What Is Cervicogenic Headache? How Can Acupuncture Help?

March 22, 2023

A cervicogenic headache is a type of headache that originates in the cervical spine and may cause pain in the head, neck or face. It is usually a dull throbbing pain on one side and can be moderate to severe in intensity. Symptoms may include muscle tension or spasms continuing from the neck into the head, sensitivity to light, noise and movement as well as nausea and dizziness.

Causes of cervicogenic migraines

The exact cause of a cervicogenic headache is unknown, but it’s usually caused by an underlying structural disorder such as muscle tension, ligament sprains/strains, misalignment of the vertebrae, herniated discs, or joint problems. The condition typically arises when one of these underlying disorders refers pain signals up to the brain which then interprets them as originating from the head instead of their actual source in the neck area.

Cervicogenic headache treatment

Cervicogenic headache treatment aims to reduce symptoms by targeting the underlying cause in order to prevent further episodes of headaches. Depending on individual circumstances and severity of symptoms, treatment options may include any of the following. 

  • Physical therapy: exercises to strengthen affected muscles, stretches for tight muscles, soft tissue massages
  • Manual therapies such as osteopathy and myotherapy
  • Medications such as anticonvulsants and antidepressants
  • Heat or cold applications
  • Stress management techniques such as relaxation breathing exercises

Can acupuncture help with cervicogenic headaches?

Acupuncture has been used for centuries as an alternative form of therapy for various conditions including headaches due to its ability to stimulate key pressure points on the body. For cervicogenic headaches specifically acupuncture works by stimulating certain nerve points located at specific sites along channels called meridians which are thought to be connected throughout the body with particular organs and structures. Stimulation of these points helps release endorphins and serotonin which can naturally improve mood and relieve pain-causing inflammation in some instances. Studies have also suggested that acupuncture may help reduce muscle tension around sensitive areas between neck vertebrae which may further reduce pain associated with cervicogenic headaches.

Book a session now

If you’re interested in learning more about how acupuncture and other forms of care can help alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with cervicogenic headaches, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can book a session or consultation using the link below or contact us via email on admin@essendonnaturalhealth.com.au or by giving us a call on (03) 9337 8572.

Robert Gentile

B.C.M (Hons), C.Clin.Prac (China), C.Toyohari. Registered Acupuncturist and Herbalist. Integrative Natural Medicine Practitioner.

Robert is a passionate and warm practitioner who has an extensive knowledge of integrative and functional natural medicine. He is down to earth and has an interest in organic foods, gardening and sustainable living. With over a decade of experience, he is renowned for being very thorough by both fellow practitioners and patients alike.