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Papers of the Week

Papers: 4 Apr 2020 - 10 Apr 2020

Human Studies


2020 Apr 06

Sci Rep



Alleviation of migraine symptoms by application of repetitive peripheral magnetic stimulation to myofascial trigger points of neck and shoulder muscles – A randomized trial.


Renner T, Sollmann N, Heinen F, Albers L, Trepte-Freisleder F, Klose B, König H, Krieg SM, Bonfert MV, Landgraf MN
Sci Rep. 2020 Apr 06; 10(1):5954.
PMID: 32249788.


Migraine is a burdensome disease with an especially high prevalence in women between the age of 15 and 49 years. Non-pharmacological, non-invasive therapeutic methods to control symptoms are increasingly in demand to complement a multimodal intervention approach in migraine. Thirty-seven subjects (age: 25.0 ± 4.1 years; 36 females) diagnosed with high-frequency episodic migraine who presented at least one active myofascial trigger point (mTrP) in the trapezius muscles and at least one latent mTrP in the deltoid muscles bilaterally prospectively underwent six sessions of repetitive peripheral magnetic stimulation (rPMS) over two weeks. Patients were randomly assigned to receive rPMS applied to the mTrPs of the trapezius (n = 19) or deltoid muscles (n = 18). Whereas the trapezius muscle is supposed to be part of the trigemino-cervical complex (TCC) and, thus, involved in the pathophysiology of migraine, the deltoid muscle was not expected to interfere with the TCC and was therefore chosen as a control stimulation site. The headache calendar of the German Migraine and Headache Society (DMKG) as well as the Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS) questionnaire were used to evaluate stimulation-related effects. Frequency of headache days decreased significantly in both the trapezius and the deltoid group after six sessions of rPMS (trapezius group: p = 0.005; deltoid group: p = 0.003). The MIDAS score decreased significantly from 29 to 13 points (p = 0.0004) in the trapezius and from 31 to 15 points (p = 0.002) in the deltoid group. Thus, rPMS applied to mTrPs of neck and shoulder muscles offers a promising approach to alleviate headache frequency and symptom burden. Future clinical trials are needed to examine more profoundly these effects, preferably using a sham-controlled setting.