[Skip to Navigation]
April 1954

STUDIES ON HEADACHE: Cranial Artery Vasoconstriction and Muscle Contraction Headache

Author Affiliations


From the New York Hospital and the Departments of Medicine (Neurology) and Psychiatry, Cornell University Medical College.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1954;71(4):425-434. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1954.02320400021002

IT HAS been established * that some headaches arise from sustained contraction of skeletal muscle about the face, scalp, and neck. Conspicuous in this category are the recurrent headaches associated with feelings of tension, fatigue, and depression; many instances of recurrent "post-traumatic" headaches, and some of the headaches associated with arterial hypertension.

CLINICAL PHENOMENA TO BE INVESTIGATED  The muscle contraction headache is a steady, nonpulsatile ache. Additional descriptive terms include "tightness" bitemporally or at the occiput; "band-like" sensations about the head, which may become cap-like in distribution; "vise-like" ache; "weight," "pressure," "drawing," and "soreness." Distinct cramp-like sensations and a "feeling as if the neck and upper back were in a cast" are also described.These head pains and other sensations occur frequently in the forehead and temples or in the back of the head and neck, but in other sites as well. They may be unilateral or bilateral, involving the temporal,

Add or change institution