Cranio. 2021 Oct 23:1-11. doi: 10.1080/08869634.2021.1994226. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether a combination of dry-needling treatments and upper extremity neuromuscular reeducation exercises can significantly improve neck pain and/or headache-related disability, joint position error, cervical range of motion, and pain pressure threshold in individuals suffering from cervicogenic headache (CGH).
METHODS: This study is a quasi-experimental design. Seven participants met the inclusion criteria and received dry needling to three muscles that reproduced the participant’s headache symptoms and completed the Neck Disability Index (NDI), Headache Disability Inventory (HDI), Visual Analog Scale (VAS), and Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NPRS). Participants performed an exercise regimen designed to address strength and mobility of cervical and scapulothoracic musculature.
RESULTS: There were significant improvements seen in cervical range of motion and neck pain-related disability (NDI) during the 4-week treatment period.
CONCLUSION: Dry needling and neuromuscular re-education (NMR) exercises could be effective components of treatment for individuals suffering from CGH to reduce disability and pain.