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A Randomized, Controlled Trial of Acupuncture
for Chronic Daily Headache
Coeytaux RR, Kaufman JS, Kaptchuk, TJ, et al.
Posted: December 2005  
Headache 2005;45:1113-1123

Background:   Approximately 4% of adults experience headaches nearly every day. Nonpharmacologic interventions for frequent headaches may be appropriate because medical management alone is often ineffective.

Objective:   To assess the efficacy of acupuncture as an adjunct to medical management for chronic daily headache.

Methods:   We conducted a randomized, controlled trial of 74 patients with chronic daily headache that compared medical management provided by neurologists to medical management plus 10 acupuncture treatments. Primary outcome measures were daily pain severity and headache-related quality of life.

Conclusion:   Headache-specialty medical management alone was not associated with improved clinical outcomes among our study population. Supplementing medical management with acupuncture, however, resulted in improvements in health-related quality of life and the perception by patients that they suffered less from headaches.