This study may help to improve the management of people with tension type headaches in the future.

We want to investigate the behaviour of symptoms in people with headaches and find out if there are any associated physical impairments, so the study will help provide data on headache to guide effective treatment.

Participants will be asked to complete some questionnaires about the symptoms they experience and undergo some clinical tests of their neck.

What is involved?

During this study, participants will be asked to complete some questionnaires about their general wellbeing, headache characteristics, neck pain characteristics any other symptoms they may experience, as well as the impact of headaches on their daily life.

Participants will  be asked to complete a short questionnaire of your pain symptoms when you are experiencing headache.

They will then attend the university clinic to undergo some clinical testing of their neck and sensation and systems. The clinical testing will include an examination of the joints and muscles in the neck, eye movements, visual tests and sensation tests. All testing will be completed in a single session of one and half hours, with adequate time allowed for breaks between testing. Participants may also be invited at another time to participate in a focus group to discuss experiences of living with headache.

Are there any side effects of participating?

There may be slight discomfort or dizziness from some of the tests.Researchers will be keeping the participant's head turned for part of the study, but this movement is well within normal limits. During sensation tests, participants will experience slight discomfort from cold and pressure on the skin in the neck and leg. These tests are to assess when the sensation of cold and pressure starts to become uncomfortable and will stop immediately when the participant's press the control button. In our experience people can usually tolerate these tests without any aggravation of symptoms. Researchers will be monitoring participants throughout and will cease testing if there is any symptom exacerbation. If this was to occur, researchers would stop testing immediately and not continue until all symptoms were completely settled, and only if the participants were happy to do so. This should eliminate the rare possibility of these tests triggering a headache.

Do I receive my results?

A summary of the study findings will be sent to participants or their referring doctor, treating therapist if they would like, otherwise participants will be directed to any publications arising from the study. Researchers can advise of individual results on the day of testing.


Anyone aged between 18 and 65 who has a history of regular tension type headache

Register your interest 

To register your interest or find out more information, click on the link below. 

Register your interest

This study has been approved by The University of Queensland Human Research Ethics Committee [Approval No.2021/HE002638].