Chronic Pain in the Young: Cervicogenic Headaches

By | March 31, 2012

Posterior migraines are usually not migraines at all, but a class of headaches arising from the occipital nerves and upper cervical roots.

Cervicogenic headaches are one of the most common yet under-diagnosed causes of chronic pain in the young that we see at Schlesinger Pain Centers. Patients with absolutely classic signs and symptoms often languish for years in other offices and clinics. Some have even undergone extensive surgical procedures for Arnold-Chiari malformations or other rare conditions, which they did not have. The diagnosis for many of these headaches can be established with a simple set of occipital nerve blocks. In most cases improvement begins in a matter of minutes and is nearly complete by the time the patient walks out of the office. Treatment for these headaches varies from repeated occipital nerve blocks to cervical median branch blocks and radio-frequency ablations of the involved nerves to spinal cord stimulation (SCS). But what is important is that the vast majority of these headaches are treatable and destroyed lives can be rebuilt.

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