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2012 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III - Session IV

Cervicogenic Headache Etiology: Cadaveric Study of the Connection Between Suboccipital Structures and the Cervical Dura Mater

OBJECTIVE: This cadaveric observational case series examined the connection between cervical dura and suboccipital structures, Rectus Capitis Posterior minor/major (RCPmi/ma), and ligamentum nuchae (LN) to provide essential evidence relating cervicogenic headache to cervical spine joint complex dysfunction. METHODS: Four total cadavers were used. Deep dissections of the suboccipital region were performed investigating the dura-muscular-ligamentous connections between RCPmi/ma, LN, and posterior cervical dura. Full IRB approval was granted for this study. RESULTS: All four cadavers exhibited firm attachments between RCPmi/RCPma and LN to posterior dura. Manual traction of individual structures resulted in direct movement of cervical dura at the atlanto-axial interspace and adjacent C0/C1, C2/C3 interspaces. CONCLUSION: Cervicogenic headache is referred to the head from either soft tissues or bony structures of the cervical region. Sensory fibers from upper cervical nerve roots interact with sensory fibers in the descending tract of the trigeminal nerve permitting referral of pain sensation between the neck region and sensory receptive fields in the face and head. An anatomical appreciation of suboccipital structures and their connection to posterior cervical dura will provide support for clinicians implementing a conservative and effective treatment protocol, such as chiropractic manipulations, appropriate for cervicogenic headaches.

Presenter: Erton Joseph Averion (D'Youville College) --
Topic: Chiropractics/Occupational Therapy - Panel
Location: 125 Hartwell
Time: 10:30 am (Session II)