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Pericranial tenderness is not related to nummular headache

Authors

  • C Fernández-de-las-Peñas,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and
    2. Aesthesiology Laboratory, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, and
      César Fernández de las Peñas, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Avenida de Atenas s/n, 28922 Alcorcón, Madrid, Spain. Tel. + 34 9 1488 8884, fax + 34 9 1488 8957, e-mail cesarfdlp@yahoo.es, cesar.fernandez@urjc.es
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  • ML Cuadrado,

    1. Aesthesiology Laboratory, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, and
    2. Departments of Neurology of Fundación Hospital Alcorcón and Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain
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  • FJ Barriga,

    1. Departments of Neurology of Fundación Hospital Alcorcón and Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain
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  • JA Pareja

    1. Aesthesiology Laboratory, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, and
    2. Departments of Neurology of Fundación Hospital Alcorcón and Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain
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César Fernández de las Peñas, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Avenida de Atenas s/n, 28922 Alcorcón, Madrid, Spain. Tel. + 34 9 1488 8884, fax + 34 9 1488 8957, e-mail cesarfdlp@yahoo.es, cesar.fernandez@urjc.es

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to investigate whether nummular headache (NH) patients show increased pericranial tenderness in relation to healthy subjects, and to compare pericranial tenderness between both NH and chronic tension-type headache (CTTH) patients. Three tenderness (total, cephalic and neck) scores were objectively and blinded assessed in 10 NH patients, 10 CTTH subjects and 10 healthy matched controls. No significant differences were found in any tenderness score between the symptomatic and non-symptomatic sides in NH, or between right and left sides in either CTTH or control groups. All tenderness scores were significantly greater in CTTH patients compared with both NH patients and controls (< 0.001), but not significantly different between NH patients and controls. Therefore, NH patients had lower tenderness than patients with CTTH and did not show increased tenderness when compared with healthy subjects. In addition, tenderness in NH patients was quite symmetrical between both the symptomatic and the non-symptomatic sides. The absence of increased pericranial tenderness could be clinically useful in distinguishing NH from CTTH. Current findings expand the evidence supporting the notion that NH is a non-generalized and rather limited disorder, marking the presence of a well-delimited painful zone.

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