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Cervicogenic Headache

What are Cervicogenic Headaches?

What a pain in the neck! 

Headaches are extremely common, affecting approximately two-thirds of the population. There are different types of headaches including tension headaches, migraines, sinus headache and cervicogenic headache. There are many different causes for headaches, and triggers can be different for each individual.

Headaches that arise due to abnormalities of the joints, muscles, fascia and neural structures of the upper neck are termed “cervicogenic headache”. This is one type of headache that can be successfully treated by our physiotherapists.

Potential causes 

  • Repetitive movements
  • Poor or sustained postures
  • History of trauma such as whiplash
  • Poor ergonomic set up
  • Emotional stress

The posture that is commonly associated with cervicogenic headaches involves a slouched upper back, rounded shoulders and a head-forward posture with a protruded chin or “chin poke”.


Differentiating cervicogenic headaches from other types of headaches can be challenging and requires a thorough clinical assessment by one of our experienced physiotherapists. However, you may be suspicious that you’re experiencing a cervicogenic headache if your headache has the following features:

  • Gradual onset
  • Commonly unilateral, meaning it is on one side of the head
  • Occurring at the back of the head, behind the eyes, or at the temple
  • Dull ache
  • Commonly constant
  • Affected my neck movement or postures
  • Accompanied by neck pain or stiffness
  • May also be accompanied by feelings of light-headedness, dizziness, tinnitus and nausea.
Midland Physiotherapy Cervicogenic Headache
Midland Physiotherapy Cervicogenic Headache


Treatment of cervicogenic headache is based on assessment findings and is tailored to each individual. Commonly treatment will consist of:

  • Soft tissue therapy
  • Dry needling
  • Joint mobilisations
  • Postural retraining
  • Ergonomic advice
  • A comprehensive exercise program to address muscle imbalances

Ultimately the physiotherapist will aim to identify and reduce the sources of symptoms and the precipitating factors.

Our Therapist at Midland Physio are trained in Headaches and create a tailored rehabilitation programme for any inuries you come across. We can help you to achieve your goals and build a happier healthier body. Ring today 9274 1482


Paige Rylands


Paige previously worked as a sports trainer at Wesley Curtin Football Club. She hopes to complete her training in clinical Pilates in the near future.

Outside of work Paige enjoys keeping fit in a variety of ways including playing netball and working out in the gym. Paige also has a passion for travel and was lucky to complete one of her university placements in Singapore adding diversity to her experience.