Cochrane reviews organize research findings to help simplify and point to evidence based options for treatments and interventions for different conditions. The most recent Cochrane review for the prevention of tension-type headaches focused on acupuncture.
The review included 12 trials which totaled to 2349 participants. The important thing to note is that the review looked at prevention of future tension-type headaches (a decrease in headache frequency).
Acupuncture vs Routine Care
When acupuncture was compared to routine care, the proportion of patients who experienced at least 50% reduction in headache frequency was significantly higher in the group receiving acupuncture.
Tension-type headaches are the most common primary headache disorder with a global prevalence of up to 1.68 million. According to one study, up to 78% of the population have experienced or will experience a tension-type headache in their lifetime (lifetime prevalence).
Tension-type headaches can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 7 days, are typically located on both sides of the head/neck, mild to moderate intensity, and have a pressing or tightening pain quality (non-pulsating). Additionally the pain does not become worse with routine activities (eg. walking up the stairs). While this headache is not associated with nausea or vomiting, it can be associated with photophobia or phonophobia.
It is possible for migraine and tension type headache symptoms to overlap or to have two concurrent headaches. If this is the case, you may be provided with a probable or mixed type headache diagnosis.
Headaches are horrible. Whether you suffer from headaches on a chronic or infrequent basis they can be debilitating and prevent you from enjoying your normal activities. Despite this, many individuals “live” with it.
As a healthcare professional I find it astounding how far we’ve come with diagnosing headaches - there are a ridiculous number of subtypes of headaches (212 if I counted correctly) within the main headache groups (14 classifications). This article with briefly discuss the more common headaches that an individual will present with at Haptic Health and Chiropractic. Check back for articles on each of the headache types.
The most typical types of migraines include migraines without aura, migraines with aura, and chronic migraines. The most recent Global Burden of Disease Study found migraines to be the 7th leading cause of disability worldwide.
According to the International Headache Society, at any given point in time anywhere from 30-78% of the general population will have a tension-type headache (1) - this creates a huge socioeconomic burden on our society. The most common subtypes include infrequent episodic, frequent episodic, and chronic tension type headaches.
Dr. Judith McCann has been living in York Region for over 15 years. After going to Queen's University in Kingston for Kinesiology, and Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto to become a chiropractor, she decided to move back and open Haptic Health and Chiropractic in Newmarket. In February 2017, Haptic Health and Chiropractic moved 10 minutes up the road to Sharon in East Gwillimbury.