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Chiropractic Research Review

Acupuncture May Help Migraine Sufferers

Twenty-six patients (aged 21 to 65) suffering from chronic migraines underwent acupuncture to evaluate the long-term stability of treatment effects. Patients documented frequency, duration and intensity of migraine attacks, as well as analgesic intake for five-week periods before treatment, immediately after treatment and three years later.

With a definition of benefit as symptom reduction greater than 50%, improvement was shown in 14 patients (53.8%) at posttreatment, and in 13 patients (50%) at follow-up.

The number of analgesics taken (average per patient) for relief of migraine headache during the five-week periods was reduced from 19.5 at pretreatment to 9.4 at posttreatment and 9.2 at follow-up. Comparisons of frequency, duration and intensity of attacks showed a significant reduction in frequency as the primary reason for symptom improvement. Duration and intensity of attacks did not change significantly at posttreatment or follow-up.

Results demonstrate the potential benefit of acupuncture treatment for long-time migraine patients, and may contradict the presumption that patients can only achieve short-lived improvements in migraine symptoms from acupuncture.

Baischer W. Acupuncture in migraine: long-term outcome and predicting factors. Headache, 1995;(35), pp472-74.

Chiropractic Research Review

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