Non-pharmacological approaches to chronic headaches: transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, lasertherapy and acupuncture in transformed migraine treatment

Item

Title

Non-pharmacological approaches to chronic headaches: transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, lasertherapy and acupuncture in transformed migraine treatment

Author(s)

Journal Publication

Date

2003

volume

24

pages

138-142

Research Type

RCT

Keywords

Abstract

In an open, randomized trial, we evaluated transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), infrared lasertherapy and acupuncture in the treatment of transformed migraine, over a 4-month period free of prophylactic drugs. Sixty women suffering from transformed migraine were assigned, after a one month run-in period, to three different treatments: TENS (Group T; n=20), infrared lasertherapy (Group L; n=20) or acupuncture (Group A; n=20). In each group the patients underwent ten sessions of treatment and monthly control visits. In Group T patients were treated for two weeks (5 days/week) simultaneously with three TENS units with different stimulation parameters (I: pulse rate = 80 Hz, pulse width = 120 &mgr;s; II: 120 Hz, 90 &mgr;s; III: 4 Hz, 200 &mgr;s). In Group L an infrared diode laser (27 mW, 904 nm) was applied every other day on tender scalp spots. In Group A acupuncture was carried out twice a week in the first two weeks and weekly in the next 6 weeks. A basic formula (LR3, SP6, LI4, GB20, GV20 and Ex-HN5) was always employed; additional points were selected according to each patient's symptomatology. The number of days with headache per month significantly decreased during treatment in all groups. The response in the groups differed over time, probably due to the different timing of applications of the three methods. TENS, lasertherapy and acupuncture proved to be effective in reducing the frequency of headache attacks. Acupuncture showed the best effectiveness over time

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Frequency of Treatment

>1/WK

Time in Treatment

8 Weeks

has health condition studied

Headache Disorders

has study population number

60

Item sets