Cervicogenic Headache

Neck Pain with Headache

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  • When a patient presents with headache symptomology it is important for the clinician to be able to differentiate between the various types of headaches and treat accordingly. Cervicogenic headaches tend to be more commonly seen in clinic and typically present with unilateral sharp pain originating in the suboccipital region, which can travel up the cranium and toward the eye or down toward the neck! 

    For more clinical findings click here!


Image via Complete Anatomy by 3D4 Medical

Image via Complete Anatomy by 3D4 Medical

Key Finding

  • The cervical flexion rotation test is an excellent assessment to assist with headache differential diagnosis and identification of C1-C2 dysfunction. If impairment is present, it can also become a treatment! (Click image to watch 1-2 minute video)


 If upper cervical hypomobility is present and the patient is deemed appropriate for thrust manipulation a 0-C1 distraction manipulation can help to improve range of motion and reduce pain. Take a look at how its done! (Click image to watch 1-2 minute video)

Therapeutic Exercise

  •  Cervicogenic headaches are often a result of posture and ergonomics with cervical extension and extension rotation movement faults being the most common. With these movement faults the suboccipital muscles can become short resulting in irritation. (Click image to watch 1-2 minute video)

  •  Clinical Side Note: If postural faults or poor ergonomics are present, do not forget to address them with your patient!