Acupuncture for Tension Headaches

In an update by Cochrane to a review originally published in 2001, eleven trials conducted across a total of 2317 patients, were examined to assess the effectiveness of acupuncture for tension headaches.

Two large trials found significant benefits associated with acupuncture as an adjunct to basic care (treatment of acute headache with painkillers): the number of headache days was reduced by at least half in 47% of patients receiving acupuncture plus basic care, compared to only 16% of the group receiving basic care alone. The authors conclude the evidence suggests acupuncture is a valuable option for patients suffering from frequent tension headaches.

(Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews,21 January 2009.)