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What Causes Cervical Headaches

Cervical headaches are a type of headache that often trace their causes to chronic problems with the neck. The cervical portion of your spine, consisting of seven vertebrae, begins at the base of your skull and is responsible for supporting the weight of your head and allowing for flexible movement.

In between each of these seven vertebrae is a disc comprised of a spongy material (the nucleus pulposus) within a more rigid outer covering called the annulus fibrosis. These discs cushion the vertebrae from shock and friction. A damaged disc often causes a variety of painful symptoms, especially if it presses against nerves that run through the cervical spine.

What Causes Cervical Headaches? What Are the Best Treatments?
A narrowing of the cervical spinal canal can be caused by degenerating vertebrae, herniated or bulging discs, or bone spurs (osteophytes). When the nerves running through the canal are squeezed, the pressure can lead to headaches and other symptoms. Often a cervical headache will begin at the base of the skull and spread up toward the forehead, the temples, or the backs of the eyes.

The causes of your cervical headaches can be identified by your physician with the help of MRI, CT scan and/or X-ray equipment. If the condition is serious, you may want to consider surgery to address what is causing the pain. At the Bonati Institute for Advanced Arthroscopic Surgery, one of the preeminent spine treatment centers in the country, several procedures are available to those suffering from chronic cervical headaches. To learn more about what arthroscopic surgery can do for you, please visit www.bonati.com.

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