Are Headaches Lessened by Acupuncture?

According to a study that was published in the online edition of Neurology on June 22, 2022, acupuncture may help persons with chronic tension-type headaches feel less pain.

The most common symptom of tension-type headaches is mild to moderately intense pressing or tightening sensation on both sides of the head. Physical exercise does not make these headaches worse, and they do not come with nausea. When they happen at least 15 days a month, tension-type headaches are deemed chronic.

According to study author Ying Li, MD, Ph.D., of Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Chengdu, China, “tension-type headaches are one of the most prevalent types of headaches, and those who suffer a lot of these headaches may be looking for alternatives to medicine.”

According to our research, acupuncture helps those who suffer from these bothersome and disruptive headache assaults by lowering their average monthly headache days.

218 participants with persistent tension-type headaches participated in the study. They suffered from headaches of the tension kind on average 22 days per month for an average of 11 years. True acupuncture or superficial acupuncture was given to participants at random.

In order to achieve a deqi sensation during a true acupuncture treatment, a needle must be inserted and moved about in the body until tingling, numbness, or weight is felt. To prevent inducing the deqi sensation, the superficial treatments had a shallower depth in the body.

Both groups received two or three sessions a week for a total of 20 sessions over the course of two months, after which they continued to be observed for another six months.

The study’s key finding was a reduction of at least 50% in the number of headache-related days. Every four weeks, each participant went to the clinic. Additionally, they kept headache diaries to note their symptoms and acute medication usage.

At the conclusion of the trial, 68 percent of those receiving real acupuncture compared to 50% of those receiving superficial acupuncture reported a monthly headache decrease of at least 50%.

In both individuals who received genuine acupuncture treatments and those who only received superficial acupuncture treatments, researchers discovered that the number of monthly headache days gradually dropped after treatment.

True acupuncture patients experienced a reduction in headache days from 20 per month at the start of the research to 7 per month by the end.

The number of headache days for those who underwent superficial acupuncture fell from 23 per month at the start of the trial to 12 per month at its conclusion.

While this study demonstrated that acupuncture helps lessen headaches, additional research is required to assess acupuncture’s long-term effectiveness and how it stacks up against other available treatments, according to Li. Cost-effectiveness is a crucial consideration when considering treatment choices.

Because the study was only conducted at one hospital, not all populations may be affected by the findings.

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Author: Muhammad Asim

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