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Philadelphia Acupuncture for the Treatment of Headaches and Migraines

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About one of every nine Americans suffers from migraine headaches.  Acupuncture in Philadelphia is perhaps most well-known for its ability to treat pain, and so many migraine sufferers across the country seek out acupuncture treatment for relief.  Acupuncture is used to treat and prevent many kinds of headache, but migraine management and acupuncture is probably the area that is most well-researched.

Acupuncture has been shown to be very effective and efficient in relieving headache and migraine intensity and frequency.  Not only has acupuncture proven to be effective, but acupuncture proved to be superior to conventional drug therapies for the prevention of migraine attacks.  Acupuncture research has also revealed that acupuncture helps to reduce disability associated with migraines, such as missed work or social events.

A study entitled Acupuncture for chronic headache in primary care: large, pragmatic, randomized trial published in the March 27th issue of the British Medical Journal, the most influential, peer-reviewed medical journals in the world, explored the use of acupuncture by headache patients already receiving conventional care.

Patients received up to 12 acupuncture sessions during a three month period, and patients were evaluated before acupuncture (baseline), at three months and at 12 months.  After receiving only up to 12 sessions in an entire year (and those all grouped together within just a 3 month period of that year), it was found that the acupuncture group had a 34% reduction in baseline headache score, compared with only a 16% reduction in the control group.  In addition, the acupuncture group experienced “the equivalent” of 22 fewer days of headache per year, 15% fewer days off sick, 25% fewer visits to general practitioners and used 15% less medication.  So not only was acupuncture effective- it provided savings in both cost and productivity.

“Acupuncture for Patients with Migraine” was published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (the most widely circulated, peer-reviewed medical journal in the world) in their May 4, 2005 issue.  This study divided patients into an acupuncture group, sham acupuncture group and a waiting list control group.  Acupuncture patients received 12 sessions over an eight week period, and sham acupuncture patients were needled in locations that do not correspond to traditional points.  The four weeks prior to treatment, and the four weeks following treatment were compared for number of days with moderate to severe headaches.

The study found that 51% of the acupuncture group had a reduction in headache days by at least 50%, compared to only a 15% reduction in the wait list group.  More interestingly, 53% of the sham acupuncture group- the group where acupuncture was performed in a non-traditional manner- had a reduction of headache days by at least 50%.

Written by Valerie

August 30th, 2010 at 7:19 am