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bibliography*The PainScience Bibliography contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers and others sources, like a specialized blog. This page is about a single scientific paper in the bibliography, Lebbink 1991.

A questionnaire survey of muscular symptoms in chronic headache. An age- and sex-controlled study

updated


Tags: etiology, muscle pain, headache, pro, muscle, pain problems, head, head/neck

PainSci summary of Lebbink 1991?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★☆☆☆?2-star ratings are for studies with flaws, bias, and/or conflict of interest; published in lesser journals. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

This survey asked people with and without headache about the soreness and tightness of their neck, shoulder, and jaw muscles. Tightness was more common and severe in the headache suffers, and soreness was more severe (that is, everyone was sore to some extent, but people with headaches were more sore). All areas were linked to headache to some degree, but the neck much more so. Such data can't tell us anything about causality, but it certainly helps to reinforce what seems obvious to most people who have ever had a headache: there is some kind of link to the neck, jaw, and shoulders.

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstractAbstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

In a questionnaire survey we determined the prevalence and intensity of muscular symptoms in a group of chronic headache sufferers as compared with age- and sex-matched controls. The muscular symptoms studied were tightness and soreness of the neck, shoulder, and jaw muscles. Muscle tightness was reported significantly more frequently in the headache than in the control group, but only for the neck muscles (48.6 vs. 29.9%; p less than 0.01). When headache was present, the prevalence of neck muscle tightness in the headache group significantly increased further to 68.8% (p less than 0.001) and that of jaw muscle tightness increased significantly from 17.2 to 29.7% (p less than 0.01). The intensity of muscle tightness was again only significantly different between the headache and the control groups for the neck muscles (p less than 0.01). However, it was significantly higher for all three muscle groups in the headache group when headache was actually present than when headache was absent (p less than 0.001).

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