Purpose.— To analyze pressure pain sensitivity maps in chronic tension-type headache (CTTH) and healthy controls over nine locations covering the temporalis muscle.
Background.— Lower pressure pain thresholds (PPT) have been found in craniofacial muscles in patients with CTTH. Since the temporalis muscle can play a relevant role in the genesis or maintenance of headache, the determination of pressure pain sensitivity maps of this muscle is needed.
Methods.— A pressure algometer was used to measure PPT over 9 points of the temporalis muscle (3 points in the anterior part of the muscle, another 3 in the middle of the muscle, and the remaining 3 in the posterior part) in 15 females suffering from CTTH and 10 healthy women. A pressure pain sensitivity map of both dominant and nondominant sides in patients and controls was calculated.
Results.— Chronic tension-type headache patients showed lower PPT as compared with healthy subjects (P < .01). Further, PPT levels of the nondominant side were lower than those on the dominant side for controls (P < .01). Within the CTTH group, more bilaterally homogeneous pressure pain sensitivity maps with PPT decreased from the posterior to anterior column were found, whereas among controls, PPT distribution maps were inhomogeneous with side-to-side differences.
Conclusions.— Our data may provide preliminary new key information about muscle sensitivity, since it seems that pressure pain sensitivity maps could be different between CTTH patients and healthy subjects. Further studies with greater sample sizes and other headache populations are now required to confirm our results.