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Papers of the Week

Papers: 2 May 2020 - 8 May 2020

Human Studies


2020 May 05

BMJ Open



Validation of a clinical examination to differentiate a cervicogenic source of headache: a diagnostic prediction model using controlled diagnostic blocks.


Neck pain commonly accompanies recurrent headaches such as migraine, tension-type and cervicogenic headache. Neck pain may be part of the headache symptom complex or a local source. Patients commonly seek neck treatment to alleviate headache, but this is only indicated when cervical musculoskeletal dysfunction is the source of pain. Clinical presentation of reduced cervical extension, painful cervical joint dysfunction and impaired muscle function collectively has been shown to identify cervicogenic headache among patients with recurrent headaches. The pattern's validity has not been tested against the 'gold standard' of controlled diagnostic blocks. This study assessed the validity of this pattern of cervical musculoskeletal signs to identify a cervical source of headache and neck pain, against controlled diagnostic blocks, in patients with headache and neck pain.