Complete recovery is expected in most cases, however with coinciding underlying chronic conditions prognosis is somewhat guarded.


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