W. Stor, A. Beyer, J. Gleditsch, T. Dollinger, S. Zehender, Kh. R. Koczorek, K. Peter
Wurmtalstr. 54, D-81375 Munchen, Germany
Summary: Aim of this study was to observe short- and longterm effects of acupuneture in patients with chronic headache (tension type headache, migraine, cerviogenic headache and posttraumatic headache according to definition by the HIS). We studied 12 female and 13 male patients (mean age 46, 12 +- 2,75 years) with a history of chronic headache since 8,8 +- 1,7 years.
We observed levels of continuous daily pain, intensity and frequency of pain attacks, mood, depression, doctor shopping and pain medication by means of visual analog scals, pain diaries and questionnaires. Data were processed as comparisons of means (= group results) and by analysis of individual cases to evaluate the rate of “responders”. Shortterm-results after eight treatments with acupuncture once per week. Intensity and frequency of pain attacks were reduced significantly (p-0,01 and 0,03 respectively). The responder rate was 57 %. Longterm-results at 12 (13,1 +- 2,3) month: Frequency of pain attacks was still clinically relevant reduced (p=0,09) as was doctor-shopping (=number of physicians consulted because of pain, p-0,01).
Analgesic medication intake was abolished in 32 % and substantially reduced in 37 % of patients. Intensity of pain attacks had returned to baseline levels, as had mood state; continuous daily pain was still unchanged, depression scale has worsened. The responder rate according to individual case analysis was 31 % with 25 % being longtime responder. Conclusions: In our group of chronic pain patients acupuncture did improve frequency and intensity of pain attacks, doctor-shopping and intake of analgesic medication remained reduced, but intensity of pain attacks and mood state had returned to baseline levels.