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Acupuncture may be an effective auxiliary treatment for chronic headaches


Researchers from Brazil assessed the effectiveness of acupuncture as an auxiliary analgesic treatment for chronic headaches. The results of their study, which also described the influence of this treatment on a person’s quality of life, were published in the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies.

  • The researchers recruited 34 patients suffering from chronic pain and divided them into two groups.
  • Group 1 received acupuncture treatment, and the points recommended in traditional Chinese medicine were used to treat each type of headache.
  • Group 2 received sham acupuncture in which the needles were inserted into a device (the stick-on moxa) at the same points used for Group 1.
  • The researchers allowed both groups to use the prescribed medication for pain.
  • They considered the verbal numeric scale before (VNS0) and after (VNS1) treatment, the number of crisis, and the number of analgesics used during the first and second months of treatment for their assessment.
  • They also assessed the participants’ quality of life before and after treatment using the Brazilian version of the Quality of Life Questionnaire: SF-6D, 2002.
  • The researchers found that true acupuncture was effective in alleviating pain in group 1, and its efficacy was statistically significant in all domains, including quality of life, compared with sham acupuncture.
  • This was evidenced by the decreased pain scores, reduced number of crises, reduced amount of analgesics uses, and improved quality of life of participants in group 1.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that acupuncture can be considered an auxiliary treatment for chronic headaches because it can reduce the intensity of pain, the number of crisis, and the quantity of analgesics used, and improve the quality of life of patients with this painful condition.

Read the full study at this link.

Journal Reference:

Mayrink WC, Garcia JBS, dos Santos AM, Sampaio Nunes JKVR, Mendonca THN. EFFECTIVENESS OF ACUPUNCTURE AS AUXILIARY TREATMENT FOR CHRONIC HEADACHE. Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies. October 2018;11(5):296–302. DOI: 10.1016/j.jams.2018.07.003



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