According to the current guidelines preventive treatment of migraine should consist of a combination of pharmacological and nonpharmacological forms of treatment. Physiotherapeutic modalities could be an option for nonpharmacological migraine management.
The aim was to assess the efficacy of physiotherapeutic interventions on pain intensity, duration and frequency as well as the quality of life of patients with migraine.
A systematic literature search was carried out in four databases: the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro), Web of Science, Medline via PubMed and the Cochrane Library. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that were published up to the end of July 2021 and examined the effectiveness of physiotherapeutic treatment in migraine patients were eligible for inclusion. Studies that did not examine an adult population, interventions not carried out by a physiotherapist or not reporting an appropriate outcome were excluded. The assessment of the risk of bias was carried out with the revised version of the Cochrane risk of bias tool 2.0. A descriptive and quantitative synthesis using mean difference with a random effects model and 95% confidence intervals were used.
The present review included 13 RCTs reporting on a total of 595 patients. The risk of bias was high for four studies, low for two studies and the remaining seven studies had some concerns. The interventions examined were multimodal physiotherapy programs, various mobilization techniques, trigger point therapy, manual lymphatic drainage, massage and various stretching techniques. All interventions examined had a significantly positive effect on the selected parameters compared to the baseline values. Especially combinations of various physiotherapeutic modalities showed clinically relevant results.
The evidence suggests that multimodal physiotherapy treatment is a good supplement to medication and should therefore be considered as a nonpharmacological treatment for patients with migraine; however, further RCTs with a low risk of bias are necessary in order to confirm the effectiveness with high quality evidence.

© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Medizin Verlag GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature.