There are many risk factors for developing Cervicogenic Headache. Many are factors that you can control, such as smoking, poor posture, exercise and rest.

Some tips for healthy neck habits:

  • Smoking and the use of tobacco products can significantly accelerate the rate of drying out of the discs. If you smoke, either quit or begin a smoking cessation program as soon as possible.
  • Get plenty of rest at night, as a good night’s sleep can help with muscle tension in the neck. Place a pillow under the head when lying flat.
  • Some people benefit from a special pillow (cervical pillow) that is curved on the edges to give the neck additional support
  • If you notice that you have neck pain when looking down (at the computer/paperwork/books) for long periods, explore a different height of the computer or chair that you use. Raise the height of your work such that you are looking straight ahead.
  • Maintain good posture while sitting or walking
  • Do not “pop” your neck or allow anyone else to
  • Move frequently- if you have a job that requires long periods of time in one position, stand up and do stretches, or relax the shoulders and gently rotate your head back and forth.
  • Exercise daily- walking is a good way to stretch the muscles,  maintain healthy weight and reduce stress
  • If you note pain that progressively gets worse, or if there is pain/numbness/tingling that radiates down the arm, or if you notice weakness in the hands or arms, consult your primary care provider.

Check back next week for common treatment options for Cervicogenic Headache!