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Cephalalgia. 2017 Oct;37(11):1051-1056. doi: 10.1177/0333102416664775. Epub 2016 Aug 17.

Correlation between chronic headaches and the rectus capitis posterior minor muscle: A comparative analysis of cross-sectional trail.

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1 Department of Anatomy, College of Basic Medicine, Dalian Medical University, Dalian, P. R. China.
2 Department of Radiology, The 403 Affiliated Hospital of Chinese PLA General Hospital, Dalian, P. R. China.
3 Department of Neurology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian, P. R. China.
4 Shangdong Medical Imaging Research Institute, School of Medicine, Shandong University, Jinan, P. R. China.


Objective We aimed to investigate the morphological changes and potential correlation between chronic headaches and the rectus capitis posterior minor muscle (RCPmi). Methods Comparison of RCPmi between patients with chronic headaches and healthy adult volunteers were collected using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and Mimics software. Results Among the 235 MRI images analyzed, the data between the two groups were considered statistically significant. The number of males was larger than that of females ( p < 0.001) and the headache group showed greater hypertrophy than the control group in both males ( p < 0.001) and females ( p = 0.001). Conclusions Chronic headaches were correlated with the RCPmi. Patients with chronic headaches suffered from more obvious hypertrophy than that of the control group. Additionally, it was supposed that RCPmi hypertrophy may be one pathogenesis of the chronic headaches.


Rectus capitis posterior minor muscle; chronic headaches; hypertrophy; myodural bridge

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