Cervicogenic Headache

written by Dr Scott Bentson   |   category: Headache

Neck Pain and headaches go hand-in-hand
find headache relief at Lehigh Valley Chiropractic.

What is a Cervicogenic Headache?

Headaches sometimes originate from the neck. There are many muscles, joints, discs and ligaments in the neck that may refer pain to the head. These headaches are generally associated with neck pain and reduced movement. You may be interested to know that this type of headache is commonly misdiagnosed and often goes unrecognized. Classically, pain originates at the base of the neck (suboccipital region) and spreads to the head; however, cervicogenic headaches could be caused by dysfunction anywhere in the neck or shoulders. Patients report pain ranging from mild to severe; their headaches may be occasional or daily. When anatomical structures of the neck are stressed excessively (poor posture, prolonged slouching, injury, repetitive motion), imbalance and pain ensues. The chiropractors at LVC are trained to diagnose and treat cervicogenic headaches; with the appropriate management, most patients with cervicogenic headache will experience relief.

How is Cervicogenic Headache Diagnosed?

Because there are no specific anatomical or biochemical abnormalities associated with cervicogenic headache, studies such as blood work, X-ray, MRI, or CT are not needed to establish the diagnosis. That being said, these tests may be ordered to rule out a more serious underlying condition. Generally, cervicogenic headaches are diagnosed based on history and examination. In addition to the common orthopedic and neurologic tests your primary care doctors would perform, the chiropractors at LVC will palpate (use their hands) to assess the joints and muscles of the head and neck. This will enable them to find joint dysfunction, muscle tightness or weakness which may be contributing to your pain.

What are the Options for Treating Cervicogenic Headache?

Lehigh Valley Chiropractic offers a hands-on approach to treating cervicogenic headaches. Manual therapy (including cervical mobilization, myofascial release, and Active Release Techique™), ergonomic and lifestyle advice, therapeutic exercise, stretching, strengthening, and joint manipulation are provided by LVC chiropractors to correct imbalance, restore function, and decrease pain.  Research indicates that a chiropractic approach including the methods mentioned above may be the right strategy when it comes to managing cervicogenic headaches. Chiropractic is a safe and effective. Lehigh Valley Chiropractic may have the solution for managing your headaches and provide you with relief.


  1. Haldeman S, Dagenais S. Cervicogenic headaches: a critical review. Spine J.2001; 1(1):31 -46.
  2. Haas M, Spegman A, Peterson D, Aickin M, Vavrek D Dose response and efficacy of spinal manipulation for chronic cervicogenic headache: a pilot randomized controlled trial. Spine J. 2009.
  3. Nilsson N, Christensen HW, Hartvigsen J. The effect of spinal manipulation in the treatment of cervicogenic headache. J Manipulative Physiol Ther.1997; 20:326 -330.
  4. Jull G, Trott P, Potter H, Zito G, Niere K, Shirley D, et al. A randomized controlled trial of exercise and manipulative therapy for cervicogenic headache. Spine.2002; 27:1835 -184.


Dr Scott Bentson

His background in biomedical engineering/physics and specialized training as a Chiropractic Sports Physician (CCSP) gives Dr. Scott Bentson a unique perspective and area of expertise when it comes to biomechanics and pain management.
His passion for helping people to feel their best combined with this specialized expertise has made him a chiropractor who is in high demand. Dr. Bentson lives and practices in Bethlehem, PA and enjoys sharing this practice with his wife and the creator of YouAnew Lifestyle Nutrition, Dr. Kristen Bentson.


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