The Global Burden of Disease Study demonstrated that 1.25 billion people experienced migraine headache in 2017. In patients aged 15-49, migraine was the top cause of life lived with disability. Given the potential ineffectiveness and/or contraindications to migraine medications, there is a need to investigate non-drug, conservative interventions.
 
The effectiveness for acupuncture to be used as a prophylactic treatment has been investigated. Manual acupuncture has been used for pain relief, however, there is a paucity of clinical evidence for migraine prophylaxis (prevention). Although several randomized clinical trials (RCTs) have found no difference between manual and sham acupuncture, it is important to consider that inappropriate or inadequate placebo controls may be impacting the results of these trials. In order to be an appropriate placebo, sham acupuncture must be both physiological inert and indistinguishable from true acupuncture. Some authors have suggested that sham acupuncture interventions are not completely inert and may be associated with moderate, non-specific effects.
 
The aim of this RCT was determine the efficacy of manual acupuncture and quantify the true placebo response in the prophylaxis of episodic migraine without aura…enjoy!
 
THIS WEEK'S RESEARCH REVIEW: “Manual vs. Sham Acupuncture & Usual Care for Prophylaxis of Episodic Migraine Without Aura”
 
This paper was published in the BMJ (2020) and this Review is posted in Recent Reviews, Headache - Migraine, Acupuncture - Headache and the 2021 Archive.
 
 
Acupuncture LI4