According to a new study published in the British Medical Journal, Acupuncture helps to relieve the chronic headaches, migraine in particular. Such are the conclusions of a clinical study, carried out in England and in Wales.
The study aimed at evaluating if acupuncture could be effective, in the case of the headaches, to be integrated into the free care of the system of public health in England.
The researchers followed 401 patients suffering from chronic headaches, mainly from migraines for 12 months.
These patients had been divided in two groups: one received up to 12 treatments of acupuncture for three months, while the others were treated with a usual medication and were used as a reference group.
Researches measured the gravity of the headaches among patients after 3 and 12 months. They also evaluated, the need to take drugs or to consult a doctor.
After 12 months, the results showed that the headaches had decreased twice more in the group treated by acupuncture that in the group which received a medication (reduction of 34% against 16%).
The patients, who belonged to the group treated by acupuncture, counted on average 22 days fewer headaches per year. The acupuncture group had used less drugs, made less medical visits and taken less sick leave.
The researchers concluded that acupuncture produces beneficial and persisting effects among patients suffering from chronic headaches, especially from migraines.
In my experience acupuncture combined with gentle mobilisation of neck muscles is the most effective way to treat migraines. Sometimes the researchers are so busy determining what exactly worked and how, that they stop seeing the bigger picture. And in the case of migraine, a combination of therapies is significantly more effective than either therapy on its own. It is important to relax the neck muscles and acupuncture alone is not as effective. There was another study on migraines, where they injected Botox into acupuncture points to relax the neck muscles and to stimulate the acupuncture points. The result was a long term relief. However, there are risks involved in using Botox, not to mention it is very expensive.
More about acupuncture, neck pain and headache here.