Musculoskeletal dysfunction in migraine patients

Kerstin Luedtke*, Wiebke Starke, Arne May

*Corresponding author for this work
9 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The aim of this project was to evaluate the prevalence and pattern of musculoskeletal dysfunctions in migraine patients using a rigorous methodological approach and validating an international consensus cluster of headache assessment tests. Methods: A physiotherapist, blinded towards the diagnosis, examined 138 migraine patients (frequent episodic and chronic), recruited at a specialised headache clinic, and 73 age and gender matched healthy controls following a standardised protocol. Eleven tests, previously identified in an international consensus procedure, were used to evaluate cervical and thoracic musculoskeletal dysfunctions. Results: Primary analyses indicated statistically significant differences across groups for the total number of trigger points, flexion-rotation test, thoracic screening, manual joint testing of the upper cervical spine, cranio-cervical flexion test, and reproduction and resolution. Ninety three percent of the assessed patients had at least three musculoskeletal dysfunctions. Post-hoc tests showed significant differences between episodic or chronic migraine patients and healthy controls, but not between migraine groups. Conclusions: A standardised set of six physical examination tests showed a high prevalence of musculoskeletal dysfunctions in migraine patients. These dysfunctions support a reciprocal interaction between the trigeminal and the cervical systems as a trait symptom in migraine.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)865-875
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 01.04.2018

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


Dive into the research topics of 'Musculoskeletal dysfunction in migraine patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this