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2020 Sep 17

Am J Med Genet A

Headaches in hypermobility syndromes: A pain in the neck?


Malhotra A, Pace A, Ruiz Maya T, Colman R, Gelb BD, Mehta L, Kontorovich AR
Am J Med Genet A. 2020 Sep 17.
PMID: 32940405.


Headache and neck pain (cervicalgia) are frequently reported among patients with joint hypermobility but the prevalence and scope of these symptoms has not been studied in the era of contemporary Ehlers-Danlos and hypermobility disorder nosology. We performed a single-center retrospective study on the incidence of head and neck symptoms in 140 patients with hypermobility disorders over a 2-year period. Overall, 93 patients (66%) reported either headache or neck pain with 49 of those (53%) reporting both. Migraine (83%) was the most common headache type among those with headache disorders and cervical spondylosis (61%) the most common pathology among those with neck symptoms. Fifty-nine percent of spondylosis patients who underwent cervical facet procedures reported significant improvement in neck and head symptoms. Of patients with both head and neck complaints, 82% had both migraine and spondylosis, which, when combined with the high response rate to injections raises the possibility of cervicogenic headache. In this large multidisciplinary retrospective study of patients with hypermobility disorders, head and neck symptoms were highly prevalent, with migraine and cervical spondylosis common, often coexisting, and frequently responsive to targeted therapy for the cervical spine suggesting that degenerative spinal pathology may cause or contribute to headache symptoms in some patients with hypermobility disorders.