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A 37-year-old member asked:

Can cervicogenic headaches turn into migraine? mine start in neck/sholdr then excruciating back head w vomit, light sensitivity, lasts 12 hours plus.

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Philip Rosenblum
Family Medicine 29 years experience
These are migraines : Neck pain is like an aura for you. The rest meets the criteria for a migraine headache and will respond to the same treatment. A lot of migraine headaches start at the neck. Sensitivity to light, nausea, vomiting and a headache lasting 8-12 hours are all typical migraine symptoms. Prevention of the neck pain attacks may result in fewer migraines, especially if yours often start this way.
Dr. James Marx
Pain Management 49 years experience
Yes: Cervicogenic headaches can trigger migraine headaches. There are many features common to both from similar symptoms to similar anatomic pathways. Migraine type headaches respond best to specific meds such as the triptans like Imitrex (sumatriptan) and many newer versions. As always, migraine can be prevented by a number of means such attention to paracervical trigger points and certain meds. Ask your dr.

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Last updated Aug 16, 2017


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