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  • Writer's pictureDr Josh Bonine DC

Neck Trauma Causes Headaches

Neck Trauma Causes Headaches

When victims of whiplash trauma are examined properly, it is clear that a vast majority complain of headaches following neck injury. Headaches that originate from the neck are called "cervicogenic" (cervico = cervical spine / neck, and genic = "that which produces") headaches. “The term cervicogenic headache (CEH) was coined by Sjaastad and coworkers in 1983 and its manifestations described…

....Accidents with whiplash mechanism were among the first-version diagnostic criteria for CEH” (Drottning, Staff, & Sjaastad, 2002, p. 165).

To our knowledge, there has been no previous, prospective study that has brought into focus the putative presence and development of CEH in a whiplash population, based on the CEH criteria” (Drottning et al., 2002, p. 165). “Reduced neck mobility has been reported to be a common finding in chronic CEH in general” (Drottning et al., 2002, p. 170). “Approximately two-thirds felt that the quality of their working capacity and/ or social and family life were below par because of the accident” (Drottning et al., 2002, p. 169).

Compliments of Medical Legal Art via The Doe Report ( Copyright © 2010 Medical Legal Art, All rights reserved. There are very specific criteria used to quantify the nature of CEH in the trauma population. It is critical to understand these criteria and how they apply to trauma victims when reviewing medical records and working with clinicians. Determining causality depends on accurate assessment and documentation.


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Drottning, M., Staff, P. H., & Sjaastad, O. (2002). Cervicogenic headache (CEH) after whiplash injury. Cephalalgia, 22(3),165-171.



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