Search

Are you interested in trying acupuncture for your migraines?

Updated: 6 days ago


Acupuncture reduces migraine effectively

A WHO survey showed that migraine was ranked as the seventh highest cause of disability in the world, accounting for 2.9% of all years of life lost to disability. But the pain management is still challenging due to ineffectiveness of medication and side effects of drugs. People turn to complementary and alternative methods to help.

Recent research studied the effectiveness of acupuncture for migraine. In this study 91 patients aged from 18-70 with a history of migraine for at least 12 months and a mimimum 4 days migraine per 4 weeks attending the neurology outpatient clinic at the University Hospital Hradec Kralove.

The treatment period is 12 weeks with 14 acupuncture treatments: twice a week in the first 4 weeks, once a week during weeks 5–8 and once every 14 days during the last month.

The result has shown that after 12 weeks of acupuncture treatments and 6 months follow-up the number of migraine days was reduced significantly more compared with control group. The number of responders to the treatment was also greater in acupuncture group. The intake of medication was reduced significantly in acupuncture group at the end of the treatment and 6 month follow-up.

Could you respond to acupuncture with your migraines?

Migraines is characterized by recurrent episodes of severe headaches that are often unilateral and are often accompanied by symptoms of autonomic nervous system dysfunction, such as nausea, vomiting, photophobia, and phonophobia. Acupuncture is used to treat migaraines and achieved good effects, but not everyone responds to the treatment. Why is that? A study solved this mystery.

Forty-one patients with migraines were recruited and offered 4 weeks of acupuncture treatment and two brain imaging sessions at the Beijing Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital affiliated with Capital Medical University. Patients were asked to keep a headache diary for 4 weeks before treatment and during acupuncture treatment. Those with at least a 50% reduction in the number of migraine days were defined as responders.

Results showed that after 4 weeks of acupuncture, 19 patients were responded to acupuncture treatments. 10 brain areas changed to the treatments include the frontal, temporal, parietal, precuneus, and cuneus gyri. The reduction in the number of migraine days was correlated with baseline brain gray matter volume in the cuneus, parietal, and frontal gyri in all patients. Moreover, the left cuneus showed a longitudinal increase in GM volume in responders. The results suggest that pre-treatment brain structure could be a novel predictor of the outcome of acupuncture in the treatment of migraines. Imaging features could be a useful tool for the prediction of acupuncture efficacy, which would enable the development of a personalized medicine strategy.

New research confirmed that acupuncture is effective for migraines

Acupuncture is effectively used to treat migraines. There is a new research adding more data to this subject. In this study, 147 patients with episodic migraine without aura completed the study. 20 sessions of acupuncture were offered over 8 weeks. Result has shown that there is a significantly greater reduction in migraine days at weeks 13 to 20 and a significantly greater reduction in migraine attacks at weeks 17 to 20 in acupuncture group compared to the control group. Their result support to use acupuncture to treat migraines in the future.

Acupuncture is as good as conventional medication for migraines.

Popularity of acupuncture is increasing for variety of conditions. Acupuncture is an alternative treatment to conventional prophylactic drug treatment used to reduce the frequency, duration, and intensity of migraine attacks. A review verified the efficacy of conventional migraine drugs and compared it with acupuncture. They found high-quality evidence suggesting that prophylactic drug treatment, at the treatment dosage ranges used in Linde et al.'s 2016 review, reduced headache frequency at a 3-month follow-up, compared to placebo. Acupuncture also reduced headache frequency at a 3-month follow-up. The efficacy is equivalent to the medication.

Acupuncture has better effect than medication for migraines

Migraine is very common type of headaches and acupuncture is very effective for it. This review summarized current data with high quality trials. They found high quality of evidence indicating that the effective rate of acupuncture was superior to western medicine in treatment of migraine. acupuncture reduced more headache days and the times of using painkiller and was more effective in reducing the frequency and degree of headache than western medicine.

Propranolol is recommended for preventing migraine attacks and acupuncture can be used to treat migraines effectively. A new study compared acupuncture or propranolol with sham acupuncture, placebo, waiting-list control or usual care. The analysis showed that acupuncture had a significant advantage over propranolol in reducing migraine episodes over a 4-week period. Acupuncture also had a significant advantage over waiting-list control in decreasing migraine frequency. Acupuncture caused fewer adverse events than propranolol.

Acupuncture reduces head and neck myofascial pain.

Persistent head and neck myofascial pain is among the most common pain complaints. Acupuncture is one of the least invasive and effective methods to release the pain. A recent review provided the evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture in the management of localized persistent myofascial head and neck pain. This review analysed six randomized controlled clinical trials (RCTs). All included studies reported reduction in pain intensity scores in the groups receiving acupuncture when compared to sham needling/no intervention. They suggest that acupuncture may be an effective and safe method in relieving persistent head and neck myofascial pain.

Acupuncture reduces migraines and associated depression and anxiety

Migraine is a common condition affecting about 1/10 of the human population, with an especially dominant prevalence in females, students, and urban residents. Depression and anxiety are the most frequent psychiatric disorders associated with migraine.

Acupuncture was shown to be an effective therapy for reducing pain severity in acute migraine attack or prevention of frequent and chronic migraine. A study assessed the effectiveness of acupuncture on reducing migraine medical cost and risk of depression and anxiety development in Taiwan using the NHIRD information.

In this study all patients diagnosed with migraine were from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2012. The 1:1 propensity score method by sex, age, income, urbanization, occupation, baseline comorbidities, conventional medicine used, and diagnosis year of migraine and index year was used to match an equal number of patients in both cohorts. 1,948 patients were selected in the acupuncture group and non-acupuncture group separately.

Result has shown that acupuncture may reduce the frequency and severity of a migraine attack and bring rapid, safe, effective pain relief, and patients with migraine could reduce medication usage. Acupuncture users had significantly lower total medical expenditures compared with non-users within a year.

The mean follow-up periods for depression were 5.50 and 4.03 years for the acupuncture group and non-acupuncture group, respectively. The mean follow-up periods for anxiety were 4.78 and 2.60 years for the acupuncture group and non-acupuncture group, respectively. The conclusion is that migraine patients receiving acupuncture treatment were less likely to develop both depression and anxiety compared to those not receiving acupuncture treatment during the 13-year follow-up period

References

Musil F et al, Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat (2018) May 10;14:1221-1228. doi: 10.2147/NDT.S155119. eCollection 2018.

Yan XJ et al Front Neurol. 2020 Mar 5;11:111. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2020.00111. eCollection 2020.

Xu S et al BMJ. 2020 Mar 25;368:m697. doi: 10.1136/bmj.m697.

Trinh KV et al Med Acupunct. 2019 Apr 1;31(2):85-97. doi: 10.1089/acu.2019.1337. Epub 2019 Apr 19.

Li YX et al Pain Res Manag. 2020 Mar 23;2020:3825617. doi: 10.1155/2020/3825617. eCollection 2020. Chen et al J Neurol. 2020 Jan;267(1):14-25. doi: 10.1007/s00415-019-09510-x. Epub 2019 Aug 21.

Farag AM et al Complement Ther Med. 2020 Mar;49:102297. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2019.102297. Epub 2020 Feb 1.

Liao CC et al Front Neurol. 2020 Apr 24;11:321. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2020.00321. eCollection 2020.

0 views0 comments