Balance disorders in headache patients: evaluation by computerized static stabilometry


Cristiana Rossi, Headache Center – Department of Neuroscience, University of Perugia, Via E. Dal Pozzo, 06126 Perugia, Italy
Tel.: +39-075-578-3609
Fax: +39-075-578-3870


Objectives –  The aim of the study was to investigate the occurrence of equilibrium disturbances in headache patients, during the interictal period, by computerized static stabilometry.

Materials and methods –  Sixty-seven patients were studied: 35 with migraine without aura (MwoA), 12 with tension-type headache (TTH) in the episodic form (ETTH) + MwoA, and 20 with only TTH [10 ETTH + 10 chronic (CTTH)]. The stabilometric parameters considered were: statokinesigram length (L) and surface (S) in open (EO) and closed (EC) eyes conditions with/without occlusal bite, EC with head retroflexion (ECR), and optokinetic stimulation (OKN).

Results –  The alteration of at least one of the stabilometric parameters was observed in 45 patients (67.2%): 21 MwoA, 8 ETTH + MwoA, and 16 TTH (8 ETTH + 8 CTTH).

Conclusion –  In TTH patients (ETTH, CTTH, ETTH + MwoA), the stabilometric findings show a proprioceptive alteration induced by cervicofacial muscle contraction, which was peripheral in origin. In MwoA patients the alterations appear under OKN and support a control impairment in involuntary oculomotility of central origin.