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Blaschek, A.; Decke, Siona; Albers, L.; Schroeder, A. S.; Lehmann, S.; Straube, A.; Landgraf, M. N.; Heinen, F. and Kries, R. von (2014): Self-reported neck pain is associated with migraine but not with tension-type headache in adolescents. In: Cephalalgia, Vol. 34, No. 11: pp. 895-903 [PDF, 224kB]


AIM: The aim of the present analysis is to confirm or refute the association of neck pain to migraine or tension-type headache and to assess whether this association is independent of other risk factors for headache. METHODS: Secondary school students were invited to complete a questionnaire on headache and lifestyle factors in a cross-sectional study. Neck pain was assessed via (a) a screening question concerning neck pain and (b) denoting affected areas in schematic drawings of the human body. RESULTS: Absolute increment in prevalence of headache with pain in the shoulder-neck region was between 7.5 and 9.6. Gender, grade, stress and lifestyle factors were assessed as potential confounding factors. Nearly all factors were associated with shoulder-neck pain and most with headache. After adjustment for confounders, the association of neck pain with headache was almost completely confined to migraine (OR 2.39; 95 CI 1.48-3.85) and migraine + tension-type headache (OR 2.12; 95 CI 1.50-2.99), whereas the association with isolated tension-type headache was negligible (OR 1.22, 95 CI 0.87-1.69). CONCLUSION: Neck pain is associated with migraine but not with tension-type headache. A possible link between migraine and neck pain may be the cervico-trigeminal convergence of neck and meningeal sensory afferents or a disturbed descending inhibition in migraine.

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