Cervicogenic headache is technically a headache by definition yet its origin is in the neck Frequently, it is combined with neck pain to a varying degree and occasionally, even arm pain of a non-radicular type.
An article in Headache Quarterly by Doctor Otto Sjaastad, Professor Emeritus of Neurology, Trondheim, Norway, discusses terminology of cervicogenic headaches and the misunderstandings with the definition of the term. A headache indicates an ache in the head, and not an ache in the neck-a nuchalgia. An ache felt in the head, but originating in the neck is cervicogenic. Cervicogenic headache is a concept with a solid content, and the term is intimately linked to its contents.
A revised edition of the definition is being prepared. In its most typical recognizable form, it is unilateral in the sense that there is no real side shift. The one side is always involved, either completely alone or with varying of contralateral involvement, but never with only a contralateral pain or predominance of such.
Cervicogenic headache is not defined as a vertebral disorder. It is a common misunderstanding that cervicogenic headache is only caused by disorders at the C2/C3 levels. Disorders at all cervical levels may cause cervicogenic headache. It is not an entity or a disease; it is a syndrome with a number of subgroups .