Nonpharmacological treatment for migraine: Incremental utility of physical therapy with relaxation and thermal biofeedback

  • Marcus D
  • Scharff L
  • Mercer S
 et al. 
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The identification of musculoskeletal abnormalities in headache patients has led to the incorporation of physical therapy (PT) into treatment programs for chronic headache. The current studies: (i) investigated the efficacy of PT as a treatment for migraine, and (ii) investigated the utility of PT as an adjunct treatment in patients who fail to improve with relaxation training/thermal biofeedback (RTB). PT alone is not effective in reducing headache, with only 14% of subjects reporting significant headache reduction (mean reduction of 15.6% in comparison with 41.3% in RTB). However, PT may have been a useful adjunct, with 47% of a group of 11 subjects who had failed to improve with RTB reporting improvement with the addition of PT. It is recommended that RTB remain the nonmedical treatment of choice for migraine, and that PT may be a useful adjunct for patients who fail to improve after such treatment.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Headache
  • Migraine
  • Physical therapy
  • Relaxation
  • Thermal biofeedback

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  • D. A. Marcus

  • L. Scharff

  • S. Mercer

  • D. C. Turk

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