Headache Caused by a Spinal Cord Stimulator in the Upper Cervical Spine


Address all correspondence to Dr. Thomas N. Ward, Section of Neurology, DHMC, One Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, NH 03756.


We report persistent headaches developing in a patient subsequent to the placement of a spinal cord stimulator in the upper cervical spine. These persistent headaches responded to dihydroergotamine and sumatriptan. Headaches ceased upon repositioning of the stimulator lower in the cervical spine. We postulate an effect of the device on the trigeminovascular system via the nucleus caudalis trigeminalis and/or spinal trigeminal tract.