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J Headache Pain. 2011 Apr;12(2):127-33. doi: 10.1007/s10194-011-0296-6. Epub 2011 Feb 5.

Manual therapies for migraine: a systematic review.

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  • 1Head and Neck Research Group, Research Centre, Akershus University Hospital, 1478 Lørenskog, Norway.


Migraine occurs in about 15% of the general population. Migraine is usually managed by medication, but some patients do not tolerate migraine medication due to side effects or prefer to avoid medication for other reasons. Non-pharmacological management is an alternative treatment option. We systematically reviewed randomized clinical trials (RCTs) on manual therapies for migraine. The RCTs suggest that massage therapy, physiotherapy, relaxation and chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy might be equally effective as propranolol and topiramate in the prophylactic management of migraine. However, the evaluated RCTs had many methodological shortcomings. Therefore, any firm conclusion will require future, well-conducted RCTs on manual therapies for migraine.

© The Author(s) 2011. This article is published with open access at

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