Orthopaedic Manual physical Therapy including Thrust Manipulation and Exercise in the Management of a Patient with Cervicogenic Headache: A Case Report

Jacqueline van Duijn, Arie J. van Duijn, Wanda Nitsch

This case report describes the physical therapy differential diagnosis, management, and outcomes of a patient with cervicogenic headache. The patient was a 40-year-old woman referred by her physiatrist with complaints of cervical pain and ipsilateral temporal headache. The patient presented with increased muscle tone, multiple-level joint hypomobility in the cervical and thoracic spine, muscle weakness, and postural changes. Self-report outcome measures included the Visual Analog Scale for headache pain intensity and the Neck Disability Index. Management consisted of various thrust and non-thrust manipulations, soft tissue mobilizations, postural re-education, and exercise to address postural deficits and cervical and thoracic hypomobility and diminished strength. At discharge, the patient demonstrated clinically meaningful improvements with regard to pain, disability, and headache. This case report indicates that a multimodal physical therapy treatment program may be effective in the management of a patient diagnosed with cervicogenic headache.

The Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy Vol. 15 No. 1 (2007), 10-24

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Neck Pain

Out of all 291 conditions studied in the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study, neck pain ranked 4th highest in terms of disability and 21st in terms of overall burden.
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Rachael Lowe is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Physiopedia. A physiotherapist and technology specialist Rachael has been working with Physiopedia since 2008 to create a resource that provides universal access to physiotherapy knowledge as well as a platform for connecting and educating the global physiotherapy profession.

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