Research Shows Acupuncture Can Provide Headache Relief

Posted by on Aug 19, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Research Shows Acupuncture Can Provide Headache Relief

Headaches can both frustrating and debilitating. Tension headaches are the most common headache and can range from mild to moderate in intensity. Symptoms of tension headaches often include dull, aching head pain or tightness that is generally felt across the forehead, sides and back of the head. Pain from tension headaches can also radiate to the neck and shoulder muscles. Tension headaches can range from a single episode to chronic, in which headaches may last for hours and continue for more than 15 days in a month’s time.

Migraines and tension headaches can sometimes be confused for one another. Migraines can be distinguished from other types of headaches due to the types of symptoms. Migraines come with an intense throbbing or pulsating pain which is usually accompanied with nausea, vomiting, extreme sensitivity to light, sound and other visual disturbances.

It is also important to note that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) acupuncturists diagnose and differentiate headaches based on time on onset, length of symptoms, environmental conditions location and character of pain. For example, do you experience headaches throughout the day, or only at night? Do your headaches become worse during cold weather or hot, humid days? Do you feel pain in your forehead, temples or back of the head? Getting a detailed history about your symptoms allows the acupuncturist to provide a more effective and tailored treatment.

Conventional treatment methods often include medications, which may not be enough. Alternative methods, whether alone or combined with conventional methods, can be effective. Acupuncture and its effectiveness have been studied for many years. In a more recent study titled Acupuncture for tension-type headache, published by the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the researchers sought out to investigate whether acupuncture could be an effective treatment for tension headaches. Linde, Brinkhause, Manheimer, Vickers and White conducted a study that determined that acupuncture provided statistically significant benefits for decreasing headache pain intensity and length. In addition, Plank, Goodard, Pasierb, Simunich and Croner conducted the study Standardized set-point acupuncture for migraines, which evaluated the treatment of standardized set point acupuncture for the treatment of migraines. After the participants received acupuncture twice a week for a month, and then once a week for an additional month, it was reported by the participants that the migraine pain intensity and frequency significantly decreased for a minimum for 12 weeks after the treatment.

These studies provided evidence that add to the large number of research supporting acupuncture as an effective treatment for headache relief. Have you been experiencing persistent headaches? Schedule your next acupuncture today!

If a headache comes on suddenly, and you have never had one like this before, please see your doctor to rule out any serious medical conditions. A severe, unusual sudden headache associate without or with vision loss or other symptoms may warrant a trip to the emergency room.

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