Manual therapies for cervicogenic headache: a systematic review

J Headache Pain. 2012 Jul;13(5):351-9. doi: 10.1007/s10194-012-0436-7. Epub 2012 Mar 30.


This paper systematically reviewed randomized clinical trials (RCT) assessing the efficacy of manual therapies for cervicogenic headache (CEH). A total of seven RCTs were identified, i.e. one study applied physiotherapy ± temporomadibular mobilization techniques and six studies applied cervical spinal manipulative therapy (SMT). The RCTs suggest that physiotherapy and SMT might be an effective treatment in the management of CEH, but the results are difficult to evaluate, since only one study included a control group that did not receive treatment. Furthermore, the RCTs mostly included participant with infrequent CEH. Future challenges regarding CEH are substantial both from a diagnostic and management point of view.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Musculoskeletal Manipulations / methods*
  • Post-Traumatic Headache / therapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic