The Effect of Muscle Energy Technique on Headache, Upper Cervical Rotation and Deep Upper Cervical Muscle Thickness in Cervicogenic Headache (Randomized Clinical Trial)

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Headache Index
Muscle Energy Technique
Cervicogenic Headache
Deep Muscle

How to Cite

AbaspourO., Akbari M., RezasoltaniA., & AhmadiA. (2020). The Effect of Muscle Energy Technique on Headache, Upper Cervical Rotation and Deep Upper Cervical Muscle Thickness in Cervicogenic Headache (Randomized Clinical Trial). Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, 22(4). Retrieved from


Background: Cervicogenic headache (CGH) is a disabling condition associated with musculoskeletal impairment of the cervical region. There is limited evidence for the efficacy of muscle energy technique (MET) on CGH.

Objectives: The present study aimed to assess the effect of MET on CGH patients.

Methods: In this single-blinded, randomized, controlled study, thirty subjects with CGH aged 18 - 55years were randomly assigned into two groups, intervention group (MET in cervical muscles + infrared (IR) radiation) and control group (IR). Both groups received these interventions for 6 sessions, 3 times a week for two weeks. Outcome measures included headache index, upper cervical rotation range of motion (ROM), and deep upper cervical muscles thickness.

Results: In the intragroup analysis, the headache index and upper cervical rotation ROM were significantly different in the two groups (P < 0.05), but in the intergroup analysis, only left upper cervical rotation ROM was significantly different (P < 0.05). Additionally, all muscles thickness had no significant difference in intragroup and intergroup analyses (P > 0.05). The effect size was large in the MET group than that in the control group for ROM and headache index (d > 0.7), but this was less than medium for muscle thickness in the two groups (d < 0.5).

Conclusions: MET + IR is a suitable and durable approach for CGH treatment and increase of upper cervical rotation ROM rather than IR alone, but this approach cannot change the muscles thickness significantly in 2 weeks.



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