Many people suffer from chronic headache pain, despite a
wide variety of treatment options. Those who find relief through
drugs often must deal with negative side effects. Complementary
medicines, or CAM therapies, are increasingly being considered
by those who cannot find symptom relief elsewhere.
Seventy-three severe headache patients at an outpatient head/neck
pain clinic in New York were recently interviewed about their
knowledge, use, and opinions about CAM. Researchers found
that 85% of the patients used some form of alternative therapy
for their headaches, and 60% claimed the therapies benefited
their pain. Nearly 90% of the sufferers thought some form
of CAM treatment would be effective for headache pain. The
following represent some of the most-used CAM therapies for
headache, based on patient response:
- massage (42%);
- exercise (30%);
- acupuncture (19%);
- chiropractic (15%); and
- herbs (15%).
If you suffer from headaches or other conditions that don't
respond adequately to standard medical care, consider some
form of CAM therapy. Be careful, however, as not all forms
of alternative therapy are proven safe or effective. Research
any form of treatment before you consider using it, and ask
your doctor of chiropractic about its validity.
Von Peter S, Ting W, Scrivani S, et al. Survey on the use
of complementary and alternative medicine among patients with
headache syndromes. Cephalagia 2002:22, pp. 395-400.
To learn more about head and neck pain, go to http://www.chiroweb.com/find/archives/musculoskeletal.