Effect of acupressure and trigger points in treating headache

A randomized controlled trial

Lisa Li Chen Hsieh, Horng Huei Liou, Liang Huei Lee, Tony Hsiu Hsi Chen, Amy Ming Fang Yen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The efficacy of acupressure in relieving pain has been documented; however, its effectiveness for chronic headache compared to the muscle relaxant medication has not yet been elucidated. To address this, a randomized, controlled clinical trial was conducted in a medical center in Southern Taiwan in 2003. Twenty-eight patients suffering chronic headache were randomly assigned to the acupressure group (n = 14) or the muscle relaxant medication group (n = 14). Outcome measures regarding self-appraised pain scores (measured on a visual analogue scale; VAS) and ratings of how headaches affected life quality were recorded at baseline, 1 month after treatment, and at a 6-month follow-up. Pain areas were recorded in order to establish trigger points. Results showed that mean scores on the VAS at post-treatment assessment were significantly lower in the acupressure group (32.9±26.0) than in the muscle relaxant medication group (55.7±28.7) (p = 0.047). The superiority of acupressure over muscle relaxant medication remained at 6-month follow-up assessments (p = 0.002). The quality of life ratings related to headache showed similar differences between the two groups in the post treatment and at six-month assessments. Trigger points BL2, GV20, GB20, TH21, and GB5 were used most commonly for etiological assessment. In conclusion, our study suggests that 1 month of acupressure treatment is more effective in reducing chronic headache than 1 month of muscle relaxant treatment, and that the effect remains 6 months after treatment. Trigger points help demonstrate the treatment technique recommended if a larger-scale study is conducted in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Chinese Medicine
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Acupressure
Trigger Points
Headache
Randomized Controlled Trials
Headache Disorders
Muscles
Pain
Therapeutics
Quality of Life
Visual Analog Scale
Taiwan
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)

Keywords

  • Acupressure
  • Alternative Medicine
  • Headache
  • Pain
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Trigger Point

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

Cite this

Effect of acupressure and trigger points in treating headache : A randomized controlled trial. / Hsieh, Lisa Li Chen; Liou, Horng Huei; Lee, Liang Huei; Chen, Tony Hsiu Hsi; Yen, Amy Ming Fang.

In: American Journal of Chinese Medicine, Vol. 38, No. 1, 2010, p. 1-14.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hsieh, Lisa Li Chen ; Liou, Horng Huei ; Lee, Liang Huei ; Chen, Tony Hsiu Hsi ; Yen, Amy Ming Fang. / Effect of acupressure and trigger points in treating headache : A randomized controlled trial. In: American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2010 ; Vol. 38, No. 1. pp. 1-14.
@article{7b52acbb772c4626813d32ddf4f97d36,
title = "Effect of acupressure and trigger points in treating headache: A randomized controlled trial",
abstract = "The efficacy of acupressure in relieving pain has been documented; however, its effectiveness for chronic headache compared to the muscle relaxant medication has not yet been elucidated. To address this, a randomized, controlled clinical trial was conducted in a medical center in Southern Taiwan in 2003. Twenty-eight patients suffering chronic headache were randomly assigned to the acupressure group (n = 14) or the muscle relaxant medication group (n = 14). Outcome measures regarding self-appraised pain scores (measured on a visual analogue scale; VAS) and ratings of how headaches affected life quality were recorded at baseline, 1 month after treatment, and at a 6-month follow-up. Pain areas were recorded in order to establish trigger points. Results showed that mean scores on the VAS at post-treatment assessment were significantly lower in the acupressure group (32.9±26.0) than in the muscle relaxant medication group (55.7±28.7) (p = 0.047). The superiority of acupressure over muscle relaxant medication remained at 6-month follow-up assessments (p = 0.002). The quality of life ratings related to headache showed similar differences between the two groups in the post treatment and at six-month assessments. Trigger points BL2, GV20, GB20, TH21, and GB5 were used most commonly for etiological assessment. In conclusion, our study suggests that 1 month of acupressure treatment is more effective in reducing chronic headache than 1 month of muscle relaxant treatment, and that the effect remains 6 months after treatment. Trigger points help demonstrate the treatment technique recommended if a larger-scale study is conducted in the future.",
keywords = "Acupressure, Alternative Medicine, Headache, Pain, Randomized Controlled Trial, Trigger Point",
author = "Hsieh, {Lisa Li Chen} and Liou, {Horng Huei} and Lee, {Liang Huei} and Chen, {Tony Hsiu Hsi} and Yen, {Amy Ming Fang}",
year = "2010",
doi = "10.1142/S0192415X10007634",
language = "English",
volume = "38",
pages = "1--14",
journal = "American Journal of Chinese Medicine",
issn = "0192-415X",
publisher = "World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte Ltd",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Effect of acupressure and trigger points in treating headache

