Hello Dr. Corenman sir
I have been diagnosed with cervical radiculopathy. I also have been having severe headaches that radiate from side of head to temples to above the eyes. I was told they could be migraines. Ever since I was diagnosed and went for physical therapy ( and now my neck has been getting stiffer, the numbness in my left thumb has decreased but now I have some numbness in the right), I am wondering now if the headaches are being caused by the compression of the discs or anything else having to do with the cervical radiculopathy.
Headaches can originate from many sources and one of them is the cervical spine. There are two nerves that originate from the upper cervical spine and radiate to the skull. The C2 nerve turns into the greater occipital nerve and radiates over the skull to the top of the eyes. The C3 nerve turns into the lesser occipital nerve and radiates over the ears to the jaw line.
The facets of C2-3 and C3-4 may irritate these nerves and cause headaches. Facet blocks (see website) may yield temporary relief and possible long term relief.
Lower cervical radiculopathy normally radiates pain and numbness into the shoulder and arm, possibly to the hand. Rarely, degenerative of the cervical discs can cause headaches but normally these headaches stop at the base of the skull.