Myofascial Trigger Points and Migraine-related Disability in Women With Episodic and Chronic Migraine

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The aim of this study was to investigate the differences in the presence of head and neck-shoulder trigger points (TrPs) between women with episodic or chronic migraine and their association with migraine-related disability.

Materials and Methods:

One hundred forty-three women, aged 18 to 60 years, with migraine were recruited to participate in this study. Migraine-related disability was evaluated with the Migraine Disability Assessment Questionnaire. TrPs were explored bilaterally within the masseter, temporalis, suboccipital, sternocleidomastoid, upper trapezius, and splenius capitis muscles.


Ninety-eight women exhibited episodic migraine, whereas 45 had chronic migraine. Women with chronic migraine reported a higher related disability than those with episodic migraine (P=0.045). Women with episodic migraine had a similar number of TrPs (total number: 4.3±3.3; active TrPs: 3.0±2.9; and latent TrPs: 1.3±2.1) to those with chronic migraine (total number: 4.8±3.2; active TrPs: 3.4±2.9; and latent TrPs: 1.4±1.9). No linear association was observed between the number of TrPs and migraine-related disability in women with episodic or chronic migraine.


Women with episodic and chronic migraine had a similar number of TrPs. TrPs may be considered a trigger factor that can facilitate the onset of migraine or also can potentially be a promoting factor for pain once the migraine attack has started and hence may contribute to related disability. Nevertheless, we observed that the number of TrPs in the head and neck-shoulder muscles in an interictal state was not associated with the degree of migraine-related disability, suggesting a multifactorial nature of self-perceived disability in this population.

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