What is a Cervicogenic Headache?
A Cervicogenic Headache may start as a pain in the neck that evolves into a full-blown headache at the rear of the head that may radiate to the front. Many patients may only feel pain at the front of the head or in the temple. It is classified as a secondary headache that is caused by another condition such as a neck injury, infection or high blood pressure.
What are the symptoms of cervicogenic headaches?
- Reduced mobility of the neck
- Aches and pain on one side of your face or head
- Stiff neck, and/or pain in the neck
- Shoulder or arm pain on one side
- Pain in head that is triggered by moving the neck
- Light and noise sensitivity
- Blurry vision
- Feelings of nausea
Do I need to have an operation to treat my cervicogenic headaches?
It is always good to consider the regenerative option before committing to surgery. Dr. Greenberg’s team will perform a Comprehensive Kinetic Diagnosis including a review of your most recent radiographs to examine the state of your neck and rule out tumors, fractures and arthritis of the spine. We will ask about any recent car accidents that you may have participated in that may have caused whiplash. And we will review with you your recent exercise history to pinpoint any falls or collisions you may have had while playing a sport. We will carefully examine and palpate your neck, back and shoulders to gain a comprehensive understanding of the systems involved.
Cervicogenic headaches are often caused by structural problems at the top of your spine at C2-C3. As with bulging and herniated discs, the problem usually lies in the 3-joint-complex of the intervertebral discs and the facet joints. An injury such as a car accident can damage the delicate capsular ligaments of the facet joints, causing them to thin out. As a result, the neck vertebrae and the facet joints loosen, and they can pinch a nerve and cause pain that radiates through your neck to your head (radiculopathy). The root cause may be instability.
You can also injure the neck muscles adjacent to the occipital region, at the base of your skull. The pain can be sharp and jabbing in the neck and the pain can radiate to your head. The root cause may be muscle, ligament or tendon strain. As part of the comprehensive diagnosis, we may palpate your shoulder blades to test for injury and sore connections to the necks. We will assess the jaw and even the temple to determine if your upper kinetic systems are stable.
Dr. Greenberg’s team may recommend Kinetic Regeneration Therapy, including prolotherapy, with an emphasis on Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) as the first treatment regimen for cervicogenic headaches. PRP synergizes prolotherapy’s healing process with powerful healing factors that include the Interleukin cytokines of IL-1, IL-4, and IL-6, plus FGF-2 (fibrin-growth factor) and TGF-β1 (tissue growth factor) which support the regeneration of cartilage, ligaments, tendons and local muscles. PRP also contains BMP (bone morphogenic protein) that can strengthen and regenerate bone structures of the neck.
For patients with bruised or herniated discs with severe headaches, Dr. Greenberg may include stem cell treatments. The Kinetic Regeneration Therapy (KRT) stem cell treatments developed by Dr. Greenberg use adipose-derived regenerative cells (ADRCs) that are taken from your own fat cells. ADRCs contain multipotent stem cells and additional healing factors, plus bone morphogenic proteins (BMP), transcription factors and exosomes.
Dr. Greenberg will discuss the objectives of each treatment and explain the therapeutic options that are most appropriate for your case. You may receive a treatment every three weeks or so over several months.
Kinetic Regeneration Therapy is a good choice for people who are looking for a non-invasive alternative to surgery. KRT treatments have lower infection risks than surgeries, shorter recovery times and are opioid-free. Dr. Greenberg is a holistically-centered physician who not only treats your physical injury but he also addresses You. We support your recovery through proper nutrition, supplements, and innovative therapies to nurture a sense of wellness for your body and mind.
If you or a loved one is looking for a new strategy to treat chronic aches and pains, fill out the form on this page to schedule an appointment or call Dr. Greenberg’s office today at 833-440-4325.