Acupuncture Could Help Alleviate Headaches Pain, New Study Finds

Acupuncture Could Help Alleviate Headaches Pain, New Study Finds

Patients with persistent tension-type headaches could benefit from acupuncture treatment, according to research released in the journal Neurology.

There is a pressing or tightening feeling on both sides of the head as the most prevalent symptom of tension-type headaches. Such headaches don’t become worse with exertion, and there’s no nausea to go along with them. To qualify as chronic, tension-type headaches must be experienced on a regular basis for at least 15 days per month.

The study included 218 people who had been diagnosed with persistent tension-type headaches. They had tension-type headaches 22 days out of every month, on average, for 11 years. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either true acupuncture or superficial acupuncture. In order to generate a deqi feeling, which is a tingling, numbness, or heaviness sensation, acupuncturists insert and manipulate needles into the body. A shallower body penetration was used in the superficial treatments to avoid triggering the sensation. There were two or three sessions each week for a total of 20 over the course of two months, following which both groups were monitored for another six months.

The results

The study’s primary outcome was a decrease in the frequency of days with headaches of at least 50%. Clinic visits were required every four weeks for all individuals. They also kept a headache diary to document their symptoms and the drugs they used for immediate relief. When compared to those who got superficial acupuncture, 68% of those who received real acupuncture experienced at least a 50% drop in the number of headache days per month.

Both individuals who got real acupuncture treatments and those who received superficial acupuncture treatments had their monthly headache days reduced following therapy. The number of days a person had a headache fell from 20 to seven for those who got real acupuncture throughout the course of the research. As a result of receiving superficial acupuncture, headache days fell from 23 per month to 12 per month among individuals who participated in the trial.


Anna Daniels

Anna is an avid blogger with an educational background in medicine and mental health. She is a generalist with many other interests including nutrition, women's health, astronomy and photography. In her free time from work and writing, Anna enjoys nature walks, reading, and listening to jazz and classical music.

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