Current pain and headache reports 2018 02 2322(3) 18 doi 10.1007/s11916-018-0673-9
PURPOSE OF REVIEW
Cervicogenic headache (CHA) is a secondary headache which has a source in the upper cervical spine. Many traditional analgesic choices lack good efficacy in managing the associated pain. As a result, in management of CHA, radiofrequency ablation (RFA) or pulse radiofrequency (PRF) has been tried with success. Our study investigated the use of RFA and PRF for the management of CHA.
In the present investigation, a review of the literature was conducted using PubMed (1966 to February 2017). The quality assessment was determined using The Cochrane Risk of Bias. After initial search and consultation with experts, 34 articles were identified for initial review and 10 articles met inclusion for review. Criteria for inclusion were primarily based on identification of articles discussing cervicogenic headaches which were previously treatment resistant and occurred without any other pathology of the craniofacial region or inciting event such as trauma. This systematic review demonstrated that RFA and PRFA provide very limited benefit in the management of CHA. At present, there is no high-quality RCT and/or strong non-RCTs to support the use of these techniques, despite numerous case reports which have demonstrated benefit. This review is one of the first to provide a comprehensive overview of the use of RFA and PRF in the management of CHA.