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SYNOPSIS

Considerable disagreement is found in the literature regarding the correlations between the degree of the electromyographically recorded tension of the head and cervical muscles, and muscle contraction headache.

31 patients were admitted to the study and divided into 3 groups according to the diagnostic criteria of Ad Hoc Committee: vascular headache, muscle tension and mixed headache, in addition to 5 control subjects. The EMG recording was carried out with superficial electrodes on neck muscles during rest conditions (base EMG), under stress conditions (stress EMG), and finally during isometric contraction against resistance (max EMG).

The exclusion from the study of patients with clinical characteristics definable as “psychogenic” headaches made it possible to obtain a homogeneous sample of patients with the diagnosis of muscle tension headache.

Higher values of muscle tension in the group of patients suffering from muscle tension headache as compared to other groups of patients and to control subjects were found.