HomeFitnessEffective Exercises to Relieve Cervicogenic Headaches

Effective Exercises to Relieve Cervicogenic Headaches

The pain of cervicogenic headache is well-known to anyone who has ever experienced them. But cervicogenic headache exercises can help you to relieve pain. These headaches are often caused by tension and dysfunction in the neck and upper spine, leading to pain that radiates up into the head. For long-term relief, it’s important to address the root cause, even if medication temporarily relieves the symptoms.

Here are some exercises and stretches that can help alleviate cervicogenic headache symptoms. From gentle neck stretches to upper back and shoulder strengthening exercises, these techniques can improve posture, reduce muscle tension, and promote overall neck health.

So, if you’re tired of living with cervicogenic headaches, keep reading to discover exercises that may provide the relief you’ve been seeking.

What Are Cervicogenic Headaches?

Cervicogenic headaches are headaches caused by abnormalities in the neck or cervical spine. Their origin in the neck makes them “carcinogenic”. The neck is an intricate structure composed of bones, muscles, ligaments, and nerves. Cervicogenic headaches can occur when these structures in the neck get inflamed or injured as a result of factors such as poor posture, muscle strain, or accidents.

Cause of Cervicogenic Headaches

There are many causes of cervicogenic headaches, including problems with your neck or cervical spine. There are several causes of cervicogenic headaches, including:

  • Injury to the shoulder/neck
  • A fracture, a dislocation, a whiplash injury, etc.
  • Cervicogenic headaches can be caused by infections, rheumatoid arthritis/osteoarthritis, or even cancer.

Symptoms Of Cervicogenic Headaches

Symptoms of cervicogenic headaches include:

  • Symptoms include back pain that can spread to the top of your skull and even to your forehead or temples.
  • Feeling uncomfortable behind your eyes, making it difficult to concentrate
  • Cervicogenic headaches and neck pain can be aggravated by certain postures or pressure on certain spots on your neck.
  • A one-sided pain radiating from the back of your head to the front or behind your eye is another cervicogenic headache symptom. Cervicogenic headaches may cause pain on one side of the face or neck.
  • Instability in the neck or shoulders

Cervicogenic headache symptoms can also be similar to migraine symptoms, such as sensitivity to light, etc. Although the root cause of spinal headaches is carcinogenic, it is important to distinguish between them.

How Effective Are Cervicogenic Headache Exercises?

Cervicogenic headache exercises can help many people manage and reduce the symptoms of cervicogenic headaches. To relieve strain and stress in the cervical region, these exercises address the muscles, posture, and mobility of the neck.

These exercises attempt to lessen headache frequency, intensity, and duration by strengthening the neck muscles, improving flexibility, and promoting appropriate alignment.

Exercise therapies for cervicogenic headaches have shown promising results in research. When practiced correctly and on a regular basis, these exercises have been shown to improve headache symptoms and overall functional outcomes significantly.

It is crucial to remember that the effectiveness of exercises varies between individuals, and not everyone will find total symptom clearance through exercises alone. You may also benefit from the advice and guidance of a healthcare professional, such as a physical therapist.

They can ensure proper technique, track your progress, and may include other treatments or interventions as part of a holistic approach to cervicogenic headache management.

9 Best Cervicogenic Headache Exercises

Cervicogenic headache exercises can be an effective way to manage and reduce the frequency and intensity of cervicogenic headaches.

1.Lateral Neck Flexion Exercise

Taking it can help relieve neck stress. Hold your head tilted as far to the left as you can without experiencing pain for five seconds. Repeat on the right side after returning to the center. Alternate sides until you’ve performed 15 to 20 repetitions on each side.

2.Head Turn Exercise

Your neck muscles can be limbered up by turning your head. Ensure that you have a good posture when you begin this exercise. Slowly turn your head to the right. Turn your head to the left after pausing. On each side, hold it for a few seconds and repeat eight times.

3.Forward And Back Head Tilt Exercise

You will target the muscles in the front and back of your neck with this exercise. Slowly tilt your chin toward your chest, then tilt your head as far back as you can. Repeat the tilt about eight times in each direction for about four seconds in each position.

4.Head Circles Exercise

Your neck muscles can be stretched, and your range of motion can be increased with this exercise. Ensure that you are sitting comfortably in a stable chair. Three to five times, rotate your head clockwise; then switch directions and rotate it counterclockwise. At first, swivel your head slowly in small circles. Throughout the day, repeat this exercise as needed.

5.Chin Tuck

Look straight ahead while sitting upright. Put one finger on your chin. You should feel a stretch at the base of your head and the top of your neck without moving your fingers. Put your chin back on your finger and hold for five seconds.

6.Cervical Towel Rotation Stretch

For this exercise, you will need a small, folded towel. Hold the towel ends together and wrap them around your head. Anchor the towel with your left arm. Pull the towel gently with your right arm to stretch your neck. For 30 seconds, hold this stretch.

7.Scapular Retraction

Relax your shoulders by relaxing the tops of them. The best way to perform this exercise is to imagine there is a tennis ball between your shoulder blades. Squeeze the imaginary ball by pinching your shoulder blades together. Strengthening the upper back helps prevent cervicogenic headaches.

8.Upper Trapezius Stretch

Your head and neck should be in a neutral position as you sit up straight. Stretch your head away from the arm that is with one hand behind your back. Before releasing, hold this for 30 seconds.

9.Trapezius Stretching

Performing this cervicogenic headache exercise helps loosen the upper trapezius muscles. Sit or stand upright. Next, place your left ear on your left shoulder. Ensure that neither your left nor right shoulders are raised to meet the ear.

Place the left hand over the top of the right side of the head while remaining in this position. Try pulling your head to the left until you feel a stretch along your right shoulder and neck. Return to midline after holding this position for 30 seconds. On the other side, repeat this exercise. Each side should be repeated 2-3 times.

Final Words

Exercise is an effective way to manage and relieve cervicogenic headaches. By targeting the neck and upper back muscles, you can help alleviate tension and improve posture, which are common contributors to these types of headaches.

Some exercises that may be beneficial include neck stretches, shoulder shrugs, and gentle neck rotations. Everyone’s body is different, so consult a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program.

For more information about exercises that may help with cervicogenic headaches, speak with a healthcare provider who can give guidance tailored to your needs of cervicogenic headache exercises . Taking control of your cervicogenic headache with targeted exercises today can help you live your best life.


What is a risk factor for cervicogenic headache?

There are several risk factors associated with cervicogenic headaches, including hair stylists, forklift operators, and desk workers who use dual screens.

What is the clinical manifestation of cervicogenic headache?

Cervicogenic headaches cause unilateral pain, diffuse shoulder pain on one side, and arm pain on the other. With anesthetic blockades, neck ROM is reduced, and pain is relieved.



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