Migraine Pain Relief

Acupuncture and Migraine

Migraine is triggered by a huge variety of factors not just cheese, chocolate and red wine! For most people there is not just one trigger but a combination of factors which individually can be tolerated but when they all occur together a threshold is passed and a migraine is triggered.
Migraine is a very individual condition and trigger factors and symptoms vary tremendously from person to person.
Did you know?

• 1 in 7 people in the UK suffer from migraine

• It affects twice as many women as men.

• It affects people from all age groups and all social groups

• The World Health Organisation has classified headache as a major health disorder and has rated migraine amongst the top 20 most disabling lifetime conditions.
• A migraine attack can last for between 4 and 72 hours. However other migraine symptoms, such as mood changes and lethargy can last for longer as they can occur before or after the headache phase.
• Sufferers experience an average of 13 attacks each year.
Several drugs, such as beta-blockers, amitriptyline or sodium valproate, are used to help migraine or reduce the attack frequency, but all these drugs are associated with adverse effects.

Acupuncture can help!

The results of the latest research is consistent: acupuncture is significantly better than no treatment/basic care for managing migraine, and appears to be at least as effective as drug therapy, without the contraindications or unpleasant side effects.

Acupuncture can increase coping mechanisms as well as relieve migraine symptoms.

Migraine is thought to begin as an electrical phenomenon in the cerebrum that then affects blood vessels, biochemistry, and causes neurogenic inflammation.

Here is the technical bit….

Acupuncture can help in the treatment of migraine by:

• Providing pain relief - by stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, acupuncture leads to release of endorphins and other neurochumoral factors and changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord.
• Reducing inflammation - by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors.
• Reducing the degree of cortical spreading depression (an electrical wave in the brain associated with migraine) and plasma levels of calcitonin gene-related peptide and substance P (both implicated in the pathophysiology of migraine).
• Modulating extracranial and intracranial blood flow.
• Affecting serotonin (5-hydroxytriptamine) levels in the brain. (Serotonin may be linked to the initiation of migraines; 5-HT agonists (triptans) are used against acute attacks.)

If you would like to know more about how acupuncture can help you, or if you would like to know more, please give me a call.

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