Cervical musculoskeletal dysfunction in post-concussional headache

Cephalalgia. 1994 Aug;14(4):273-9; discussion 257. doi: 10.1046/j.1468-2982.1994.1404273.x.


Persistent headache is a common symptom following a minor head injury or concussion, possibly related to simultaneous injury of structures of the cervical spine. This study measured aspects of cervical musculoskeletal function in a group of patients (12) with post-concussional headache (PCH) and in a normal control group. The PCH group was distinguished from the control group by the presence of painful upper cervical segmental joint dysfunction, less endurance in the neck flexor muscles and a higher incidence of moderately tight neck musculature. Active range of cervical motion and postural attitude were not significantly different between groups. As upper cervical joint dysfunction is a feature of cervicogenic causes of headache, the results of this study support the inclusion of a precise physical examination of the cervical region in differential diagnosis of patients suffering persistent headache following concussion.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Brain Concussion / complications*
  • Female
  • Headache / etiology*
  • Headache / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement / physiology
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Neck Muscles / physiopathology
  • Posture / physiology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Time Factors