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Acupuncture could reduce the frequency that suffer from monthly headaches for those suffering from persistent tension-related headaches A study that was published in June 22, in Neurology the publication of the American Academy of Neurology, discovered.
Tension headaches result from an aching or tightening sensation in both of your head. They can be experienced with moderate to mild intensity. They can be classified as chronic when they happen for at least 15 days each month.
Following two years of therapy Acupuncture may relieve tension headaches for a minimum of eight months, as per the doctor Dr. Ying Li, principal researcher of this study, and faculty member at Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine via email.
Previous research has shown that acupuncture could be beneficial for both episodic and chronic tension headaches however they did not differentiate among the two. This study is among the first studies to prove that acupuncture works specifically in persistent tension headaches, Li added.
Because chronic tension headaches tend to be much more challenging to cure and the treatments used can are prone to causing a variety of adverse side effects, the findings are promising, according to the doctor. Mark Whealy, a neurologist who is specialized in facial and headache conditions in the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Whealy was not part of the study.
Li and the research team examined the impact of 20 sessions of the real or superficial acupuncture treatment on 218 individuals who suffered from constant tension headaches for about 11 years. They also experienced 22 days of headache per month.
Acupuncture treatments that are authentically acupuncture require an “deqi” sensation. This is achieved by moving the needle 12.5 or 20 millimeters deep into the body to cause sensation of numbness, tingling or a heavy sensation. Treatments that are superficial use the same points within the body however, they only insert needles that are 2 millimeters in depth and do not produce the feeling.
In the course of the study at the end of the study, 68% of participants who received real acupuncture while 50% those that received superficial acupuncture experienced an improvement in the number of headache days per month by at about half. These results are similar to the results of studies of medication in clinical trials, Whealy said.
“To improve the therapeutic effect from acupuncture the deqi experience is essential,” Li said. “The healthcare professionals must do their best to create deqi-like sensations at each Acupuncture site.”
The study demonstrates that not all acupuncture therapies are the same in terms of offering pain relief, said Ayla Wolf, an acupuncturist licensed who specializes in neurologic disorders such as concussions, brain trauma and injuries. She was hasnot was involved in the research.
“When you see an acupuncturist who’s trained and has the right techniques, you’re likely to see superior results than someone who knows where a point is and taps the needle , and does not touch it again.” Wolf said.
Acupuncture treatments are not ad hoc.
If you don’t prefer to take prescription painkillers Acupuncture is a promising alternative. But, there are some unanswered questions.
“The mechanisms by which the acupuncture treatment can be sustained in relieving headaches are not clear,” Li said.
Further research is required regarding the effectiveness of acupuncture in terms of cost because it is costly particularly for those in the United States. In addition, acupuncture is comparable with physical therapy, in that patients will receive the most benefit by going regularly for treatment each weekly basis, Wolf said.
A 2017 study discovered that in a few instances, acupuncture could be connected to injuries to organs and tissues or infections, as well as different adverse effects. However, recent research and findings have made it harder to discredit acupuncture, claimed the Dr. Tesha Monteith, associate professor of clinical neurology and head of the division of headache within the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine. She was not part of the research.
The effects that were that participants experienced in the study that was just published were minor and didn’t need treatment, the study stated.
Because the study was conducted in a single hospital in China and the findings may not be applicable to all patients. But, the meticulous study’s design and analysis study can be a basis for future studies to be conducted on the relationship between acupuncture as well as persistent tension headaches, Wolf said.
“Several studies carried out in different countries have also shown positive results of acupuncture. Therefore, we think that the widespread application of acupuncture for tension-related headaches could not be the biggest issue,” Li said.
Treatment of chronic pain is an approach that is multidisciplinary, and acupuncture is just one of many treatment options that need to be thought about, Monteith said.
The majority of patients suffer from constant tension headaches for at more than a decade. This means they’ve probably attempted and failed to respond to different treatments as well, she said.
“I believe this is one option,” Monteith said. “A personalized treatment regimen that may include multiple interventions is definitely something to think about, particularly for those who have been struggling for a long period of time.”
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