Lars Bendtsen, Rigmor Jensen, Sait Ashina, Bjarne Kjeldgaard Madsen, Lotte Skytte Krøll.
Increased understanding of the relative importance of peripheral factors (mainly muscular) and central factors (mainly central pain processing) in the pathophysiology of tension-type headache are crucial for the development of more effective treatment options for this disorder.
Experimental models studying muscular factors, e.g. muscle pain sensitivity, and central factors, e.g. degree of windup, and the interaction between these factors are needed to explore the cause/effect relationship between the various peripheral and central abnormalities reported in tension-type headache. Previous studies from our group have, e.g., demonstrated abnormal tenderness and pain perception indicating central sensitization.
Headache patients are often physically inactive because of their headache and a linear relationship between low level of physical activity and increased headache frequency has been demonstrated. The clinical experience and some studies have suggested that physical activity may prevent migraine attacks. However the effect of physical activity in patients suffering from migraine and co-existing tension-type headache and neck-pain has not yet been investigated.
Epidemiology of neck pain and headache. The effect of specific strength training and the role of muscle strength in neck pain in tension-type headache and migraine. The effect of an exercise program in patients with migraine and co-existing tension-type headache and neck pain.
Professor Tim Steiner, Division of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Imperial College London, London W6 8RP, UK. Professor Karen Søgaard, Institute of sports science and clinical biomechanics, University of southern Denmark. Catharina Sjödahl Hammarlund. University Lecturer, Gunvor Gard, professor, Department of Health Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.