Headache Specialist

Shawn Roofian, MD -  - Pain Management Physician

Integrated Pain Management

Shawn Roofian, MD

Pain Management Physician located in Beverly Hills, CA, & Tarzana, CA

If you suffer from chronic headaches and can’t find relief with traditional medication, you might be experiencing cervicogenic headaches. At Integrated Pain Management in California, Shawn Roofian, MD, is an experienced pain management expert offering innovative treatment solutions for a variety of chronic conditions, including persistent headaches. If you’re in the Beverly Hills, Tarzana, or Chula Vista communities, call Integrated Pain Management or schedule an appointment online today.

Headache Q & A

What causes headaches?

There are several types of headaches with various causes, but they all have one symptom in common: head pain. Common headache types include:

  • Sinus
  • Cluster
  • Tension
  • Migraine

What is a cervicogenic headache?

Besides treating more well-known headache conditions, Dr. Roofian specializes in treating cervicogenic headaches: head pain that originates in the neck.

Cervicogenic headaches arise from the cervical joints in the neck, creating referred pain in the head or face. While this pain originates in your neck, your brain mistakes its location, making it feel like the pain is in your head.

You can develop cervicogenic headaches from any excessive stress on your cervical spine, including:

  • Poor posture
  • Past or present injury
  • Spinal disc problems
  • Repetitive neck movements
  • Sleep problems

Cervicogenic headaches affect an estimated 14-18% of the population, but they’re often misdiagnosed.

What are the symptoms of a cervicogenic headache?

The pain associated with cervicogenic headaches is typically felt behind the eyes, brow, or in the back of the head. The pain can range from mild to intense and may involve sustained throbbing.

The symptoms associated with cervicogenic headaches include:

  • Difficulty moving
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain down the arms
  • Dizziness or blurred vision

In some cases, cervicogenic headaches produce neck pain and stiffness so severe that you can’t move. The symptoms associated with cervicogenic headaches are usually unresponsive to traditional headache treatments.

How are cervicogenic headaches diagnosed?

Cervicogenic headaches are similar to migraines and cluster headaches, so they’re often misdiagnosed. To make an accurate diagnosis, Dr. Roofian performs a physical examination and requests X-rays that include images of your cervical spine.

He then administers nerve blocks with an anesthetic to identify the location of the nerve causing your pain. When your pain is relieved, the nerve triggering your symptoms has been identified.

How are cervicogenic headaches treated?

Following your cervicogenic headache diagnosis, Dr. Roofian might recommend a combination of treatments, including:

  • Physical therapy
  • Behavioral modifications
  • Pain or anti-seizure medications
  • NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)

Besides these treatments, Dr. Roofian also recommends making healthy choices regarding diet, exercise, and posture to reduce unnecessary strain on your neck.

Call Integrated Pain Management or schedule an appointment online today to learn more about Dr. Roofian’s available headache treatments.