Myogenic Headaches

Symptoms: Myogenic headaches are often described as mild to severe discomfort or pain on one side of their head. However, this pain can also occur on both sides of the head. The pain usually starts in the neck. It may also start in tight muscles at the back of the head and in some cases in muscles that work the jaw. The pain can also spread to the temples and possibly even to the ears, eyes and top of the head.

Overview: All headaches are not created equal. If you are experiencing a headache that involves pain, or lack of movement in your neck, chances are you are suffering from either a vertebrogenic or myogenic headache. Vertebrogenic headaches are caused from dysfunctional or irritated vertebrae. Myogenic headaches are caused by strained or irritated neck muscles.

While the pain of a myogenic headache can be extreme, rarely is it accompanied by migraine symptoms such as nausea or sensitivity to light and sound. Myogenic headaches can last anywhere from a few hours to a couple of weeks.

If you have a myogenic headache, awkward or uncomfortable posture and certain neck movements, like turning or bending, can make the pain worse. You may also experience tightness or tenderness in the muscles around your neck. Your neck may resist certain movements and be unable to move through its normal range of motion.

Myogenic headaches are often the result of poor posture, as well as occupational or recreational activities like extended phone use which can keep the neck in an awkward position for prolonged periods. Trauma from injuries such as whiplash can also cause myogenic headaches.

Experienced chiropractic care, such as that provided by Dr. Suzan Starler, D.C., at Star Chiropractic and Nutrition, can determine the cause of these headaches and plan a course of treatment to reduce the frequency, duration and intensity of your headaches.

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