Hope for millions of headache sufferers as scientists discover new cause of ... trends now

Hope for millions of headache sufferers as scientists discover new cause of ... trends now
Hope for millions of headache sufferers as scientists discover new cause of ... trends now

Hope for millions of headache sufferers as scientists discover new cause of ... trends now

Common headaches affecting two-thirds of Americans could be caused by inflammation in the neck, a study suggests. 

Researchers in Germany had 50 adults from ages 20 to 31, about half of whom suffered from tension headaches, undergo MRI scans to find the source of their pain. 

They found that patients with the ailment had higher levels of T2 signals in the trapezius muscles, which stretch over the back of the neck and shoulders and up the neck.

These signals fire when certain muscles are activated, such as through inflammation. These higher levels were seen on days when patients suffered headaches and neck pain, meaning that the neck muscles were activated.

This suggests that inflammation in the neck - caused by poor posture, injury, and stress - could be linked to tension headaches. Up until this point, researchers were still baffled by the cause of tension headaches, blaming them on stress, genetics, and the environment.

Researchers believe this finding could lead to new treatments targeted at the neck as a replacement for commonplace drugs. 

The researchers noted that two out of three Americans suffer from tension headaches

The researchers noted that two out of three Americans suffer from tension headaches

Dr Nico Sollmann, lead study author and radiology resident at the Technical University of Munich in Germany, said: 'Our imaging approach provides first objective evidence for the very frequent involvement of the neck muscles in primary headaches, such as neck pain in migraine or tension-type headache, using the ability to quantify subtle inflammation within muscles.'

The researchers evaluated 50 adults ranging from ages 20 to 31. Most of the participants were women. Of the 50, 16 had tension headaches, and 12 suffered from tension headaches plus migraine episodes. The remaining 22 were put in a healthy control

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