Neck Muscles Are Responsible For Throbbing Migraines People Suffer, Study Shows

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A study by German scientists exploring the link between neck muscles and primary muscles has offered valuable insights regarding potential treatments. Headaches can be a literal pain in the neck, and this research highlights the connection between the two. By understanding the involvement of neck muscles, researchers hope to develop better treatment options for individuals suffering from primary headaches.

Neck muscle involved in tension type headaches and migraines

Dr. Nico Sollmann, M.D., a resident in the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology at University Hospital Ulm, highlights the significance of their imaging approach. The method offers objective evidence supporting the neck muscles involvement in primary headaches, such as tension-type headache or migraines. This is achieved through the quantification of subtle inflammation within the muscles.

Common primary headaches like tension-type headaches and migraines, affecting a majority of U.S. adults, are linked to stress and muscle tension, causing mild to moderate dull pain on both sides of the head. Despite their prevalence, the precise causes are unclear. Identifying contributing factors is vital for developing effective treatments and alleviating the suffering of millions.

Millions worldwide suffer from migraines, which are characterized by severe throbbing head pain. In the US, 37 million people and up to 148 million globally endure migraines, per the American Migraine Foundation.

Trapezius muscle responsible for migraines

Dr. Sollmann’s study investigated the trapezius muscle’s involvement in these headaches. Utilizing quantitative MRI, the research focuses on muscle inflammation in tension-type headaches and migraines with neck pain.

The study involving 50 participants (predominantly women aged 20-31) examined the trapezius muscles through 3D turbo spin-echo MRI scans. The participants included 16 with tension-type headaches, 12 with tension-type headaches and migraines, and 22 healthy controls. Muscle T2 values were measured, and connections with headache frequency, neck pain, and myofascial trigger points were explored.

According to the study assessing muscle T2 values is valuable for monitoring treatment efficacy in primary headaches. Dr. Sollmann highlights the implication of neck muscles in headache pathophysiology. Targeting these muscles in therapy may offer relief for both headaches and neck pain, as indicated by the study’s findings.

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