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Myofascial trigger points in cluster headache patients: a case series

Elena P Calandre*, Javier Hidalgo, Juan M Garcia-Leiva, Fernando Rico-Villademoros and Antonia Delgado-Rodriguez

Author Affiliations

Institute of Neuroscience, University of Granada, Granada, Spain

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Head & Face Medicine 2008, 4:32  doi:10.1186/1746-160X-4-32

Published: 30 December 2008


Active myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) have been found to contribute to chronic tension-type headache and migraine. The purpose of this case series was to examine if active trigger points (TrPs) provoking cluster-type referred pain could be found in cluster headache patients and, if so, to evaluate the effectiveness of active TrPs anaesthetic injections both in the acute and preventive headache's treatment. Twelve patients, 4 experiencing episodic and 8 chronic cluster headache, were studied. TrPs were found in all of them. Abortive infiltrations could be done in 2 episodic and 4 chronic patients, and preemptive infiltrations could be done in 2 episodic and 5 chronic patients, both kind of interventions being successful in 5 (83.3%) and in 6 (85.7%) of the cases respectively. When combined with prophylactic drug therapy, injections were associated with significant improvement in 7 of the 8 chronic cluster patients. Our data suggest that peripheral sensitization may play a role in cluster headache pathophysiology and that first neuron afferent blockade can be useful in cluster headache management.