Possible sources of cervico-genic headaches are:

  1. Nerves
  2. Nerve Roots
  3. Intervertebral Discs
  4. Facet Joints
  5. Tension in muscles of the neck
  6. Tension in ligaments of the neck
  7. Decreased blood flow and oxygen to the brain

When a spinal joint in your body is misaligned it is called a subluxation. Subluxations cause pressure on the nerves and facet joints in-between the spinal vertebrae. When your C1 and C2 vertebrae are misaligned it causes compression and irritation of the sub occipital nerve that exits from the first vertebrae in the neck. The C1 and C2 vertebrae are located just below the base of your skull. If you have cervico-genic headaches this area is usually tender to the touch. Even though medications can lessen the pain that is caused by the subluxation, it cannot correct the subluxation. Chiropractic Adjustments are needed to re-align the vertebrae and alleviate the headache.

Protocol for cervico-genic headaches include:

  1. Ultrasound therapy to the muscles and connective tissues of the neck and shoulders
  2. Muscle stimulation to the muscles and the connective tissues of the neck and shoulders
  3. Adjustment to the C1/C2 level of the spine to remove pressure
  4. Trigger point injections if necessary
  5. At home exercises to increase range of motion and strength