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June 13, 2021

Acupuncture or painkillers for migraines?

Do you suffer from regular migraines or headaches?

Are you looking for a drug free solution to your pain?

Did you know that the National Institute of Clinical Excellence recommends acupuncture as an equally effective solution for migraines and headaches compared to traditional medication?

So which is preferable, acupuncture or painkillers for migraines?

If you suffer from regular headaches and migraines it's common practice to reach for some ibuprofen or an over the counter medication to ease your symptoms; or even to get a prescription from your GP for stronger anti-migraine medication. But did you know that 1 in 50 people report long term chronic headaches as a result of overusing painkillers – often leading to a reduction in the medications effectiveness and further pain.

NICE's view on acupuncture for headaches.

In fact, the National Institute of Clinical Excellence directs to the importance of correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment – including the use of acupuncture – in the treatment of long term and chronic headaches and migraines and cites studies that suggest acupuncture is as effective a prophylactic against headaches as commonly prescribed medication, with significantly fewer or no side effects.

But how does acupuncture for headaches work?

There is a growing body of controlled trials, including large high quality ones in recent years that show promising evidence to the efficacy of acupuncture for relieving migraine symptoms. Studies have shown the mechanism of how this works, which is outlined below.

Acupuncture can help in the treatment of migraine by:

• Providing pain relief : by stimulating nerves located in muscles and tissues in the head and neck, leading to a cascade of endorphin release
• Reducing inflammation – by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors
• Modulating extracranial and intracranial blood flow
• Affecting serotonin levels in the brain (serotonin is thought to be linked to migraine attacks)

Read more on Acupuncture or painkillers for migraines from The Migraine Trust.

We've treated literally hundreds of patients successfully for headaches and migraines using our unique inhouse treatment of acupuncture and professional manual therapy. If you suffer from headaches and migraines and would like to discuss how we could help, give us a call on 0203 146 6755 today!


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