A very large German study looking at headache treatment has concluded that acupuncture in addition to routine medical care for patients with primary headache (headaches not caused by any other known medical condition), is associated with significant clinical improvements over routine care alone. Of 15 056 headache patients, 1613 were randomly allocated to receive acupuncture plus their usual medical care, 1569 received only their usual care, and 11 874 who did not wish to be randomised, were also given acupuncture plus usual care.
After three months and fifteen acupuncture treatments, the number of days with headache decreased from 8.4 to 4.7 in the acupuncture group, and 8.1 to 7.5 in the control group. Intensity of pain and quality of life improvements were also more pronounced in the acupuncture group, and treatment success was maintained at six month follow-up.
(Cephalalagia Journal, 2 July 2008 – Epub ahead of print)