Skip to content

Exercises for Cervicogenic Headaches

Woman holding neck for headache

Featured Image Credits

Do you experience a headache as a result of a whiplash injury?

Do you have discomfort in your neck?

Does rotating your neck seem to initiate or aggravate your pain?

If you responded yes to any of these questions, you are most likely suffering from a cervicogenic headache.

This article will teach you all you need to understand about cervicogenic headache exercises that will help you reduce the pain to some extent.

Cervicogenic headache exercises

Neck headaches, also known as cervicogenic headaches, are pain felt in any head portion produced by sensitive tissue in the musculoskeletal system.

Neck headache pain has been linked to weaknesses in the top three cervical joint areas’ joints, neural structures, and muscles.

The following Cervicogenic headache exercises are frequently given to people suffering from neck pain.

  • Foam Roller Lying
  • Corner Pec Stretch
  • Sitting Posture

Does exercise help cervicogenic headaches?

Various exercises at home and work can help ease some of the strains of ordinary job situations that place your neck or head in situations of neck headaches.

The below exercises are frequently given to people suffering from neck pain.

Lying Foam Roller:

Lay on your back and glide down the foam roller from the base of your neck to below the tailbone. During the stretch, use a cushion to provide the neck with some support and keep your legs bent to relieve your lower back.

Allow your shoulders to rest on either side and stretch the anterior chest muscles, which stiffen due to bad posture over time. Lay for 10 to 15 minutes twice a day.

Pec Corner Stretch:

Place one foot in front of the other in a corner. Place both forearms on each wall, hands should be outstretched 90 degrees, and elbows should be bent 90 degrees.

Move the weight of your body over the front leg and experience a pleasant stretch on the front of the chest while keeping your neck and back erect. Hold for 15 seconds, then repeat three times a day.

Sitting Position:

If you believe you have been sitting on a chair for an extended time or if you begin to have headaches, follow these three actions.

These postural techniques do their best when performed before the occurrence of pain.

  • Sit in a chair with your feet lying flat on the ground, and your back should be fully supported by your chair.
  • Find a comfortable neutral pelvis position.
  • Start breathing by letting your chest and upper ribcage lift superiorly while inhaling without shrugging your shoulders. Keep your chest raised and your shoulders gently relaxed back and down whenever you exhale.

Yoga for cervicogenic headache

You have undoubtedly had a cervicogenic headache in your life, as headaches are almost universal. The good news is that most headaches are caused by tension, particularly in the neck, and practicing yoga can help.

In addition, better neck posture and easy relaxation postures are tremendous for helping you live an increasingly rare life.

Here are some yoga exercises that might teach excellent posture and assist to ease a cervicogenic headache after it has started.

  • Tadasana, or mountain posture, can be done while walking, standing, or sitting. It will result in the slightest degree of strain on the neck muscles, reducing the development of headaches.
  • Viparita Karani, or elevated legs over the wall posture, is another asana that can assist relieve neck strain
  • Savasana, often known as the corpse position, is a basic relaxation pose that can help you cure a headache. To perform this asana, lie on the ground and rest for fifteen to twenty minutes.

How do you get rid of cervicogenic headaches?

Cervicogenic headaches can be painful and recurring, but the over-the-counter medications below can help you manage discomfort and avoid future episodes.

  • Ibuprofen or aspirin (Motrin)
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) 
  • A corticosteroid

Cervicogenic headache, sleeping posture

It is critical to sleep with your neck in a neutral posture in case you are suffering from cervicogenic headaches.

When sleeping on your side, use a firm, non-feather cushion to maintain your head aligned with the top of your spine. This will tremendously help you.

What aggravates cervicogenic headache?

Cervicogenic headaches are caused by problems in the neck, and a variety of disorders can aggravate cervicogenic headaches.

These include degenerative disorders such as osteoarthritis and whiplash injury. Falling while playing sports can potentially injure the neck and create similar headaches.

Cervicogenic headaches can also arise due to poor posture when standing or sitting at work. If you sit at your desk for a pretty long time, you may unwittingly pull your chin forwards, causing your head to drift out ahead of your body.

