• Migraines, derived from Greek “hemikrania,” are characterized by throbbing pain on one side of the head.
  • Attacks last from several hours to days, often accompanied by feeling unwell and sensitivity to light or sound.
  • Prevalence: 1 in 5 women, 1 in 15 men, typically onset in early adulthood.


  • Migraine headache without aura: recurrent attacks lasting 4-72 hours, unilateral pulsating pain, moderate to severe intensity, aggravated by routine physical activity, associated with nausea, photophobia, and phonophobia.
  • Migraine headache with aura: recurrent attacks with unilateral fully-reversible visual, sensory, or CNS symptoms, followed by headache.
  • Examination includes provocation testing, neck endurance testing, and cervical ROM assessment.


  • Sub-analyses of physiotherapy interventions show effectiveness of aerobic exercise and combination physical/psychological interventions in reducing migraine attack duration.
  • Aerobic exercise reduces migraine frequency and duration.
  • Neck endurance exercises may be beneficial for reducing migraine frequency and intensity.

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Lemmens, J., De Pauw, J., Van Soom, T., Michiels, S., Versijpt, J., Van Breda, E., … & De Hertogh, W. (2019). The effect of aerobic exercise on the number of migraine days, duration and pain intensity in migraine: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis. The journal of headache and pain20(1), 1-9.

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Szikszay, T. M., Hoenick, S., von Korn, K., Meise, R., Schwarz, A., Starke, W., & Luedtke, K. (2019). Which examination tests detect differences in cervical musculoskeletal impairments in people with migraine? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Physical therapy99(5), 549-569.

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