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What are Cervicogenic Headaches?

A cervicogenic headache (CH) is a common cause of headache. The pain associated with this type of headache is secondary to a physical disorder of the neck. Common locations of CH are the base of the skull, the temple regions and the area around the eyes. Common structures responsible are the upper segments of the spine, the sub-occipital muscles and upper trapezius muscle fibres.


Why do I suffer from Cervicogenic Headaches?

Stiffness and injury to the top three vertebrae, their ligaments and muscles that attach to them are a common cause of CH. This can be traumatic in origin, for example with whiplash after a road traffic accident, or due to prolonged abnormal load being placed on these structures, such as prolonged slouching or slumping at a computer desk at work. Other muscles, like the upper fibres of the trapezius muscle can also refer to the head after prolonged poor postures and overuse.


How can CQ Physio improve your cervicogenic headaches?

  • Manual therapy involving joint mobilisations and trigger point release to allow normal joint movement. This will allow you to be able to maintain a good posture more easily.
  • Soft tissue massage to the symptomatic muscles to relieve muscle tension.
  • Taping to help you prevent over-activity in the symptomatic muscles.
  • Acupuncture and dry needling to reduce muscle tension, reduce the amount of pain the brain produces and promote the release of your body’s natural pain killers and anti-inflammatory’s.
  • Postural correction to prevent any bad habits that can lead to the CH. This may involve tape to help maintain the correct posture.
  • Strengthening exercises to provide relief from your headaches in the short term and then to prevent reoccurrences in the future.
  • Ergonomic assessments can improve your workstation lay out to reduce how much you load the painful structures.


If you have any questions or would like to book in to see one of our physiotherapists, please do not hesitate to contact CQ Physio on 4922 2722 or email us at