The effectiveness of myofascial trigger point therapy in the treatment of episodic tension-type headache in adults : a comparison of 3 manual interventions applied to the posterior cervical musculature
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Headaches are one of the most common clinical problems in medicine (Edwards et al. 1995). It is estimated that one in three people suffer from headaches at some stage in their life (Kim et al. 1995). It is an extremely common complaint in the industrialized world (Nilsson, 1997) and has a significant impact on employee absenteeism, productivity and quality of life (Schwartz et al. 1997). In the United States more than 15 000 tons of Aspirin is consumed annually for the relief of headaches, and the cost of evaluation and treatment of headache patients consumes millions of dollars a year (Bernat and Vincent, 1993). Tension - type headache is the commonest form of headaches (Edwards et al. 1995). It is a highly prevalent condition experienced annually by 30 - 70% of the population, and as a chief complaint, it constitutes 5 - 8% of Chiropractic patients (Vernon and McDermaid, 1998). It is divided into an Episodic and Chronic form (IHS, 1991:29), with Episodic Tension-type headache being far more prevalent than Chronic Tension-type headache (Schwartz et al. 1998). Episodic Tension-type headache is further subdivided according to the presence or absence of a muscular factor. According to the International Headache Society (1991:29) for decades a dispute has prevailed concerning the importance of muscle contraction in the pathogenesis of the headache, but conclusive studies are still lacking (IHS, 1991:29). Based on the IHS (1991:29) classification that tension-type headache is associated with a muscular component, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of specific myofascial trigger point therapy in the clinical presentation of Episodic Tension-type headache.