The Importance of the Cervical Lordosis in Headache and Migraine

July 11, 2009 by dean · Leave a Comment 

The Cervical Lordosis

The Cervical Lordosis

The cervical lordosis - what is it? The cervical lordosis is the natural (inward) curve of he neck so that looking at it from the side then convexity of the curve is at the front and the concave aspect is at the back.

There is a lot of discussion as to the significance of a loss of cervical lordosis, after all, not all people who have diminished lordosis experience neck symptoms or headache.

Notwithstanding this debate, over 75% of my patients whose headaches or migraine swap sides either between attacks or within the same attack have a decreased lordosis. This is supported by research which has shown that patients with cervical pain had less lordosis. In this large study of 277 lateral cervical x-rays it also found that patients with a significant loss of lordosis were eighteen times greater to experience cervical symptoms than those who have an acceptable, natural lordosis.

It appears as though a loss of cervical lordosis predisposes to headache, migraine and neck pain.



(McAviney J, Schulz D, Bock R, Harrison DE, Holland B. Determining the relationship between cervical lordosis and neck complaints. Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2005 Mar-Apr;28(3):187-93

Vernon H, Steimann I, Hagino C. Cervicogenic dysfunction in muscle contraction headache and migraine: a descriptive study. J Manip Physiol Ther 1992 15:7: 418-29)

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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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