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  • Writer's pictureDr Josh Bonine DC

Disc Herniation Causes Headaches

Disc Herniation Causes Headaches

A cervicogenic headache is caused by pain that is referred to the head by structures in the neck. Muscle pathology, facet joints, nerve irritation and disc pathology can all contribute to the source of this pain.

In a paper by Diener, Kaminski, Stappert, Stolke, and Schoch, (2007), the authors looked at whether disc prolapse (herniation) can cause cervicogenic headache. In this paper, the authors recruited patients with cervical disc prolapse and headaches that were scheduled for surgery. “All patients underwent surgery with removal of the disc prolapse and were interviewed 1 week and 3 months later with the same questionnaires as before surgery” (Diener et al., 2007, p. 1051).

The results of the study show that “headache and neck pain improves or disappears in 80% of patients after surgery for the cervical disc prolapse” (Diener et al. 2007, p. 1050). This is an important finding when treating the traumatically injured as it offers supportive evidence of headaches caused by disc pathology. When working with cases involving traumatic injury, rendering a proper diagnosis is vital to correlating symptoms and injuries.


Spine & Injury Centers of San Antonio is a local network of 5 chiropractic offices. As a group, we are raising the standard of care for injured patients and their families.

If you have recently been in a car accident, or had a personal injury, sports injury, or exercise injury, and are experiencing back pain, neck pain, knee pain, whiplash, headaches, leg pain, etc, our San Antonio injury chiropractors can help!

Our goal is to get you back to living a pain-free life as quickly as possible.

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Diener, H. C., Kaminski, M., Stappert, G., Stolke, D., & Schoch, B.(2007). Lower cervical disc prolapse may cause cervicogenic headache: Prospective study in patients undergoing surgery. Cephalalgia, 27(9), 1050–1054.



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