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Revista de la Sociedad Española del Dolor

versão impressa ISSN 1134-8046


COLLAZO, E.. Acupuncture treatment in headache refractory to conventional therapies. Rev. Soc. Esp. Dolor [online]. 2010, vol.17, n.8, pp.359-365. ISSN 1134-8046.

Objectives: To evaluate the overall effectiveness of acupuncture as a complementary therapy in relieving chronic pain in paired groups (before-after) of patients with headache refractory to conventional therapies in a real life clinical setting. To determine the extent to which analgesic consumption is reduced in these patients after an acupuncture cycle. To determine the adverse reactions due to acupuncture. Material and methods: We performed a quasi-experimental study in 56 outpatients with headache refractory to conventional pharmacological treatment. Pain was measured using a multiple-item pain scale before the acupuncture cycle was started, after the traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis was made, and when the treatment cycle was complete. Results: Significant differences (p<001) before and after acupuncture treatment were obtained for the overall pain score and for each of its variables (intensity, frequency, analgesic consumption, disability, and sleep). After the acupuncture cycle, the total pain score decreased by 50.8%, intensity by 48.3%, frequency by 45%, analgesic consumption by 48.5%, disability by 47%, and sleep improved by 66.8%. No adverse effects of acupuncture were observed. Fifty-six percent were migraine. Fourteen percent of the patients showed drug intolerance. Conclusions: Acupuncture consumes few resources and is highly effective in the complementary treatment of chronic refractory headache. The reduction in analgesic consumption in patients with pain increases quality of life and patient satisfaction, and reduces adverse effects and healthcare costs in patients with chronic refractory headache.

Palavras-chave : Acupuncture; Untreatable headache; Combined therapy; Treatment results.

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