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Cervicogenic Headache: Pain Patterns, Causes, and Self-Care

Cervicogenic Headaches are headaches that originate from the neck. People often say that they have a headache that really seems to be a neck-ache that goes into the head. Also, people have headaches without real awareness of neck pain, even though the headache can be relieved by treating the trigger points in the neck that refers into the head.

Other Ideas About Cericogenic Headaches

Many sites and texts do not reference the trigger point patterns of cervicogenic headaches. Instead, they offer other explanations for the patterns that are associated with these trigger points. Nonetheless, these headaches seem to be relieved consistently, with infrequent exceptions, when the trigger point is released.

Some cervicogenic headaches are not related to trigger point patterns. In fact, one of the patterns I explore in these posts comes from entrapment of the nerve that feeds that back of the head. In that case, however, releasing the trigger point of the associated muscle consistently relieves the burning and tingling in the back of the head. There are other pathologies in the neck that produce headaches.

Related Collections

There is a big overlap between posts about trigger points that create a cervicogenic headache, a Stiff Neck, and Forward-Head Posture. They are, however, not identical in their content.

These posts include:

  • Trigger point patterns and how people describe the pain
  • How you activate and intensify the pain pattern
  • Self-care to show you how to get quick relief on your own
  • Stretches and exercises that provide longer-lasting relief
  • Brief anatomy review of the involved muscle
  • Yoga poses that open this muscle
  • Treatment notes for therapists

Note that we are in the process of converting these posts into a more informative and accessible format. Thank you for your patience.



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This patient had recovered from a frozen shoulder but developed shoulder pain at the end of his golf swing. More traditional neuromuscular techniques weren’t working. The chiropractic wasn’t working. Integrative Craniosacral was the right solution for lasting relief.

Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia where he sees clients. He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points, and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.

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*This site is undergoing major changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make them easier to read. The result will also be more accessible and will include more patterns with better self-care. In the meanwhile, there may be inconsistency in formatting, content presentation, and readability. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.