Acupuncture for tension headaches is a great treatment option if you’re suffering from pain in the neck or having headaches and looking for a solution. Many people end up managing their tension headaches with medication, which many times can be effective, but usually only offers short term relief. If you’ve seen a medical doctor and are interested in integrating alternative care like acupuncture to address tension headaches, it may be worth trying. Our Cary chiropractor who does acupuncture believes acupuncture is a great option for addressing tension headaches and has seen many patients get headache relief with acupuncture.

What Does a Tension Headache Feel Like?

Tension headache symptoms include pain on both sides of the head that is constant and may continue for days or even weeks. They’re called tension headaches because they usually include tension in the muscles of the neck, head, shoulders, and base of the skull. If you have a tension headache, pain is usually a pressing or tightening quality of moderate intensity that doesn’t change with physical activity. Tension headaches can be chronic, or they can be episodic. Depending on how frequently you have one determines which category your tension headache may fall into. Addressing them early is important because over time they often become more frequent and uncomfortable.

Can Acupuncture Help with Tension Headaches?

Acupuncture is a very effective treatment for tension headaches. Specific needling techniques can be used to target trigger points that may be located in and around the region of pain, or in other areas that refer pain to your head. It helps that acupuncture for tension headaches has solid clinical evidence in its favor. One trial found patients who had acupuncture for tension headaches were still experiencing relief a year after treatment. Another study found that acupuncture for tension headaches was more cost-effective than standard drug treatment. Both of these provide exciting support for acupuncture. At our Cary chiropractic and acupuncture office, Dr. Williams has had success treating those with tension headaches.  For a review of the evidence on acupuncture for tension headaches, see the review below.

When Should I Try Acupuncture for Tension Headaches?

If you’ve tried over the counter pain medications or prescription pain medications and are not getting relief, it’s a great time to try a treatment like acupuncture for tension headaches. If you’re conservative with regards to taking medications, acupuncture provides a drug-free option to address tension headaches. Either way, if you have new headaches or your headaches are getting worse, it’s important to see a competent provider. Our Cary chiropractic clinic does a full neurological exam on all new patients with tension headaches to rule out serious concerns and get you on track to feeling better. A neurologist is also a valuable resource if you have progressing headaches.

If you have further questions about acupuncture for tension headaches, feel free to call our Cary chiropractic and acupuncture office. We also offer free consultations and can discuss in person or on the phone how acupuncture can help tension headaches and your specific case.