Academy of Chiropractic

MD Referral Program

#11 – Clinical Information, MRI and Diagnosis

Consultation #20

Interprofessional Spine Care Report

Spine Research Series #03

Myofascial Trigger Points and Tension Headache

This is also a great introductory research flyer for the medical community.  The basis of this is to show them how to IDENTIFY the signs of underlying spinal biomechanical dysfunction, particularly in the cervical spine.  We know that spinal compensation results in muscle dysfunction due to overstretching or overloading of spinal musculature.  When the load increases over time, we will start to see a myofascial component to the pain syndrome.  Evidence suggests that much of the opioid prescription epidemic is a result of overmedicating for spinal disorders.

When I work with the medical community especially the “mid-level” providers such as Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants as well as RNs, this is a great flyer to show them because you can demonstrate WHERE to touch the patient to evaluate for these trigger points.  They know the familiar patterns of muscle pain in patients, but don’t necessarily understand what that means or what to do about it.  Physical therapy is not a great option since these are signs of an underlying problem with spinal mechanics. 

This paper shows that 38% of patients have tension headache and that we know is relate to cervical musculature dysfunction and therefore underlying spinal biomechanical abnormalities.  Chiropractic anyone?? Teach the medical community how and where to identify spasm and myofascial trigger points in the cervical spine and use this paper to show them the correlation between that mechanical dysfunction and chronic headache.  You are a much better option then meds!

Fernández‐de‐las‐Peñas, C., Cleland, J. A., Cuadrado, M. L., & Pareja, J. A. (2008). Predictor variables for identifying patients with chronic tension‐type headache who are likely to achieve short‐term success with muscle trigger point therapy. Cephalalgia28(3), 264-275. 

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