It happens to just about everyone, and it is among the most prevalent types of pain experienced by the human anatomy. It has been unfairly labeled as the common headache, but there is nothing common about a headache that occurs commonly. Even the term headache is something of a misnomer, considering its propensity for excruciating pain. The headache emanates from a multitude of causes, and it can range from mild to so severe that a sufferer can barely function, incapable of normal daily activity, let alone performing demanding tasks or obligations.
Headaches may also range from the rare and infrequent to striking frequently, randomly and with little or no warning. In the latter case, it diminishes quality of life and a healthy outlook. A migraine, regarded as a distinct, more mysterious disorder, is a more intense and debilitating variation of a headache.
You can get a headache from a vaacupunriety of sources. Stress and eye strain are common causes. The tension headache may include neck pain and muscle tightness, but headaches may also emanate from the aftereffects of alcohol consumption, lack of sleep, as well as nutritional issues, including skipping meals or eating too much of any number of additives like sugar, caffeine or the nitrates contained in luncheon meats. Most of the aforementioned may be controlled by lifestyle changes, but that is not necessarily the case for those who are genetically disposed to headaches or who have heart or nervous system disorders.
The typical treatment for headaches is over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, which generally suffice for headaches that are generally mild to moderate and infrequent. Americans typically keep their preferred brands in their medicine cabinets and carry them with them when they travel— just in case— and that includes relief for joint pain, back and muscle pain.
The go-to medication for those severe, frequent and random headaches are prescription drugs, including opioids, but they can lead to unwanted side effects triggering other health concerns.
Ancient Treatment Gains Modern Respect
One of the solutions gaining credence throughout the healthcare community is acupuncture as a preventative for chronic headaches and migraines. Studies and trials continue to echo the conclusion of the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal, dedicated to promoting healthy aging through research, that “acupuncture may help reduce the frequency of headaches and migraines, at least in the short-term, and is safe and well tolerated.”
Then there is the American Migraine Foundation, which after reviewing more that 20 clinical studies and trials involving almost 5,000 people, has concluded the following:
“There is evidence that acupuncture reduces the frequency of headache in individuals with migraine, and that the effect may be similar to that observed with preventive medications. The frequency of headache is dropped by 50 percent or more in up to 59 percent of individuals receiving acupuncture and this effect can persist for more than six months.”
The best part is there were no known negative side effects— something even OTC drugs cannot promise.
Studies continue to affirm that acupuncture relieves chronic headache pain in a significant number of people. Of course, this finding is old hat with the World Health Organization (WHO), which has recommended acupuncture as a promising pain treatment since 1979.
—Call us today at (201) 651-9100 at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy to learn how acupuncture might remove pain from your life.