This is referred to as cervical protraction. Long durations of standing or sitting in this position might add stress or tension to the neck, resulting in a cervicogenic headache.

Cervicogenic headache pillow

The neck is only a minor part of the spinal column. This area is referred to as the cervical spine by medical specialists.

When a person sleeps, a specialized cervical pillow offers an additional layer of assistance for the neck.

Consider the following factors when selecting a cervical pillow:

  • Firmness: use a firm cushion that gives more assistance to the neck and head.
  • Fill: Cervical pillows can have various fillings, such as foam or latex. People should get a pillow that has the most supportive and comfortable stuffing.
  • Size: Before selecting a cushion, take into account its size. It should be broad enough to support the neck and head completely.

How do you treat cervicogenic headaches naturally?

Start practising on shoulder blade squeezes to alleviate cervicogenic headaches naturally. Sit upright with your spine tall and softly push your shoulders back together.

Check to see whether your shoulders are shrugging up toward your ears or not. Repeat up to 10 times, holding for 3-5 seconds each time.

Cervicogenic headache treatment at home

If you suffer cervicogenic headaches, there are numerous techniques to reduce or eliminate the pain:

  • Medicine: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or aspirin, muscle relaxants, and other pain medications may help.
  • Nerve block: This may significantly decrease discomfort and allow you to function more effectively with physical therapy.
  • Stretching: Stretching and exercises can aid with physical rehabilitation. Consult your doctor or a physical therapist to choose the most appropriate and safest exercise for you.
  • Alternatives include: Acupuncture and relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or yoga, which are non-surgical pain relief options.

Where do you massage for a cervicogenic headache?

We can start massaging around the base of the head in a circular motion. And then massage in a rotational movement down towards the front of the neck.

We can also massage around the back of the shoulders. We are massaging in a circular motion because it reduces tightness and tension in the neck.

Cervicogenic headaches treatment

Cervicogenic headaches can be painful and recurring, but treatments such as massage, cognitive behavioral therapy, chiropractic care, and acupuncture can help reduce headache pain.

In addition, some relaxation techniques like breathing exercises or yoga can help you manage discomfort and avoid future episodes.

This will help relieve neck joints, nerves, or muscles, strengthen your weakening neck muscles, and increase joint flexibility.

Cervicogenic headache massage

Although massage treatment has been demonstrated to aid migraines in the past, few studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of massage on this particular headache type.

Cervicogenic headaches arise when there is too much pressure on the nerve of the cervical spine. Massage helps the soft tissues surrounding the cervical spine by alleviating muscular stiffness in the neck.

This has been demonstrated to relieve pain while also improving function.

Cervicogenic headache exercises

Headaches are common and often debilitating; they may be excruciatingly painful and have a negative impact on one’s overall well-being. Headaches, fortunately, may be relieved with physical workouts.

The Cervicogenic headache exercises listed below will help you relieve a headache.

  • Chin Tucks 
  • Stretching the Upper Trapezius
  • Cat-Cow Stretch 
  • Rotate your head from side to side.
  • Scapular Retraction 

FAQ relating to exercises for cervicogenic headaches

Woman holding neck during work

Image Credits

What is the first treatment for cervicogenic headaches?

The primary line of treatment is physical therapy. A cervicogenic headache can be effectively treated with manipulative treatment and a therapeutic exercise routine.

Interventional therapy is another option for treating a cervicogenic headache, which will vary based on the source of the headache.

Can MRI detect cervicogenic headaches?

Diagnostic imaging, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), x-rays, and computed tomography (CT) scans, can assist in diagnosing but do not always confirm cervicogenic headaches.

What mimics cervicogenic headache?

Because migraines can mimic Cervicogenic headaches, distinguishing between the two can be challenging.

The key distinction is that a migraine headache originates in the brain, but a cervicogenic headache originates in the cervical spine or neck.

Can a chiropractor help with cervicogenic headaches?

Yes, chiropractors can help with cervicogenic headaches. New research published in the journal known as BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders says that cervicogenic headaches can be safely and effectively treated with chiropractic care.

In addition, it also compares the benefits of chiropractic care to normal therapeutic therapy and discovers that chiropractic care is considerably more beneficial.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *