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Dr. Mark J. Kirk &
Dr. James McNally
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Vertebrogenic Headaches


If you have headaches that don't just hurt your head, but also involve pain or lack of movement in your neck, you may be experiencing vertebrogenic headaches. Vertebrogenic headaches are one of two kinds of headaches that originate in the neck, the other being myogenic. (When dysfunctional or irritated vertebrae cause the pain, the headaches are vertebrogenic. When strained or irritated neck muscles cause the pain, the headaches are myogenic.)

People who experience vertebrogenic headaches generally feel a dull, constant ache on one side of their head as well as tenderness in the neck region. The pain usually begins in the neck and makes its way up behind the eyes, and possibly to the ears and the top or side of the head. The duration of these headaches varies from episode to episode, and can last anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of weeks. Prolonged periods of bad posture can often make people more susceptible to these types of headaches. For this reason, secretaries, truck drivers and car mechanics, who often hold positions that cause gradual postural changes in the body, are at risk. Poor posture can create neck abnormalities, which can affect the function of the cervical spine, leading to subluxations (stuck or misaligned joints) and spinal joint dysfunction. Previous injuries to the head or neck, such as those people suffer in motor vehicle accidents, can also bring about vertebrogenic headaches. That's why it's important for people who experience trauma, like whiplash, to get appropriate chiropractic care.

In fact, to correct any spinal joint problems that can contribute to headaches, it's best to see your chiropractor. Chiropractic care is highly effective in decreasing the intensity and duration of vertebrogenic headaches. Your chiropractor can restore movement in the joints of your neck to alleviate symptoms and help prevent the condition from returning.