Comparative study with EMG, pressure algometry and manual palpation in tension-type headache and migraine

G. Sandrini, F. Antonaci, E. Pucci, G. Nappi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


According to International Headache Society classification criteria, the presence of pericranial muscle disorder in tension-type headache should be evaluated using one of the following methods: EMG pressure algometry or manual palpation. The purpose of this study was to compare the results of these three methods in 15 patients with episodic tension-type headache, 29 with chronic tension-type headache and 22 presenting migraine without aura compared to those obtained in healthy individuals. Algometric and EMG recordings at the frontalis muscle during mental arithmetic were more impaired in episodic and chronic tension headache patients than incontrols and migraine patients. Chronic tension headache patients were significantly impaired at the trapezius muscle in all three tests compared to controls. Our data indicate that when two or three tests were carried out the diagnostic capacity was significantly improved in comparison to only one test. Moreover, since a different pattern could be seen with pain and without pain, the existence of headache at the time of testing should be taken into consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-457
Number of pages7
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • EMG
  • Manual palpation
  • Migraine
  • Pressure pain threshold
  • Tension-type headache

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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