A Key Diagnostic Feature of Cervicogenic (Neck) Headache

September 25, 2009 by dean · Leave a Comment 

A key diagnostic feature of cervicogenic (neck) involvement in headache is the temporary reproduction of headache and migraine pain when examining structures of the upper neck. This diagnostic feature is recognised by The International Headache Society, The International Association for the Study of Pain and The International Cervicogenic Research Group.

However, in my experience and neuro anatomical principles indicate that, reproduction of headache alone is not enough to confirm that the disorder is the cause of headache.  There also needs to be lessening of the reproduced headache as the technique is sustained.



(Headache Classification Subcommittee of the International Headache Society. The International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd edn. Cephalalgia 2004; 24(suppl.1):1-151

Sjaastad O, Fredricksen TA, Pfaffenrath V. Cervicogenic headache: diagnostic criteria. Headache 1998; 38:442-5)

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About dean
Consultant Headache & Migraine Physiotherapist; International Teacher; Director, The Headache Clinic & Watson Headache Institute; PhD Candidate Murdoch University, Western Australia; Adjunct Lecturer, Masters Program, Physiotherapy School, University of South Australia; MAppSc(Res) GradDipAdvManipTher Experienced health practitioners trained in the Watson Headache Approach perform the examination and treatment techniques developed by Dean Watson. These techniques are based on his extensive experience of 7000 headache patients (21,000 hours) over 21 years and are now taught internationally. For your nearest practitioner who has completed training in the ‘Watson Headache Approach’ please refer to the ‘Practitioner Directory’.

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