Treating headaches from traumatic brain injury using acupuncture
07/11/2018 // Carol Anderson // Views

A study in Medical Acupuncture has revealed the traditional Chinese practice of acupuncture can relieve the symptoms of traumatic brain injury (TBI). In particular, researchers evaluated auricular acupuncture (AA) and traditional acupuncture (TCA) to determine whether it was effective in treating symptoms of chronic headaches, in comparison to usual care (UC) treatments provided by healthcare professionals.

  • Researchers involved veterans aged 18 to 69 with mild-to-moderate TBI across three different military treatment facilities.
  • Primary outcomes were measured using a head impact test (HIT), while secondary outcomes were evaluated using a variety of assays to qualify expectancy of outcome and acupuncture efficacy.
  • The lead acupuncturist conducted a 90-minutes traditional Chinese medicine assessment on all participants. For the auricular acupuncture, between six and nine needle points were assessed every session. This group underwent ten 45-minute acupuncture treatments for six weeks. For the traditional acupuncture, up to 22 needle points were assessed. Participants in this group underwent 10 60-minute acupuncture treatments for six weeks.
  • Results showed that the percentage of HIT among participants dropped as compared to the UC-only group. AA was at -10.2 percent, TCA at -4.6 percent, while UC was at +0.8 percent.
  • Furthermore, unlike UC, both AA and TCA showed a dramatic decrease in NRS. However, no relevant differences were seen for other secondary outcomes.

The findings suggest that acupuncture was more effective than the usual medical care given to people suffering from a TBI-related headache.

For the full text of the study, go to this link.

Discover other traditional Chinese practices at

Journal Reference:

Jonas WB, Bellanti DM, Paat CF, Boyd CC, Duncan A, Price A, Zhang W, French LM, Chae H. A RANDOMIZE EXPLORATORY STUDY TO EVALUATE TWO ACUPUNCTURE METHODS FOR THE TREATMENT OF HEADACHES ASSOCIATED WITH TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY. Medical Acupuncture. 2016;28(3):113–130. DOI: 10.1089/acu.2016.1183

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