Neck-shoulder region training for chronic headache in women: a randomized controlled trial

Review written by Dr Julia Treleaven info

Key Points

  1. Prescribing 6 months of progressive neck specific exercises had minimal effect on chronic headache.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Headaches cause considerable disability with 52% of the world population suffering from various types of headaches. Headaches due to neck pain and sore muscles in the neck–shoulder region are commonly diagnosed as tension-type or cervicogenic headaches. To manage chronic cervicogenic headache, tension-type headache and migraine, a variety of physiotherapeutic and exercise rehabilitation treatments have been recommended.

The aim of this study was to investigate whether a specific progressive therapeutic exercise program for the neck–shoulder region is effective in reducing the intensity, frequency, and duration of headache in comparison to the control group receiving a placebo dose of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).

Headaches due to neck pain and sore muscles in the neck–shoulder region are commonly diagnosed as tension-type or cervicogenic headaches.
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Aerobic exercise can improve headache intensity, frequency and duration of headache and quality of life.

METHODS

To be included in the study female participants were to report at least 8 days per month of headache of at least 4/10 on a visual analogue scale and score 56 or more on the headache impact test. The primary

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