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Prevalence of neck pain in migraine: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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BACKGROUND: Neck pain is a frequent complaint among patients with migraine and seems to be correlated with the headache frequency. Neck pain is more common in patients with chronic migraine compared to episodic migraine. However, prevalence of neck pain in patients with migraine varies among studies.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence of neck pain in patients with migraine and non-headache controls in observational studies.

METHODS: A systematic literature search on PubMed and Embase was conducted to identify studies reporting prevalence of neck pain in migraine patients. This review was conducted following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Data was extracted by two independent investigators and results were pooled using random-effects meta-analysis. The protocol was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42021264898).

RESULTS: The search identified 2490 citations of which 30 contained relevant original population based and clinic-based data. Among these, 24 studies provided data eligible for the analysis. The meta-analysis for clinic-based studies demonstrated that the pooled relative frequency of neck pain was 77.0% (95% CI: 69.0-86.4) in the migraine group and 23.2% (95% CI:18.6-28.5) in the non-headache control group. Neck pain was more frequent in patients with chronic migraine (87.0%, 95% CI: 77.0-93.0) compared to episodic migraine (77.0%, 95% CI: 69.0-84.0). Neck pain was 12 times more prevalent in migraine patients compared to non-headache controls and two times more prevalent in patients with chronic migraine compared to episodic migraine. The calculated heterogeneity (I2 values) ranged from 61.3% to 72.0%.

CONCLUSION: Neck pain is a frequent complaint among patients with migraine. The heterogeneity among the studies emphasize important aspects to consider in future research of neck pain in migraine to improve our understanding of the driving mechanisms of neck pain in a major group of migraine patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCephalalgia : an international journal of headache
Volume42
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)663-673
Number of pages11
ISSN0333-1024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

    Research areas

  • epidemiology, headache, Migraine, neck pain

ID: 76482482