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ISSN : 2092-8475(Print)
ISSN : (Online)
Journal of International Academy of Physical Therapy Research Vol.9 No.3 pp.1564-1570

The effect of prepositioned upper cervical traction mobilization and therapeutic exercise on cervicogenic headache: A case study

Creighton D,Gammons T,Monahan J,Rochester, MI
Oakland University, Michigan, USA
Address for correspondence Doug Creighton, MS, DPT, Prof. Oakland University 3077 Human Health Building Rochester Michigan 48309 Ph# 248-364-8696


The International Headache Society (IHS) has validated cervicogenic headache (CGH) as a secondary headache type that is hypothesized to originate due to nociception in the cervical area. CGH is a common form of headache and accounts for 15% to 20% of all chronic and recurrent headaches. CGH is commonly treated with manual and exercise therapy. To date, no studies have isolated only one manual intervention in an attempt to determine its effectiveness. In this case study we present a 28-year-old patient with right upper cervical (UC) and occipital pain who responded well to a single manual intervention technique. This technique was applied in isolation for the first three visits and two therapeutic exercises prescribed on the fourth and fifth visit. In total, manual and exercise intervention occurred over 8 visits at which point in time the patient was discharged with no UC motion impairments, an NPRS rating of 0, a NDI and HDI demonstrating a 100% improvement and a 37% improvement in FOTO score. The traction based manual intervention and two therapeutic exercises prescribed for this patient were successful in relieving UC pain and CGH. At six months follow up, the patient was still symptom free.