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Comparing neck extensor muscle function in asymptomatic Canadian adults and adults with tension-type headache: a cross-sectional study.


ABSTRACT:

Aim

To further the understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying tension-type headache (TTH) by comparing the endurance and strength of neck extensor muscles under acute muscle fatigue in participants with TTH and asymptomatic participants.

Methods

We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of neck extensor muscle performance. Asymptomatic participants and participants with TTH were recruited via social media platforms and from the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières community and employees. A total of 44 participants with TTH and 40 asymptomatic participants took part in an isometric neck extensor endurance task performed at 60% of their maximum voluntary contraction. Inclusion criteria for the headache group were to be older than 18 years old and to fulfil the International Headache Society classification's criteria for either frequent episodic or chronic TTH. Clinical (self-efficacy, anxiety, neck disability and kinesiophobia) and physical parameters (neck extensors maximum voluntary contraction, endurance time, muscle fatigue) as well as characteristics of headache episodes (intensity, frequency and associated disability) were collected for all participants. Surface electromyography was used to document upper trapezius, splenius capitis and sternocleidomastoids muscle activity and muscle fatigue.

Results

Both groups displayed similar neck extensor muscle endurance capacity with a mean difference of 6.2?s (p>0.05) in favour of the control group (control=68.1±32.3; TTH=61.9±20.1). Similarly, participants in the headache group showed comparable neck extensor muscle strength (95.9±30.4 N) to the control group (111.3±38.7 N). Among participants with TTH, those scoring as severely incapacitated by headaches were the ones with higher neck-related disability (F[1,44]=10.77; p=0.002), the more frequent headache episodes (F[1,44]=6.70; p=0.01) and higher maximum headache intensity (F[1,44]=10.81; p=0.002).

Conclusion

A fatigue task consisting of isometric neck extension cannot efficiently differentiate participants with TTH from asymptomatic participants.

SUBMITTER: Marchand AA 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6530443 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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