Tension Headache

Post-traumatic headache? Acupuncture is recommended.

Why acupuncture is the best option for the post-traumatic headache?

US military physicians say it should be recommended to patients because it is:

    • effective,
    • safe,
    • cost-effective,
    • has long-lasting benefits.

Dr Khusid of Deployment Health Clinical Centre (US Department of Defence) in her study says the current guidelines recommend a symptomatic approach for the three patterns of post-traumatic headaches: migraine-like, tension-like, and mixed symptomatology.

The symptomatic approach means that only the symptoms are treated/relieved, not addressing the root cause of the headaches.

Dr Khusid concludes that current evidence shows that acupuncture is effective for migraine prophylaxis and neurovascular and tension-type headaches. Because of its safety, cost-effectiveness, and long-lasting benefits, adjunctive acupuncture should be offered to patients with chronic post-traumatic headaches. It  may be a valuable treatment for patients with contraindications to pharmaceutical medications.

Journal reference article: Clinical Indications for Acupuncture in Chronic Post-Traumatic Headache Management

Neck pain and headaches

Painkillers make headaches worse, stick with acupuncture!

Painkillers often will make the headaches worse, a general practitioner from UK warns in the official advice from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice).

“Instead of taking these over-the-counter drugs to combat symptoms when they flare up, sufferers should try treatments that help prevent headaches in the first place – including acupuncture”

(Source: The Telegraph)


Migraine: Acupuncture vs Topiramate

Acupuncture is more effective in prevention of chronic migraine headaches and is 10 times safer compared to topiramate treatment. These are the findings of a study published in the current issue of Cephalalgia, a journal for the International Headache Society.

The researchers compared acupuncture with topiramate. They call for acupuncture to be considered a treatment option for chronic migraine patients, even for those patients with medication overuse.

Studies have shown that addressing tension in the neck, which often accompanies migraines and headaches can be very helpful reducing the severity and frequency of the headaches. I can see in my practice that combining acupuncture with gentle mobilisation of the neck muscles is the most effective way to manage acute migraine and to prevent migraines.

It will be interesting to see more studies looking into the combination of these treatments in the future.