Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Electroacupuncture for Tension-type Headache on Distal Acupoints Only: A Randomized, Controlled, Crossover Trial

Buy Article:

$52.00 + tax (Refund Policy)

Objective.—To investigate the efficacy of electroacupuncture, applied to distal acupoints only, for tension-type headache.

Background.—Electroacupuncture is commonly used for tension-type headache, but when applied to distal acupoints only, evidence of its efficacy is lacking.

Design.—A randomized, single-blinded, sham-controlled, crossover clinical trial.

Methods.—The trial had 5 stages: baseline (2 weeks), phases I and II (each 4 weeks), washout period (2 weeks), and follow-up (3 months after phase II). Forty patients were randomly assigned to either group A or group B. Group A received real electroacupuncture during phase I, then sham electroacupuncture in phase II. Group B received the treatments in reverse order. Outcome measures were headache frequency and duration, pain intensity using a visual analog scale, mechanical pain threshold, headache disability, and sickness impact. Data were analyzed by univariate 2-way analysis of variance.

Results.—Thirty-seven patients completed the trial. There were no significant differences between the 2 groups at baseline. At the end of phase I, group A, but not group B, demonstrated significant improvement in mean (standard error of the mean [SEM]) headache frequency (3.0 per month [0.3] versus 12.0 per month [1.7]), duration (13.3 hours [3.5] versus 32.0 hours [6.2]), pain intensity (32.8 mm [4.1] versus 47.5 mm [2.7]), pain threshold (right side, 2.9 kg/second [0.1] versus 0.9 kg/second [0.1]; left side, 2.4 kg/second [0.1] versus 1.1 kg/second [0.1]), headache disability score (6.0 [1.0] versus 16.3 [1.6]), and sickness impact score (288.7 [48.0] versus 687.1 [77.2]). For each parameter, significant differences also were demonstrated for both groups between baseline and phase II, and baseline and follow-up. There were no significant differences between the groups at the end of follow-up (P > .05).

Conclusion.—Electroacupuncture to distal points alone is effective for short-term symptomatic relief of tension-type headache.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: Chinese medicine; acupuncture analgesia; electroacupuncture; tension-type headache

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2004

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more