Cervicogenic Headaches


Headaches can sometimes be caused by a problem with the neck, these are called Cervicogenic headaches. This can be disc related or soft tissue. This type of headache is usually, but not always accompanied by neck pain.


  • Reduced range of movement of the neck or pain with movements
  • Headache significantly improves/goes away at the same time as neck pain
  • One sided or one side dominant headaches
  • Pain with pressing on the upper neck joints and/or surrounding muscles
  • Weakness in the deep neck muscles
  • Non-throbbing pain, usually begins in the neck


  • Activity modification
  • Ice or heat
  • Pain relief
  • Physiotherapy to include range of movement exercises and strengthening exercises and in some cases manual therapy

Exercises to try:

Neck Retractions

Neck Retraction

Neck Retractions

Start in a neutral position

Try to bring your chin in towards you without moving your head up or down

Think of this as if making a double chin 

Hold for a few seconds then relax and repeat

(This can be done sitting or lying on your pillow)


Neck Rotations

Neck Rotation

Neck Rotations

Begin in a neutral position

Turn your head to look over one shoulder, keeping the rest of your body still

Return to starting position and repeat 

(This can be sitting or lying down)


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