Acupuncture for Headache & Migraine

Acupuncture for Headache & Migraine.

Headache and migraines are very common and debilitating, yet many people remain undiagnosed or untreated until their symptoms become unbearable. Apart from commonly experienced tension, migraine and sinus headaches, there are also many medical conditions that cause headache which can make diagnosing and treating the underlying cause a challenging task.

Is Acupuncture Effective for Headache & Migraine?

Don't just take our word for it. The following clinical trials have scientifically examined the efficacy and safety of acupuncture for headache & migraine.

Only reputable papers recently published by peer-reviewed journals within the last 10 years are listed below.

Cureus Journal of Medical Science
The Effectiveness of Acupuncture on Headache Intensity and Frequency in Patients With Tension-Type Headache: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Cureus Journal of Medical Science

This meta-analysis and systematic review showed that both headache intensity and frequency were reduced in the long term. Patients reported to fair better with acupuncture when combined with other treatments such as over-the-counter pain killers.

2021, Apr 1 • Spyridon Kolokotsios, Alexandra Stamouli, Ioannis Koukoulithras, Minas Plexousakis, Gianna Drousia Full Article

Neurology and Therapy
Acupuncture and Its Role in the Treatment of Migraine Headaches
Neurology and Therapy

The current research analysis revealed that 41% of patients who received acupuncture had a reduction in migraine frequency. Results found that 57% of patients who received true acupuncture had a reduction in migraine frequency by at least half compared with 46% who received medication. Overall, acupuncture helped improve quality of life and reduction in medication

2020, Oct 1 • Urits I, Patel M, Putz ME, Monteferrante NR, Nguyen D, An D, Cornett EM, Hasoon J, Kaye AD, Viswanath O. Full Article

Frontiers in Neurology
A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of the Therapeutic Effect of Acupuncture on Migraine
Frontiers in Neurology

This systematic review study showcased that acupuncture reduced the frequency of migraine attacks and reported to have less pain intensities. Patients in acupuncture group showed higher effectiveness compared with medicated group. The transcranial doppler brain ultrasound also showed improvements in blood circulation in migraine patients. Overall, acupuncture has a significant impact on faster decreased rate after acupuncture than after drug therapy.

2020, Jun 30 • Ou MQ, Fan WH, Sun FR, Jie WX, Lin MJ, Cai YJ, Liang SY, Yu YS, Li MH, Cui LL, Zhou HH Full Article

Pain Research & Management
Effectiveness and Safety of Acupuncture for Migraine: An Overview of Systematic Reviews
Pain Research & Management

We found high quality of evidence indicated that the effective rate of acupuncture was superior to western medicine in treatment of migraine. Besides, 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 and sham acupuncture. Based on high quality of evidence, we concluded that acupuncture may be an effective and safe therapy for migraine.

2020, Mar 23 • Li YX, Xiao XL, Zhong DL, Luo LJ, Yang H, Zhou J, He MX, Shi LH, Li J, Zheng H, Jin RJ Full Article

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Acupuncture for the Treatment of Tension-Type Headache: An Overview of Systematic Reviews
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

This systematic review showed that acupuncture treatments statistically significantly improved patients with tention-type headaches. Compared to medication therapy, patients reported to have less headache intensity and episode frequency. In a follow up 6 months survey, patients said to have less headaches and improved quality of life. Thus, showing that acupuncture can help with reduction in headaches in the run.

2020, Mar 19 • Jinke Huang , Min Shen, Xiaohui Qin, Weichi Guo and Hui Li Full Article

Systematic Review: Acupuncture vs Standard Pharmacological Therapy for Migraine Prevention
Headache American Headache Society

This systematic review of randomised controlled trials articles showed that acupuncture is just as effective for treating migraine. It also has fewer side effects than many of the standard modern pharmaceutical agents. Patients also reported to use less pharmacological drugs after treatments.

2019, Dec 24 • Niushen Zhang, Tim Houle, Nada Hindiyeh, & Sheena K. Aurora Full Article

World Journal of Acupuncture-Moxibustion
Acupuncture for migraine: A systematic review and meta-analysis
World Journal of Acupuncture-Moxibustion World Federation of Acupuncture-Moxibustion Societies

The results of this meta-analysis showed that acupuncture is more effective and safer than medication for migraine. Patients in acupuncture group found acupuncture to be better than medication for migraine treatment and prophylaxis

2019, Mar • SHEN, Feng-jiao AU - XU, Jia AU - ZHAN, Yi-jun AU - FU, Qin-hui AU - PEI, Jian PY Full Article

Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies
Effectiveness of Acupuncture as Auxiliary Treatment for Chronic Headache
Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies Medical Association of Pharmacopuncture Institute

This study showcase the effectiveness of acupuncture with chronic headache patients. The participants were found to have decreased in pain, reduced the amount of migraines attacks, reduced the amount of analgesics used, and improved the quality of life. Patients reported to have an overall better mental and physical health after treatments.

2018, Oct • Mayrink WC, Garcia JBS, Dos Santos AM, Nunes JKVRS, Mendonça THN Full Article

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Acupuncture for the prevention of episodic migraine
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Cochrane

The available evidence suggests that adding acupuncture to symptomatic treatment of attacks reduces the frequency of headaches. Contrary to the previous findings, the updated evidence also suggests that there is an effect over sham, but this effect is small. The available trials also suggest that acupuncture may be at least similarly effective as treatment with prophylactic drugs. Acupuncture can be considered a treatment option for patients willing to undergo this treatment.

2016, Jun 28 • Linde K, Allais G, Brinkhaus B, et al. Full Article

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Acupuncture for the prevention of tension‐type headache
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Cochrane

The available results suggest that acupuncture is effective for treating frequent episodic or chronic tension‐type headaches. Patients in acupuncture group reported to have at least 50% reduction of headache frequency compared to placebo group.

2016, Apr 19 • Klaus Linde,Gianni Allais,Benno Brinkhaus, Yutong Fei,Michael Mehring,Byung‐Cheul Shin,Andrew Vickers,Adrian R White Full Article

Acupuncture points
Acupuncture is comparable with morphine preparations in its effectiveness against chronic pain, but without the adverse effects of morphine, such as dependency. Acupuncture : review and analysis of reports on controlled clinical trials
World Health Organization, Geneva 2002