About Acupuncture for Headache Relief
Pain relief is now the most common complaint that most acupuncturists treat today. Acupuncture is so good at relieving pain that physiotherapists also used it, but unfortunately after just doing a weekend course in acupuncture.
Headache is one of the most frequent reasons for medical consultations, in both general practice and neurology clinics. These occur in up to 80% of the UK adult population, and are more prevalent in women (65% of cases in one survey). Symptoms begin before the age of 10 years in 15% of people with chronic tension-type headache, and prevalence declines with age.
Tension-type headache is the term used for infrequent and frequent episodic, as well as chronic, tension - type headaches. Tension - type headaches are characterised by pain that is typically mild or moderate in intensity, bilateral, and pressing or tightening in quality, but does not worsen with physical activity. There may be accompanying photophobia or phonophobia, but no nausea. The headaches are daily or very frequent, and last from minutes to days.
The aim of conventional treatment is to reduce the frequency, severity, and duration of the headache, with minimal adverse effects from treatment. Prescribed and over-the-counter medications such as paracetamol and ibuprofen are taken to alleviate headaches.
Evidence from the most up-to-date and highest quality systematic review showed that there are clinically relevant benefits of adding acupuncture to routine care. Research has found acupuncture better than medication, for both headache intensity and frequency.