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Cephalalgia. 2007 Jan;27(1):14-21.

Adolescent disc degeneration--no headache association.

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Department of Public Health, University of Turku, Finland.


The objective of the study was to determine whether adolescents with headache have more disc degeneration in the cervical spine than headache-free controls. This study is part of a population-based follow-up study of adolescents with and without headache. At the age of 17 years, adolescents with headache at least three times a month (N = 47) and adolescents with no headache (N = 22) participated in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study of the cervical spine. Of the 47 headache sufferers, 17 also had weekly neck pain and 30 had neck pain less than once a month. MRI scans were interpreted independently by three neuroradiologists. Disc degeneration was found in 67% of participants, with no difference between adolescents with and without headache. Most of the degenerative changes were located in the lower cervical spine. In adolescence, mild degenerative changes of the cervical spine are surprisingly common but do not contribute to headache.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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