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Cervicogenic headache is a common cause of chronic headache seen in private practice. It accounts for 15-20% of all chronic and recurrent headaches.

CGH headaches arise when pain is referred from the neck to the head and face. Generally, the true source of pain often originates from the soft tissue in the neck or upper cervical spine and results in referred pain behind the ears, eyes and temples.

The pain can be described as:

  • A constant or intermittent dull ache behind the ears, base of the skull, behind the eyes and sometimes around the eyebrows.
  • A tight band like feeling around the head.
  • A dull ache on one side of the neck, head, and/or face.

Along with an ache in the head and neck it is common to experience the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Trouble concentrating 
  • Fuzzy feeling 
  • Light sensitivity
  • Noise sensitivity

What Role does Physiotherapy have to play in the management of Cervicogenic headaches ?

A physiotherapist trained in the treatment of headaches can help you understand if the headache you are experiencing is related to your neck or stems from another source. Once the source of pain has been determined, they can carry out an evidence-based approach of assessment and treatment. 

Research tells us that conservative physiotherapy treatment consisting of manual therapy and exercise, is effective in reducing CGH intensity, frequency and neck pain. 

What can we offer you at The Physio Clinic?

If you are experiencing headaches, you are not alone! Our team of trained physiotherapists can conduct a thorough assessment of your pain and related symptoms in order to deliver the best evidence-based treatment for you.

Your physiotherapist will undertake a detailed history to understand your headache, deliver the required manual treatment that is effective in treating headaches and prescribe  an exercise  program to strengthen the muscles of your shoulder, upper back and neck.

Call the clinic on (08) 8342 1233 to book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists today.

By Samantha David | Senior Physiotherapist


  1. Racicki, S., Gerwin, S., DiClaudio, S., Reinmann, S. and Donaldson, M., 2013. Conservative physical therapy management for the treatment of cervicogenic headache: a systematic review. Journal of manual & manipulative therapy21(2), pp.113-124.