Reduction of current migraine headache pain following neck massage and spinal manipulation

Younes Jahangiri Noudeh, Nasibeh Vatankhah, Hamid R. Baradaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Migraine headache significantly impacts the health of individuals and of society. The application of simple physical nonpharmacological techniques could greatly reduce the therapeutic costs and side effects in acute onset of such headaches. Methods: Ten male patients (mean age was 32.0 ± 10.59 years) with acute onset of a migraine headache according to IHS-2004 diagnostic criteria were enrolled in the study. Neck and upper thoracic spine massage and manipulation technique was performed. Headache pain intensity was assessed before and after the intervention by means of a verbal analog scale. Results: Following treatment, headache pain intensity was significantly reduced compared to the pretreatment values (1.85 ± 1.11 vs. 5.80 ± 2.25, p =.005). As a percentage, this represents a mean pain reduction of 68.77% ± 18.56. No side effects were observed, and all of the patients reported satisfaction with the intervention. Conclusion: Our results show that the applied cervical and upper thoracic massage and manipulation technique could reduce the headache attack pain intensity in patients with migraine headaches, though further testing, including study designs that make use of control groups, is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-13
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork: Research, Education, and Practice
Issue number1
Early online date31 Mar 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Abortive treatment
  • Cervical spine manipulation
  • Migraine
  • Neck massage


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