Send to

Choose Destination
Cephalalgia. 2011 Jun;31(8):953-63. doi: 10.1177/0333102411408358. Epub 2011 May 13.

Differences in sensory processing between chronic cervical zygapophysial joint pain patients with and without cervicogenic headache.

Author information

Department of Anaesthesiology, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, 11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Singapore.



It is not known why some patients with underlying chronic nociceptive sources in the neck develop cervicogenic headache (CEH) and why others do not. This quantitative sensory testing (QST) study systematically explores the differences in sensory pain processing in 17 CEH patients with underlying chronic cervical zygapophysial joint pain compared to 10 patients with chronic cervical zygapophysial joint pain but without CEH.


The QST protocol comprises pressure pain threshold testing, thermal detection threshold testing, electrical pain threshold testing and measurement of descending inhibitory modulation using the conditioned pain modulation (CPM) paradigm.


The main difference between patients with or without CEH was the lateralization of pressure hyperalgesia to the painful side of the head of CEH patients, accompanied by cold as well as warm relative hyperesthesia on the painful side of the head and neck.


From this hypothesis-generating study, our results suggest that rostral neuraxial spread of central sensitization, probably to the trigeminal spinal nucleus, plays a major role in the development of CEH.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center