With over 100 types of headaches, which are very common and can affect people of all ages, no wonder, often professionals in the corporate sector tend to ignore such headaches among the rapid moving pressurized working culture. One should always seek immediate medical attention if the epicenter of the headache is in the neck.
Dr. Amod Manocha, Senior Consultant & Head – Pain Management Services, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket, said, “It is common for working professionals to have cervical pain, migraine and stress headaches due to long sitting hours in front of digital screens. More and more young professionals are coming up with the complaints of such headaches that are often periodic with neck stiffness, and constant pain in the head. Such painful headaches that usually do not subside with time are referred to as cervicogenic headaches. Depending upon the severity of discomfort, the impact is variable and usually imitates the symptoms of a migraine. Due to this reason, such headaches are often overlooked and are under diagnosed due to limited awareness about the condition.”
Being easily treatable, timely diagnosis provides better and long lasting relief. People need to be aware of this condition and immediately seek medical attention to avoid further complications. Sudden increase in headaches with nodding or neck rotation, increased stiffness and reduced range of neck movements and frequent pain in the areas around the eyes accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
“Apart from the aging factor like degenerative changes in the neck joints caused due to osteoarthritis, bad neck posture for long hours attributes majorly to such complications. As cervicogenic headaches can mimic a number of other headaches, it is challenging to correctly diagnose. Detailed medical history of the patient along with levels of stress, work culture, poor eating & sleeping habits and medications details would be required to investigate the condition. Along with X-ray, CT scan and MRI, an injection is often used to support and confirmation of the diagnosis.” He added.
Certain lifestyle changes like regulation of sleep cycle, maintaining optimal workplace ergonomics, use of mild potent pain killers and treatments including radiofrequency and physical therapies can help relieve the condition. Surgery is often the last resort and is only reserved for cases with severe joint changes and nerve compression, if untreatable with other modalities.