Cephalgia or Cervicogenic Headache Pain Relief

Definition: Cervicogenic headache is pain or discomfort located in the head, scalp, or neck regions and caused by abnormalities involving the spinal cord, nerves, joints, muscles or ligaments of the neck.

Cephalgia or Cervicogenic Headache Information

Acute and chronic headaches are one of the most common causes of pain and disability in American. Headaches may be divided into two important categories: Benign or life-threatening. Unfortunately, it is frequently very challenging to tell the two types of headaches apart. Benign headaches, while often very painful and debilitating, are usually not a cause of eminent danger to life of the sufferer, whereas life-threatening headaches may be a result of an injury or disease, even malignancy that is likely to result in an immediate or delayed catastrophic outcome to the victim’s life or health. Because of the potentially devastating consequences of headaches caused by life-threatening medical conditions, it is critical for the headache sufferer to seek consultation by a qualified medical physician, and, if necessary, undergo appropriate diagnostic evaluations to differentiate between benign and life-threatening headaches. Headaches may be further divided into primary headaches, which are caused by abnormalities in the head or brain, and secondary headaches, which are a result of another medical condition or disease which may include some life-threatening medical conditions. Many headaches are not the result of one type of headache but are a combination of medical conditions.

Cervicogenic Headaches: Cervicogenic headaches arise from injuries or diseases of the neck, usually the cervical spine such as disc bulges or herniations, diseases such as arthritis of the joints of the neck, known as cervical facet disease, or degenerative joint disease, or strained or pulled muscles and ligaments of the cervical spine. Disc herniations can cause pressure on the spinal cord or nerve root of the cervical spine resulting in radiation of pain into the back and sides of the head. Cervical facet joint arthritis, muscle or ligament strain may also result in pain radiating into the back and sides of the head. Usually, cervicogenic headaches are associated with an aching and sometimes sharp neck pain and localized tenderness over the neck muscles and facet joints and are usually aggravated by movement of the head and neck and improved by rest or heat applied locally over the head and neck areas. Generally, cervicogenic headaches are more frequent and more constant than headaches due to migraine or cluster headaches. Cervicogenic headaches may also be associated with pain, numbness, or weakness of the upper or lower extremities, especially if the spinal cord or spinal nerve roots are involved. Cervicogenic headaches most commonly occur in patients in adults and are not usually associated with nausea, vomiting, visual or hearing changes, and auras and are usually not precipitated by the triggers that result in migraine headaches.

Cephalgia or Cervicogenic Headache Treatments

Of course, for headaches that are suspected to be a result of any of the life-threatening causes noted above, emergency services (911) should be contacted immediately. However, treatments of headaches due to benign causes vary and depend on the type of headache. Tension headache pain and cervicogenic headache pain may be improved with a change in lifestyle, a reduction of work hours, a change in type of work environment, relaxation techniques, or improved rest and regular moderate exercise. Physical therapy and nerve injections are sometimes used to control cervicogenic headache pain. Cervicogenic pain may require treatment of the underlying condition in the neck such as a surgical correction of a damaged disc and decompression of the spinal cord or nerve roots.

The standard treatments for moderate to severe or acute or chronic headache pain are over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription narcotic and non-narcotic medication. As most patients who suffer with this type of headache pain soon realize, these treatments are usually not sufficient and many, especially the oral medications, are associated with serious side effects such as sedation, nausea, constipation, and even addiction. Extended use of some over-the counter (OTC) medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen may even result in stomach ulcers, kidney failure, heart failure, and liver failure. Many headache sufferers often search for alternative solutions to the usual over-the-counter and prescription medications.

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Caution: OVERTIME Pain Relief Lotion should be used with caution for the treatment of headache pain and should never be applied into or near the eyes, since severe eye irritation or burning may result. A limited amount should be applied over painful areas including the upper forehead, back of the head, temples, temporal mandibular joint (TMJ), and neck. Excessive perspiration may carry OVERTIME Pain Relief Lotion into the eyes. If OVERTIME Pain Relief Lotion does contact the eyes, the eyes should be gently rinsed with cool water and dried.

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