Tension headaches cause a constant sensation of tightness or pressure around your head. You may also notice getting these headaches when particularly stressed or anxious, or if you have muscular tightness linked with inactivity or poor posture.
Migraines are severe headaches and is the most common nerve-related condition. Migraines can be completely disabling and can prevent you from carrying out normal activities for anything from 4 hours to three days.
what can help with headaches and migraines?
If you suffer from tension headaches or migraines, your doctor may recommend that you take painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol. Stronger medications may also be prescribed and which may include anti-sickness tablets.
Your doctor will also discuss with you preventative strategies such as yoga, exercise or acupuncture. Guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) state that a course of up to 10 sessions of acupuncture over a 5 to 8 week period can be beneficial in preventing chronic tension-type headaches. This recommendation is based on research which found that acupuncture was significantly better than normal care or no treatment, and was just as effective as drug treatment without side-effects. Clinical research has also suggested that acupuncture may help prevent headaches and migraines by:
- reducing frequency of attacks (Li 2009)
- reducing severity of attacks
- reducing the duration of attacks
- reducing inflammation (Kim 2008)
- increasing levels of endorphins and providing pain relief (Zhao 2008)
- regulation of serotonin levels in the brain (Zhong 2007)
what can i expect with acupuncture?
We recommend that a course of 8 sessions to be carried out weekly or fortnightly for optimal effect. This will be based on the frequency of your headaches and migraines and for some patients, benefit will be evident within just the first three sessions. To see a video account of a migraine-sufferer's experience of acupuncture, please access the NHS Choices website by clicking here.
For more information and further advice for your symptoms, make use of our complimentary no-obligation telephone consultation and get in touch with us today.