T2 - A randomized controlled trial

AU - Hsieh, Lisa Li Chen

AU - Liou, Horng Huei

AU - Lee, Liang Huei

AU - Chen, Tony Hsiu Hsi

AU - Yen, Amy Ming Fang

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - The efficacy of acupressure in relieving pain has been documented; however, its effectiveness for chronic headache compared to the muscle relaxant medication has not yet been elucidated. To address this, a randomized, controlled clinical trial was conducted in a medical center in Southern Taiwan in 2003. Twenty-eight patients suffering chronic headache were randomly assigned to the acupressure group (n = 14) or the muscle relaxant medication group (n = 14). Outcome measures regarding self-appraised pain scores (measured on a visual analogue scale; VAS) and ratings of how headaches affected life quality were recorded at baseline, 1 month after treatment, and at a 6-month follow-up. Pain areas were recorded in order to establish trigger points. Results showed that mean scores on the VAS at post-treatment assessment were significantly lower in the acupressure group (32.9±26.0) than in the muscle relaxant medication group (55.7±28.7) (p = 0.047). The superiority of acupressure over muscle relaxant medication remained at 6-month follow-up assessments (p = 0.002). The quality of life ratings related to headache showed similar differences between the two groups in the post treatment and at six-month assessments. Trigger points BL2, GV20, GB20, TH21, and GB5 were used most commonly for etiological assessment. In conclusion, our study suggests that 1 month of acupressure treatment is more effective in reducing chronic headache than 1 month of muscle relaxant treatment, and that the effect remains 6 months after treatment. Trigger points help demonstrate the treatment technique recommended if a larger-scale study is conducted in the future.

AB - The efficacy of acupressure in relieving pain has been documented; however, its effectiveness for chronic headache compared to the muscle relaxant medication has not yet been elucidated. To address this, a randomized, controlled clinical trial was conducted in a medical center in Southern Taiwan in 2003. Twenty-eight patients suffering chronic headache were randomly assigned to the acupressure group (n = 14) or the muscle relaxant medication group (n = 14). Outcome measures regarding self-appraised pain scores (measured on a visual analogue scale; VAS) and ratings of how headaches affected life quality were recorded at baseline, 1 month after treatment, and at a 6-month follow-up. Pain areas were recorded in order to establish trigger points. Results showed that mean scores on the VAS at post-treatment assessment were significantly lower in the acupressure group (32.9±26.0) than in the muscle relaxant medication group (55.7±28.7) (p = 0.047). The superiority of acupressure over muscle relaxant medication remained at 6-month follow-up assessments (p = 0.002). The quality of life ratings related to headache showed similar differences between the two groups in the post treatment and at six-month assessments. Trigger points BL2, GV20, GB20, TH21, and GB5 were used most commonly for etiological assessment. In conclusion, our study suggests that 1 month of acupressure treatment is more effective in reducing chronic headache than 1 month of muscle relaxant treatment, and that the effect remains 6 months after treatment. Trigger points help demonstrate the treatment technique recommended if a larger-scale study is conducted in the future.

KW - Acupressure

KW - Alternative Medicine

KW - Headache

KW - Pain

KW - Randomized Controlled Trial

KW - Trigger Point

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77951215972&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=77951215972&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1142/S0192415X10007634

DO - 10.1142/S0192415X10007634

M3 - Article

VL - 38

SP - 1

EP - 14

JO - American Journal of Chinese Medicine

JF - American Journal of Chinese Medicine

SN - 0192-415X

IS - 1

ER -