Study Results Link Shoulder and Neck pain with worse headaches, Migraine Symptoms Pharmacy Times

Study Results Link Shoulder and Neck pain with worse headaches, Migraine Symptoms Pharmacy Times

Researchers sought to understand the extent to which people who have concurrent NSP differ in the characteristics they possess and their perception of the treatment response towards analgesics.

Shoulder and neck pain (NSP) is associated with more severe migraine and headache symptoms, but the effectiveness of 100 mg caffeine (IbuCaff) and 400-mg Ibuprofen treatment isn’t significantly different between those with NSP According to the results of a research study released in Frontiers in Neurology.

Researchers wanted to know how people who have and do not have the concomitant NSP differ in their characteristics as well as their perception of the treatment response to analgesics.

There were 735 people suffering from headaches and 160 suffering from migraines in the study that employed a fixed-dose analgesic that contained IbuCaff as a prescription-free treatment. 538 people had headaches due to NSP and 304 that had headaches that did not have NSP.

Researchers found that NSP occurred in around 60% of those who participated during the study and discovered that NSP was linked to more than one additional day of headache each month. The people who had NSP also reported having working in a sedentary environment more often than people who didn’t, with 40 percentage and 29% respectively.

In addition, they reported stress and poor posture as trigger factors that they believed to trigger more often than those with NSP who had it at 77 percent and 16%, respectively.

Other triggers, such as stress, nutrition, and weather sensitivity, were noted more frequently in those with headaches but not NSP.

The reduction in reported pain was comparable for both NSP and the non NSP groups regardless of whether they were assessed by a mean rating of pain, on a scale of 6 to 1.5 with 10 points. Patients reported more than 50% reduction in pain with 89.6 percent and 88.8 percent, respectively or becoming pain-free in 2 hours, with 57 percentage and 64% respectively.

The time in pain relief after the first dose of IbuCaff was the same for both groups, and was reported to take between 6 to 15 minutes , or 16-30 minutes.

Recurrence of pain and the use of a different dose on the same day was more often in the group with NSP than in the group with no NSP at 53 percent and 36% respectively, the researchers said.

Additionally, researchers found that people with headaches as well as NSP are more inclined to suggest IbuCaff to friends and family members than those who did not have NSP with 91 percent and 84%, respectively. Additionally, those who suffer from NSP would be more likely to purchase IbuCaff in the future at 93% as compared with those who did not have NSP at 84 percent.

This study took place in 126 pharmacies for community use in Germany between February between February and June 2019. The participants were identified in the study if they bought a branded IbuCaff product and subsequently consented.

The participants completed the questionnaire at their discretion after having taken IbuCaff to manage symptoms of pain. The survey was distributed the questionnaire to Winicker Norimed GmbH, which processed and analyzed the information. The questionnaire was completely non-identifying, and no information was being collected that would permit investigators to trace the participants. There were no criteria for exclusion in the survey.

Investigators pointed out that although observations and non-interventional studies are beneficial, they are not able to be deemed effective due to the absence of a controlled group.

The effectiveness of ibuprofen in the treatment of headaches is undeniable as per research.


Gaul C, Grater H, Weiser T, Michel MC, et al. The effect of shoulder or neck pain on self-reported responses to treatment for headaches Results from a pharmacy-based survey of patients. Front Neurol. 2022;13:902020. doi:10.3389/fneur.2022.902020