Cervicogenic Headache

  • Hans A. van Suijlekom
  • Fabio Antonaci
Reference work entry


Cervicogenic headache is pain referred to the head from nociceptive structures in the cervical spine. The prevalence of cervicogenic headache varies from 0.7% to 13.8%. The pathophysiology of the headache involves convergence between cervical and trigeminal afferents in the trigeminocervical nucleus. Cervicogenic headache is, in principle, a unilateral headache without side shift but it may also be bilateral. The pain starts in the neck and spreads to the ipsilateral oculofrontotemporal area. A diffuse, ipsilateral neck, shoulder, or arm pain may occur. A reliable diagnosis of cervicogenic headache can be made based on the criteria of Sjaastad and coworkers. The use of diagnostic blocks to diagnose cervicogenic headache is essential. Treatment of cervicogenic headache depends on the established pain source and varies from manual therapy, simple local injections, radiofrequency treatment to more invasive neurosurgical procedures.


Cluster Headache International Headache Society Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Migraine Without Aura Spinal Manipulation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Lifting The Burden 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology, ICU and Pain ManagementCatharina ZiekenhuisEindhovenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Headache Medicine Centre, Department of Neurology Policlinic of MonzaUniversity Consortium for Adaptive Disorders and Head Pain (UCADH) and Headache Science CentrePaviaItaly

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