Cervicogenic headache

Cervicogenic headache (CGH) is a fairly rare form of headache. The symptoms develop from the neck. In general, there is nothing wrong with the head itself.

head cervicogenic headache CGH pain location

Other forms of headache include migraine, tension headache, medication-induced headache and cluster headache.

Description of the condition

The trigeminal nerve is a cranial nerve that innervates a large part of the face. If a problem with the trigeminal nerve develops along the neck, this can result in pain in the area innervated by the nerve.

Cause and origin

We suspect that the trigeminal nerve becomes over-stimulated in the neck muscles.

Signs & symptoms

The headache is present continuously. There is also pain in the neck or arm on the same side as the headache is located. Movements of the neck can be restricted.



Treatment consists of improving the mobility of the neck, postural corrections and an exercise programme with muscle strengthening exercises. Only the combination of these three factors appears to be effective.


Take a look at the online exercise programme here with exercises for cervicogenic headaches that focuses on mobility, posture and strengthening neck muscles.

You can check your symptoms using the online physiotherapy check or make an appointment with a physiotherapy practice in your area.

head cervicogenic headache CGH trigeminal nerve

Nugteren, K. van & Winkel, D. (2012). Onderzoek en behandeling van de nek. Houten: Bohn Stafleu van Loghum.

head cervicogenic headache CGH pain location
head cervicogenic headache CGH trigeminal nerve

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