Allerton Health Centre

Health & Wellbeing

Acupuncture for Headaches

Recently it has been reported in the news that ‘Painkillers are the cause of millions of headaches’.

Up to a million people in the UK have "completely preventable" severe headaches caused by taking too many painkillers, doctors have said.

The warning came as part of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's (NICE) first guidelines for treating headaches.

They said some were trapped in a "vicious cycle" of taking pain relief, which then caused even more headaches. ‘This can end up getting into a vicious cycle where your headache gets worse, so you take more painkillers, so your headache gets worse and this just becomes worse and worse and worse’ says Prof Martin Underwood  of Warwick Medical School.

The new guidelines for doctors in England and Wales advise telling sufferers to immediately stop taking all pain relief. However, this will lead to about a month of agony as patients contend with regular headaches without pain relief, until symptoms eventually improve.

The panel said other options for controlling any underlying headaches, such as preventative treatments, could be considered.

The guidelines also include a recommendation for acupuncture in patients susceptible to migraine and tension headaches.

"We would expect that to lead to more people getting acupuncture, but given there is good evidence to show this is effective for the prevention of both tension-type and migraine-type headaches then that is a good thing because people are getting access to an effective treatment," Prof Martin Underwood said.

For the full article reported by James Gallagher of the BBC on 19th September 2012, please see

Overall great news for the practice of Acupuncture making it into main stream health care!

Article Info

  • Brief:

    Try and avoid overuse of painkillers with natural approaches.

  • Published on: 05th Oct 2012
  • Written by: Allerton Health Centre