The relationship of myofascial trigger points of the pericranial musculature and episodic tension-type headache
Forsyth, Juliette Faye
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The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) of the pericranial musculature and the clinical presentation of episodic tension-type headache (ETTH). It set out to determine the extent to which MPS is related to the nature of the ETTH. ETTH is a very prevalent disorder, common to individuals in their third decade, and particularly females. Current literature suggests a multi-factorial aetiology, combining psychological and neuromusculoskeletal mechanisms, to name a few. Due to the many facets of this disorder, it has, for a long time, provided a challenge to the practitioner with regard to patient treatment and management. MPS is a condition that may affect any number of muscles, resulting in motor, sensory and autonomic symptoms. MPS of the pericranial muscles, namely the upper Trapezius, Sternocleidomastoid, Temporalis and Suboccipital muscles, produces a referred pain pattern similar to the pain pattern experienced during an ETTH. The literature states that the pain produced by MPS has been somewhat overlooked and it was thus necessary to further investigate the myofascial component of ETTH. This study was a quantitative, pilot, non-intervention, clinical assessment study, which required forty participants residing in the province of Kwa-Zulu Natal suffering from ETTH. The clinical assessment included a case history and physical and cervical examinations. The participants were requested to complete a headache diary over a period of 14 days. Following this, they returned to the Chiropractic Day Clinic for a second consultation. Data was collected at both consultations and the participant was offered one free treatment. The headache diary and Numerical Pain Rating Scale provided the subjective measurements, while the algometer and Myofascial Diagnostic Scale were used to gather the objective measurements.