The effectiveness of sternocleidomastoid muscle dry needling in patients with cervicogenic headache

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences; Department of Physiotherapy, Rehabilitation Research Center, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Epidemiology and Statistics, Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Cervicogenic headache (CGH) is a secondary headache with a cervical source that radiates pain to the head or face. Accordingly, one reason of CGH is myofascial trigger points. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of one session dry needling (DN) of myofascial trigger points of the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle in patients with CGH. Materials and Methods: In this before-and-after clinical trial, 16 females aged 18–60 years with a clinical diagnosis of CGH were enrolled. All of the patients received one session DN into the myofascial trigger points of the SCM muscle. Headache index (HI), headache duration, headache frequency, and headache disability index (HDI) were assessed at 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after the intervention. This study was registered in Clinical Trials as IRCT20181109041599N1. Results: One session DN into myofascial trigger points of the SCM muscle showed a significant improvement in HI (P < 0.001). Duration and frequency of headache as well as HDI significantly reduced after intervention (P < 0.001). Conclusion: One session DN into myofascial trigger points of the SCM muscle was effective on improvement of HI, headache duration, headache frequency, and HDI in patients with CGH.


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