Acupuncture And Migraine: A new conclusive study from UK

According to a new study published in 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 of 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 by 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. Acupuncture group had used less drugs, made less medical visits and taken less sick leave.

The researchers concluded that acupuncture produces beneficial and persistent effects among patients suffering from chronic headaches, especially from migraines.

My comment:

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

Fibromyalgia :: Acupuncture effectively relieves pain, anxiety and tiredness

 

Fibromyalgia, is characterized by chronic, widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, joint stiffness and sleep disturbance.

No cure is known and available treatments are only partially effective.

According to a research team led by Dr. David Martin, an anesthesiologist at the Mayo Clinic, fibromyalgia patients who received acupuncture reported improvement in fatigue and anxiety, among other symptoms.

Acupuncture was also well tolerated with minimal side effects, the researchers said in the June issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

The study involved 50 fibromyalgia patients enrolled in a randomized, controlled trial to determine if acupuncture improved their symptoms. Twenty-five in the acupuncture group and 25 in the control group.

In the acupuncture group, total fibromyalgia symptoms were significantly improved compared with the control group during the study period.

Fatigue and anxiety were the most significantly improved symptoms during the follow-up period.

“We found that acupuncture significantly improved symptoms of fibromyalgia. Symptomatic improvement was not restricted to pain relief and was most significant for fatigue and anxiety,” the researchers concluded.

Needles May Work Better Than Pills :: Acupuncture Relieves Chronic Headache ::

A study, published in the journal Headache, confirmed once more that acupuncture is really effective in relieving chronic headaches.

A course of 10 acupuncture treatments over a period of six weeks had made a difference in quality of life of adult headache sufferers participating in the study.

People who received acupuncture (and standard treatment) were 3.7 times more likely to report less suffering from headaches compared with those who received standard treatment alone .

CBS News :: Needles May Work Better Than Pills :: October 14, 2005

Acupuncture also has been reported to offer long term relief from headaches in a Swedish study .