Journal Article
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
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Exteroceptive suppression periods and pericranial muscle tenderness in chronic tension-type headache: effects of psychopathology, chronicity and disability.

We examined pericranial muscle tenderness and abnormalities in the second exteroceptive suppression period (ES2) of the temporalis muscle in chronic tension-type headache (CTTH; n = 245) utilizing a blind design and methods to standardize the elicitation and scoring of these variables. No ES2 variable differed significantly between CTTH sufferers and controls (all tests, P>0.05). We found no evidence that CTTH sufferers with daily or near daily headaches, a mood or an anxiety disorder, or high levels of disability exhibit abnormal ES2 responses (all tests, P>0.05). CTTH sufferers were significantly more likely than controls to exhibit pervasive tenderness in pericranial muscles examined with standardized (500 g force) manual palpation (P<0.005). Female CTTH sufferers exhibited higher levels of pericranial muscle tenderness than male CTTH sufferers at the same level of headache activity (P<0.0001). Elevated pericranial muscle tenderness was associated with a comorbid anxiety disorder. These findings provide further evidence of pericranial hyperalgesia in CTTH and suggest this phenomenon deserves further study. Basic research that better elucidates the biological significance of the ES2 response and the factors that influence ES2 assessments appears necessary before this measure can be of use in clinical research.

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