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Effectiveness of therapeutic exercise for the management of cervicogenic headache: A systematic review

  • Objective: The main aim of this systematic review is to evaluate the effectiveness of therapeutic exercise for managing pain and disability in patients with cervicogenic headache (CEH). Methods: A protocol for this systematic review was published in PROSPERO (CRD42019122703). PRISMA and AMSTAR2 standards were followed. Based on an extensive systematic search in five databases (EMBASE, MEDLINE, CINHAL, PsychInfo and SportDISCUS) and the CENTRAL trial register, two reviewers carefully and independently assessed, selected results, collected data, rated the risk of bias (RoB) of included studies with the Cochrane risk of bias tool, synthesized the available evidence, and rated it using GRADE methodology. Results: A total of 12 manuscripts, reporting on 11 studies were included. Most studies showed a high risk of bias (63,63%). Additionally, a great deal of heterogeneity was observed regarding interventions, comparisons, and outcomes and thus, results could not be synthesized in meta-analyses. The quality of the evidence was found to be from low to very low. Significant differences with large effect sizes were found when comparing multimodal exercise vs. control groups on headache outcomes (SMD = 0.73; 95%CI [0.31, 1.14] for headache intensity and SMD = 0.98; 95%CI [0.56, 1.41], for headache frequency). Conclusions: Findings indicate that therapeutic exercise may be effective to achieve clinically relevant reductions in headache intensity and frequency as well as disability for patients suffering from cervicogenic headache. However, more high-quality research is needed to gain confidence in this finding and possibly determine optimal types and dosage of therapeutic exercise.

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Author:Björn Becher, Cristina Lozano-López, Ester Moreira de Castro-CarlettiORCiD, Marisa Hoffmann, Carina Becher, Juan Mesa-Jimenez, Cesar Fernandez-de-las-PeñasORCiD, Susan Armijo-OlivoORCiD
Title (English):Effectiveness of therapeutic exercise for the management of cervicogenic headache: A systematic review
Parent Title (English):Musculoskeletal Science and Practice
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2023
Release Date:2024/06/07
Tag:Cervicogenic headache; Exercise; Headache; Physiotherapy
Article Number:102822
Page Number:13
Zugriff im Hochschulnetz
Faculties:Fakultät WiSo
DDC classes:600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 610 Medizin, Gesundheit
Review Status:Peer Reviewed