NICE Recommends Acupuncture for Tension Headache and Migraine

Acupuncture for tension headache and migraine. The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued new guidelines for doctors on the treatment of headache. They have concluded acupuncture is effective for the prevention of both migraine and tension headaches, and for patients fitting the criteria, doctors should prescribe up to ten sessions. NICE also asserts that overuse of painkillers is one of the most common causes of headache, affecting around one in fifty individuals. The use of aspirin, paracetamol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen, for in excess of fifteen days per month, can initiate a vicious circle, where the patient takes even more medication in the mistaken belief it will help the worsening headaches.

(Headaches: Diagnosis & Management of Headaches in Young People & Adults. NICE Clinical Guidelines, CG150: September 2012.)