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J Headache Pain. 2009 Apr;10(2):129-31. doi: 10.1007/s10194-008-0092-0. Epub 2009 Jan 14.

Jactatio extra-capitis and migraine suppression.

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  • 1Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Medicine (Neurology), Lebanon, NH, USA.


Sleep often terminates migraine headaches, and sleep disorders occur with greater prevalence in individuals with chronic or recurrent headaches. Rhythmic head, limb or body movements are common in children before falling asleep, but they very rarely persist into adolescence and adulthood, or appear de novo later in life as sleep-related rhythmic movement disorders. A 22-year-old female with migraine without aura and history of early childhood pre-dormital body rocking (jactatio) discovered that unilateral slow rhythmic movements of her right foot greatly facilitated falling sound asleep while reclining. Sleep served every time to terminate her migraine attack. Rhythmic movements may serve on occasion as a therapeutic hypnotic maneuver in migraine sufferers.

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