Cervical musculoskeletal impairment is common in elders with headache
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There is an opinion that with increasing cervical degenerative joint disease with ageing, cervicogenic headaches become more frequent. This study aimed to determine if cervical musculoskeletal dysfunction was specific to headache classifiable as cervicogenic or was more generic to headache in elders. Subjects (n = 118), aged 60-75 years with recurrent headache and 44 controls were recruited. Neck function measures included range of motion (ROM), cervical joint dysfunction, cranio-cervical flexor muscle function, joint position sense (JPS) and cervical muscle strength. A questionnaire documented the characteristics of headaches for classification. A cluster analysis based on three musculoskeletal variables aligned previously with cervicogenic headache, divided headache subjects into two groups; cluster 1 (n = 57), cluster 2 (n = 50). Dysfunctions were greater in cluster 1 than in 2 for extension range and C1-2 joint dysfunction (p < 0.05). Most cervicogenic headaches were grouped in cluster 1, but musculoskeletal dysfunction was also found in headaches classifiable as migraine or tension-type headache. Neck dysfunction is not uniquely confined to cervicogenic headache in elders. Further research such as headache responsiveness to management of the neck disorder is required to better understand about the neck's causative or contributing role to elders' headache.
Clinical Sciences not elsewhere classified