Can Acupuncture Help Tension Headaches?

Clinical research has shown that acupuncture is an effective treatment for tension headaches.  Tension headaches, known also as tension type headaches (TTH), muscle contraction headaches, or stress headaches are the most common form of headache and affect three quarters of the population. Here's some more information from the American Migraine Foundation if you're wondering "what is a tension headache?" The good news is that these headaches can be effectively treated with a number of different treatments, including acupuncture.

For years, we've been using chiropractic care for headaches, including tension headaches, because it has evidence for decreasing frequency and duration. This type of tension headache treatment involves chiropractic adjustments (joint manipulation), muscle work, and therapeutic exercises.  For some, chiropractic care for tension headache relief is effective, but for others it may not give provide enough relief. It really depends on the patient and the headache. This year AccessHealth Chiropractic Center began offering acupuncture to treat headaches and lot of other common complaints mostly involving nerves, muscles, and joints.  

Acupuncture, like chiropractic care, is a safe and conservative therapy that is a great option for treating tension headaches. In fact, a Cochrane Review, the gold standard for research, concluded that "acupuncture could be a valuable non-pharmacological tool in patients with frequent episodic or chronic tension-type headaches." The review looked at eleven clinical trials with 2317 participants who were treated with acupuncture for tension type headaches. That's extremely solid evidence!

At AccessHealth Dr. Jason uses a combination of traditional and western acupuncture to treat tension headaches and has positive results. Relief allows patients to get back to enjoying life and quit focusing on pain. A typical treatment involves using small acupuncture needles on specific points of the body.  The patient will then relax with the needles inserted for a short period of time and then the acupuncture needles are removed. Most of the time it's almost completely painless and a relaxing experience. Patients typically have a lot of questions about acupuncture, and it can be difficult to wrap your head around the idea that little needles can provide pain relief.  If you're curious about acupuncture read more about it on our acupuncture Cary, NC page. There's also a lot of good information available on the internet.

Another plus to acupuncture, is it's a drug free treatment. This means there's no burden on your liver and kidneys to process medications and it also means you're not just covering up the symptoms. Like I mentioned previously, acupuncture is safe and carries very little risks. Acupuncture also has the ability to produce long lasting relief, participants in clinical trials experienced relief up to 3 months.  If you're to the point where you're considering trying something like acupuncture to relieve tension headaches, give us a call and ask some questions or schedule an acupuncture appointment.