Acupuncture is more effective, cheaper alternative to pain killers for migraines
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April 27, 2007
Filed under Uncategorized
American Chronicle – A recent study done in Italy and reported in the Journal of Traditional Chinese medicine compared the effect of acupuncture for migraine headaches versus conventional pain killer therapy.
One of the most interesting features of this study is that each patient was given a complete examination prior to the start of the test. This allowed the acupuncture therapy to be tailored to the individual causation of each patient’s condition.
There is no cookie cutter acupuncture treatment that is correct for everyone. When a study is done using the exact same points for the exact same duration, the results are going to be skewed and worthless.
What are the symptoms of migraines? Not all migraines are preceded by preliminarily symptoms, or auras, but if they are, they symptoms associated with an impending migraine usually involve some kind of vision disturbance such as:
* Bright or dark sport (sometimes resembling champagne bubbles)
* Tunnel vision
* Zigzag lines ( called fortification spectra)
The aura is followed by an intense crescendo of a headache, frequently behind one eye or on one side of the head. the pain may be pounding, throbbing, viselike, or stabbing; frequently it feels like the head is going to explode from pressure. Other symptoms that can accompany the headache of a migraine include.
* sensitivity to light
The study showed that acupuncture for migraines was generally more effective than a series of pain killing drugs administered to the control group. What was more interesting is that the study looked at other factors beside the pain reduction. It also evaluated such things as the cost of the treatments and the time patients would have been unable to work under both treatments. It was in these areas that even more startling results were found.
The results indicated that acupuncture for migraine was not only a slightly more effective treatment for severe cases, but also resulted in considerable savings when viewed from a socio-economic point of view.
Many in the Western medical establishment give acupuncture a reluctant nod of acceptance as a treatment alternative for pain, but few have been made aware of how much more cost efficient and economically beneficial these treatments can be. There is certainly a need for more studies of this type that treat alternative medicine with a serious attitude and do not design the study to debunk what they already do not accept.
Migraines are one of the leading causes of lost time in the workplace in the United States. It is estimated that the cost of absenteeism from the estimated 157 million lost work days is over US$50b yearly when medical expenses are included. An additional US$4b is spent on pain killers for migraines and other types of headaches.