Cervical musculoskeletal impairments and pressure pain sensitivity in office workers with headache

the NEXpro collaboration group


Background: Office workers are specifically vulnerable to headache conditions. Neck pain is reported by almost 80% of patients with headaches. Associations between currently recommended tests to examine cervical musculoskeletal impairments, pressure pain sensitivity and self-reported variables in headache, are unknown. The aim of this study is to evaluate whether cervical musculoskeletal impairments and pressure pain sensitivity are associated with self-reported headache variables in office workers. Methods: This study reports a cross-sectional analysis using baseline data of a randomized controlled trial. Office workers with headache were included in this analysis. Multivariate associations, controlled for age, sex and neck pain, between cervical musculoskeletal variables (strength, endurance, range of motion, movement control) and pressure pain threshold (PPT) over the neck and self-reported headache variables, such as frequency, intensity, and the Headache-Impact-Test-6, were examined. Results: Eighty-eight office workers with a 4-week headache frequency of 4.8 (±5.1) days, a moderate average headache intensity (4.5 ± 2.1 on the NRS), and “some impact” (mean score: 53.7 ± 7.9) on the headache-impact-test-6, were included. Range of motion and PPT tested over the upper cervical spine were found to be most consistently associated with any headache variable. An adjusted R2 of 0.26 was found to explain headache intensity and the score on the Headache-Impact-Test-6 by several cervical musculoskeletal and PPT variables. Discussion: Cervical musculoskeletal impairments can explain, irrespective of coexisting neck pain, only little variability of the presence of headache in office workers. Neck pain is likely a symptom of the headache condition, and not a separate entity.

ZeitschriftMusculoskeletal Science and Practice
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 08.2023

Strategische Forschungsbereiche und Zentren

  • Querschnittsbereich: Gesundheitswissenschaften: Logopädie, Ergotherapie, Physiotherapie und Hebammenwissenschaft


  • 206-03 Experimentelle und theoretische Netzwerk-Neurowissenschaften
  • 206-05 Experimentelle Modelle zum Verständnis von Erkrankungen des Nervensystems