Guide To Preventing And Treating A Cervicogenic Headache

February 22, 2024

Prevention is the best type of medication for many health issues, but learning to treat certain health problems is also helpful. Cervicogenic headaches are one of those health issues individuals want to prevent if at all possible, but they are treatable if this is not successful. Unlike a traditional headache caused by pain somewhere in the head, a cervicogenic headache is a secondary type of headache. It's thought to be caused by pain in the neck, but it merely presents itself as pain located in the head. While it's not caused by the same things as a typical headache, it's also important to realize it might not be caused by neck pain. This type of secondary headache can be caused by an illness too. Regardless of the cause, however, it's important to seek treatment for cervicogenic headaches. Discover some effective methods for this now.

Take Recommended Medication

When suffering from a cervicogenic headache, patients should take the medication their doctor suggests to them. They might have some at home already, but they can also easily pick up the recommended medication after a quick trip to the store. Anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen and acetylsalicylic acid are both helpful tools for relieving all kinds of headaches, including cervicogenic ones. They both work to relieve pain regardless of where it is located. If the pain is caused by underlying health concerns, patients probably have medication to take for that too. If a doctor gives a patient a treatment plan for their medication, patients can assume it's always best to take the recommended dose for the length of time prescribed by their doctor. Ceasing to take medication before the entire dose is taken might seem like a fine idea if they seem to feel better, but it's important to take it all, as it can help prevent these secondary headaches from occurring.

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Go To Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is meant to teach patients about different methods they can use to relieve pain and live a more comfortable life. The physical therapist works to create a treatment plan unique to each patient. For example, patients will sit down with their physical therapist and discuss their pain, issues, and other symptoms. Then they will come up with a treatment plan that helps patients learn a natural way to relieve their pain. If this pain is causing cervicogenic headaches, the techniques patients learn in therapy can not only prevent and treat these headaches, but the underlying conditions as well. Each stretch and exercise the physical therapist teaches patients can help them learn to manage their pain before it begins. Patients can implement these exercises and stretches on a daily basis so they're able to live better, healthier, and without as many headaches.

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Ice The Affected Area

If a patient suspects their cervicogenic headache is caused by pain in their neck, they can try icing the area when the headache begins. This can help them ward off a few of their worse symptoms, and it can also take away some of the pain they're feeling. Patients can hold an ice pack to the back of their neck for ten minutes at a time to start. Some patients find too much ice can make their skin feel like it's in pain, which is not helpful, so this is why the time is only ten minutes. They should also use cloth in between the ice pack and their neck to ensure it doesn't get painful.

If a patient prefers an ice-cold shower, they can stand in the shower and allow the water to pulsate on the back of their neck or their forehead to help ease the pain. These methods might not work for everyone, but they do help when the cervicogenic headache is only just forming or when their pain isn't severe.

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Practice Good Posture

Neck pain is caused by a running list of things individuals can change, such as their posture. If individuals practice good posture, they might be able to relieve some of the pain and stop cervicogenic headaches, and others, from occurring. The problem with practicing good posture is it does take some dedication, as all good habits take some time to develop. Individuals can start by fixing their posture when they sit down and stand up. Every time they notice their body start to slump, individuals should remind themselves to fix their posture. Whether they're sitting at a desk, the dining table, or even in the seat of a car, practicing good posture can help relieve some of the tension in the neck that might cause a cervicogenic headache. The same goes for standing, and if individuals notice they're slouching while standing, they should consciously fix their posture and stand up straight.

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Use The Proper Pillow

One way to help prevent and treat cervicogenic headaches is to use the proper pillow. How individuals sleep at night affects how they feel, and their neck can benefit from using the appropriate pillow. Of course, this is highly dependent on what makes individuals sleep well, but patients can speak to a doctor about what kind of support they need. An old pillow that's gone flat can cause some neck pain. A new pillow that's too big or too fluffy for the way an individual sleeps can elevate their head too much and cause pain. A pillow that's properly fitted for an individual's body type, size, and shape can help them sleep well, but it can also help prevent some of the tension that builds up in their neck and causes pain. An individual's neck should not bend forward when they sleep, so a neck brace is another item they can use to help them sleep well.

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