Chronic headaches and migraines

Headaches and migraines significantly decrease quality of life for many people. These complaints often have multiple triggers and present a challenging diagnostic dilemma, since patients are often unaware or unsure of the causes initiating the onset of their symptoms.

Many women suffer from migraines and headaches related to hormonal changes and herbal medicine offers a safe, non-hormonal alternative for management. Chronic sinusitis and food intolerances are also common triggers, as are musculoskeletal problems; hence the management can be complex and require input from a variety of different practitioners.

A common concern of patients suffering with frequent headaches and migraines is that some of the medication that they use to reduce the pain of headaches and migraines does not reduce the frequency or incidence of these complaints and thus they are obliged to regularly use pain-reducing medication to improve their quality of life. Non-pharmaceutical agents reduce the biochemical alterations in blood vessels that trigger migraines and these offer a more suitable long-term strategy to reduce incidence as well as severity.

Acupuncture has also been found to be a beneficial treatment for headache and migraine. Research utilising the gate control theory proposes that acupuncture stimulus travels via nerve fibres in muscles and interacts at specific sites to inhibit painful impulses from being registered at the spinal cord and in the brain.

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