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Neck pain in episodic migraine: a cross-sectional study

Authors Yu Z, Wang R, Ao R, Yu S

Received 6 January 2019

Accepted for publication 2 April 2019

Published 20 May 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 1605—1613


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Michael A Überall

Zhe Yu, Rongfei Wang, Ran Ao, Shengyuan Yu

Department of Neurology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100853, People’s Republic of China

Purpose: It has been reported that neck pain is more prevalent in episodic migraineurs (EM) than in the general population. Subjects with episodic migraine exhibited widespread hypersensitivity in cranio-cervical region. Our objectives were to explore the potential factors associated with the presence of neck pain for EM, and whether there were differences in pericranial muscle tenderness between EM with and without neck pain.
Patients and methods: Fifty EM with neck pain (34.76±8.04) and 50 age- and sex-matched EM without neck pain (34.26±9.39) were enrolled. The characteristics of headaches and some lifestyle factors were assessed in two groups. The migraine disability score and neck disability index were also recorded. During migraine-free period, cranio-cervical muscle tenderness scores and mechanical pain threshold were assessed for all patients.
Results: There were no significant differences in pain intensity (p=0.44), migraine disability (p=0.71), duration (p=0.44) or frequency (p=0.85) of headache between EM with and without neck pain. The lifestyle factors including smoking, alcohol, coffee, body mass index≧23kg/m2, poor sleeping (<8 h/day) and time spent on TV and computers (>2 h/day) were not associated with the presence of neck pain in this study. Compared with EM without neck pain, those with neck pain had higher neck tenderness (p<0.01) and higher cephalic tenderness scores (p<0.01). Neck Disability Index scores were positively correlated with neck and total muscle tenderness scores.
Conclusion: There was a significant difference in cranio-cervical muscle tenderness scores between EM with and without neck pain. For EM, the factors studied in the current research seemed not associated with the onset of neck pain, and further studies including other factors are needed.

Keywords: episodic migraine, neck pain, muscle tenderness, neck disability

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