Role of Manual Physical Therapy and Specific Exercise Intervention in the Treatment of a Patient With Cervicogenic Headaches: A Case Report

Jason Rodeghero, PT, DPT, OCS, MTC, ATC, A. Russell Smith, Jr., PT, EdD, OCS, FAAOMPT

This case report highlights the role of physical therapy (PT) management including manual therapy and specific exercise interventions in the care of a patient with cervicogenic headaches. The patient was an 18-year-old female college student with a medical diagnosis of migraine headaches and assessment findings of upper cervical segmental restrictions and neuromuscular imbalances. Treatment for this patient included cervical manipulation, neuromuscular retraining of deep neck flexors, and soft tissue manipulation. The patient demonstrated improvement with a total of seven treatment sessions over a five-week period where headache frequency and intensity significantly improved as upper cervical segmental mobility and deep cervical flexor function improved to within normal limits. The authors conclude that this case report demonstrates the potential role of manual physical therapy and specific exercise intervention in quickly improving function and impairments in a patient with cervicogenic headaches.

The Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy Vol. 14 No. 3 (2006), 159 – 167

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