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21 female patients suffering from chronic tension headache received 10 sessions of upper body massage consisting of deep tissue techniques in addition to softer techniques in the beginning. When found, trigger points were carefully and forcefully massaged. The range of cervical movements, surface ENMG on mm. frontalis and trapezius, visual analogue scale (VAS) and Finnish Pain Questionnaire (FPQ), and the incidence of neck pain during a two week period before and after the treatment, and at 3 and 6 months during the follow-up period together with Beck depression inventory were taken for evaluation and follow-up. The range of movement in all directions increased, and FPQ, VAS and the number of days with neck pain decreased significantly. There was a significant change in ENMG on the frontalis muscle whereas changes in trapezius remained insignificant. Beck inventory showed an improvement after the treatment. This study confirmed clinical and physiological effects of massage.

Keywords: massage; musculoskeletal pain/dysfunction; surface EMG; tension headache; trigger point

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Dept. of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Kuopio University Central Hospital, Kuopio, Finland 2: Department of Physical Medicin and Rehabilitation, Kuopio University Central Hospital, Kupopio, Finland 3: Kankaanpää Rehabilitation Center, SF-38700 Kankaanpää, Finland

Publication date: January 1, 1990

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