Do You Suffer From Headaches?
If you suffer from headaches, you are not alone. Almost everyone has an occasional headache. Migraine headaches occur in 1 in 7 adults. Frequent headaches, defined as a headache 3 times a week or more, occurs in 5% of the population. While headaches are generally managed by neurologists, some headaches are not responsive to conventional medication treatments. If conventional treatments are not working to stop your headaches, the doctors at Unique Pain Medicine offer cutting edge treatments that actually work!
In younger professionals, headaches frequently occur secondary to inflammation in the cervical spine. This is called Cervicogenic headache. If conventional migraine treatments are not working, an upper cervical facet injection can help diagnose and treat the source of the headaches. If a facet injection breaks the pain cycle, the cause of the migraine is likely cervicogenic. A correct diagnosis will lead to a successful treatment plan, resulting in resolution of headaches and improved quality of life.
Cervicogenic Headaches (CGH)
Cervicogenic headaches (CGH) are headaches which are originated from a cervical (neck) pathology. CGH represents a challenging condition to treat in physical therapy, pain clinics and neurology offices. This is because the headache results from pain that is outside of the head, and specifically in the cervical spine. Commonly, CGH is seen in weight-lifters and in patients who have sustained a whiplash injury or a concussion and who go on to develop neck pain. Headaches which develop 3 months or later after a concussion are usually not due to a brain injury and suggest CGH. CGH is frequently accompanied by a reduced range of movement in the neck. It is often confused for a migraine or a tension headache.
CGH is a unilateral (one-sided) headache which initially starts from the back of the head and neck and then goes on to migrate to the front. Occasionally, it is associated with arm discomfort on the same side. There is a less common variant of CGH, wherein the head and neck pain is bilateral (both sides) and is exacerbated by specific neck positions and occupations such as carpentry, truck driving or hairdressing. Sustained postures in these occupations, or specific neck movements aggravates the neck pain which can come before or occur concomitantly with the headache.
Treatment for headaches include:
- Cervical medial branch block – This will abolish the headache if the cause is cervicogenic. The procedure is diagnostic and therapeutic.
- Cervical Radiofrequency ablation – This will provide sustained relief and decreased intensity of the headache for up to 2 years.
- Physical Therapy
- Sphenopalatine Gangion Block (SPG Block) – Injection of local anesthetic around the sphenopalatine ganglion. This will abort most headaches relatively quickly.
If you are suffering from chronic or acute headaches, please contact us at 929-363-0303 or book your appointment online and let’s talk about a pain management treatment plan that is right for you.