Forward head posture and neck mobility in chronic tension-type headache: a blinded, controlled study

Cephalalgia. 2006 Mar;26(3):314-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2982.2005.01042.x.


Forward head posture (FHP) and neck mobility were objectively assessed in 25 patients with chronic tension-type headache (CTTH) and 25 healthy controls. Side-view pictures were taken in a sitting position to measure the cranio-vertebral angle. A cervical goniometer was employed to measure the range of all cervical motions. Patients with CTTH showed a smaller cranio-vertebral angle (45.3 degrees +/- 7.6 degrees) than controls (54.1 degrees +/- 6.3 degrees), thus presenting a greater FHP (P < 0.001). Patients also had lesser neck mobility for all cervical movements, except for right lateral flexion (P < 0.01). There was a positive correlation between the cranio-vertebral angle and neck mobility. Within the CTTH group, a negative correlation was found between the cranio-vertebral angle and headache frequency, but neck mobility did not correlate with headache parameters. Further research is needed to define a potential role of FHP and restricted neck mobility in the origin or maintenance of TTH.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Head / anatomy & histology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck / anatomy & histology*
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Tension-Type Headache / physiopathology*