Functional Balance Deterioration on Daily Activities in Patients With Migraine: A Controlled Study

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This study aimed to assess functional activities in different subgroups of patients with migraine.


One-hundred forty subjects were uniformly divided into the following four groups: headache-free controls, migraine with aura, without aura, and chronic migraine. Subjects performed the tests walk across, tandem walk, sit to stand, and step up and over at the Balance Master system (Neurocom).


All migraine groups had slower velocity and shorter step length at the walk across test (P < 0.0009). The step width was wider in migraine with aura and chronic migraine groups (P < 0.03). At the tandem walk test, patients with migraine exhibited slower velocity and wider step width (P < 0.03). All migraine groups were different than controls at weight transfer and rising index of the sit-to-stand test (P < 0.002). At the step-up-and-over test, there were differences in all outcomes of both legs between headache-free controls versus migraine groups (P < 0.02) and at one outcome between without aura versus migraine with aura (P < 0.01). Moderate to high effect sizes were found for all tests on at least two outcomes assessed, mostly between controls compared with migraine groups.


Migraine is related to changes in the performance of functional tasks, suggesting early motor control deterioration. Proper balance assessment and rehabilitation strategies should be considered for these patients.

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