Primary Headaches and Physical Performance: A Professional Youth Female Soccer Team Study

Kobus, Magdalena, Żądzińska, Elżbieta, Michaelides, Marcos orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9226-4657 and Parpa, Koulla orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-1139-7731 (2022) Primary Headaches and Physical Performance: A Professional Youth Female Soccer Team Study. Brain Sciences, 12 (12). p. 1702. ISSN 2076-3425

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The vast majority of the research on acute post-traumatic incidents in athletes focuses on migraines. Physical exercise might reduce the frequency of migraines as well as trigger a migraine attack. The objectives of the study were to evaluate primary headache prevalence in professional young female soccer players and to assess whether headaches are related to physical performance. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that has considered the relationship between primary headaches and physical performance assessment. The research was conducted in 19 females aged 12–17 from a professional youth soccer academy. Players completed a questionnaire about health status and then performed laboratory physical tests (e.g., cardiopulmonary tests, countermovement and squat jumps, handgrip, sit-and-reach tests). Subsequently, players were separated into a headache group and a headache-free control group. In the analysed group, eight female players (42%) suffered from primary headaches. Among the performance parameters, a significant result was found in terms of flexibility. Females from the headache group had higher results in the sit-and-reach test than females from the control group (p = 0.029). Flexibility as well as mobility in migraine patients is an area with significant potential for further investigation, as little research has been conducted to date.

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