Objective evidence has been identified linking neck muscle involvement to primary headaches.
Background: Primary headaches, such as tension-type headaches and migraines, are common and can significantly impact quality of life. While neck pain is often associated with these headaches, the underlying cause is not fully understood.
Study: Researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to investigate the involvement of the trapezius muscles in primary headache disorders.
Findings: The study found that individuals with primary headaches had higher muscle T2 values, which indicates inflammation, in their trapezius muscles. These muscle T2 values were significantly correlated with the number of headache days and the presence of neck pain.
Implications: These findings suggest that neck muscles play a role in the pathophysiology of primary headaches. Therefore, treatments that target the neck muscles could potentially provide relief from both neck pain and headaches.
Potential Treatment Applications
Non-invasive treatment options: Dr. Sollmann highlights the potential of non-invasive treatments that directly target the neck muscles, such as physical therapy or massage therapy. These treatments could be more effective and safer than systemic drugs.
Therapy monitoring: Muscle T2 mapping could be used to stratify patients with primary headaches and to track potential treatment effects. This would allow for personalized treatment approaches and better monitoring of treatment outcomes.