Reprint requests to: * Joel D. Haber, Ph.D., Clinic Director, Pain Management Center, Department of Anesthesiology, 1920 Seventh Avenue South, University of Alabama in Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama 35294.
Tension Headaches: Muscle Overactivity or Psychogenic Pain
Article first published online: 22 JUN 2005
Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain
Volume 25, Issue 1, pages 23–29, January 1985
How to Cite
Haber, J. D., Kuczmierczyk, A. R. and Adams, H. E. (1985), Tension Headaches: Muscle Overactivity or Psychogenic Pain. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 25: 23–29. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.1985.hed2501023.x
- Issue published online: 22 JUN 2005
- Article first published online: 22 JUN 2005
- Accepted for Publication: March 20, 1983
- Cited By
In two exploratory studies it was attempted to develop psychophysiological and self-report criteria for differentiating MCH and psychogenic headache. Subjects diagnosed as having muscle contraction headaches were assigned to low and high EMG groups following measurement of the frontalis muscle in a headache state. It was hypothesized that the low EMG group would display characteristics of psychogenic pain disorders. In the first study, nine subjects with high EMG, nine subjects with low EMG and nine control subjects participated. The results show that basal levels in a non-headache and headache state for the high EMG group were significantly different than the low EMG group, which were similar to control subjects. The low EMG group's self-report data were consistent with the hypothesis of a psychogenic disorder. The second study determined if changes in EMG activity across headache and pain-free states was a reliable effect by assessing frontalis EMG in three independent groups in two headache and two non-headache states. The results showed systematic changes in EMG in headache and non-headache states only for the high EMG group. These results suggest that accurate classification of headache disorders may alleviate some of the contradictory data in the headache literature.