Manual therapy and exercise for patients with cluster headache

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Lucía de-la-Puente-Ranea
Alfonso Gil-Martínez
Óscar Rodríguez-López
Pablo González-Gutiérrez
María Ángeles Mangas-Guijarro
Gonzalo Navarro-Fernández


The aim of this case series is to clarify if a physiotherapy program can reduce the frequency, intensity and duration of the headache episodes in patients with cluster headache. A 7-case series with cluster headache patients was conducted. Every subject received physiotherapy treatment based on manual therapy and exercise, maintaining pharmacological treatment prescribed by the neurologist.  Frequency, intensity and duration of the episodes, pressure pain thresholds (PPT) and psychological variables were measured 5 times:  pre-intervention, post-intervention, 1 month follow-up, 2 months follow-up and 3 months follow-up. Two of the seven subjects decreased their frequency of headaches over 50 % and another in 16,67 %. There were no significant changes in duration or intensity. Results also showed an improvement in impact of headache in 6 of 7 cases. Those cases that decreased more their headache frequency also decreased their pain catastrophizing. A program of physiotherapy based in manual therapy and exercise, might be an effective and safe complement to decrease the frequency of the episodes of CH in short-term (4 months follow-up) including interdisciplinary working with neurologists and other health care professionals.

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How to Cite
de-la-Puente-Ranea, L., Gil-Martínez, A., Rodríguez-López, Óscar, González-Gutiérrez, P., Mangas-Guijarro, M. Ángeles, & Navarro-Fernández, G. (2021). Manual therapy and exercise for patients with cluster headache. EXCLI Journal, 20, 948-955.
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