Study Reveals Promising Directions for Cervicogenic Headache Management Through Repeated End Range Movements
A recent study, coauthored by Lan Lin Pu, PT, Dip. MDT, Eric Miller, PT, DCS, OCS, Cert. MDT, FAAOMPT, and Ron Schenk PT, PhD, OCS, Dip MDT, FAAOMPT, who is a clinical professor at the Tufts University School of Medicine Doctor of Physical Therapy Boston program, has shed light on the potential of repeated end range movements as indicators of a specific directional preference for manual procedures and exercises. These findings hold promise for the management of various musculoskeletal conditions, including cervicogenic headache.
The publication of this research received the prestigious research poster award at the 2024 conference of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists.
The research, conducted as a comprehensive case series, closely examined a group of individuals grappling with chronic cervicogenic headache. By meticulously evaluating their responses to a customized course of care, the study sought to evaluate the effectiveness of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT) in addressing this specific type of headache.
Cervicogenic headache (CGH) is widely acknowledged as a secondary type of headache originating from the cervical spine, often radiating to various regions of the head and face, as per the International Headache Society (IHS). Given MDT's effectiveness in treating spinal musculoskeletal disorders, it was chosen as the cornerstone of the investigation, aiming to explore its potential in managing CGH. The primary objective of this case series was to examine the efficacy of the MDT approach in the assessment, classification, and management of a select group of patients experiencing cervicogenic headache.
The methodology involved a prospective case series design, with 15 patients meeting the study's inclusion criteria selected from a hospital-based outpatient physical therapy clinic. These individuals underwent a comprehensive physical therapy examination, overseen by a MDT clinician.
The implications of this case series suggest that patients' responses to repeated end range movements may serve as crucial indicators of a preferred direction for manual procedures and exercises, which could be instrumental in managing musculoskeletal conditions like CGH.
Schenk, renowned for his academic and professional contributions, has significantly advanced the field of manual physical therapy. With an impressive track record comprising 30 peer-reviewed publications and over 70 presentations at esteemed national and international conferences, his research continues to shape integrated musculoskeletal approaches in the field.