Author: Hui Zheng1, Tao Gao2, Qian-Hua Zheng1, Ling-Yun Lu3, Ting-Hui Hou1, Shu-Sen Zhang1, Si-Yuan Zhou1, Xin-Yu Hao1, Lu Wang1, Ling Zhao1, Fan-Rong Liang1, Ying Li4
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> The Third Hospital/Acupuncture and Tuina School, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, China. <sup>2</sup> College of Acupuncture & Massage, Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine, Xixian New Area, Shaanxi, China. <sup>3</sup> Department of Integrative Medicine, West China Hospital, Sichuan University. <sup>4</sup> The Third Hospital/Acupuncture and Tuina School, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, China email@example.com.
Date published: 2022 Jun 22
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000200670. , Word Count: 343
Background and objectives:
Whether acupuncture is effective for chronic tension-type headache (CTTH) is inconclusive. We aimed to examine the effectiveness of acupuncture with a follow-up period of 32 weeks.
We conducted a randomized controlled trial, and 218 participants who were diagnosed with CTTH were recruited from June 2017 to September 2020. The participants in the intervention group received 20 sessions of true acupuncture (TA group) over 8 weeks. The acupuncture treatments were standardized across participants, and each acupuncture site was needled to achieve deqi sensation. Each treatment session lasted 30 minutes. The participants in the control group received the same sessions and treatment frequency of superficial acupuncture (SA group)-defined as a type of sham control by avoiding deqi sensation at each acupuncture site. The main outcome was the responder rate at 16 weeks after randomization (week 16) and was followed up at week 32. A responder was defined as a participant who reported at least a 50% reduction in the monthly number of headache days (MHDs).
Our study included 218 participants (mean age: 43.1 years, mean disease duration: 130 months, MHDs: 21.5 days). The responder rate was 68.2% in the TA group (n=110) versus 48.1% in the SA group (n=108) at week 16 (odds ratio, 2.65; 95%CI, 1.5 to 4.77; p<0.001); and it was 68.2% in the TA group versus 50% in the SA group at week 32 (odds ratio, 2.4; 95%CI, 1.36 to 4.3; p<0.001). The reduction in MHDs was 13.1±9.8 days in the TA group versus 8.8±9.6 days in the SA group at week 16 (mean difference, 4.3 days; 95%CI, 2.0 to 6.5; p<0.001), and the reduction was 14±10.5 days in the TA group versus 9.5±9.3 days in the SA group at week 32 (mean difference, 4.5 days; 95%CI, 2.1 to 6.8; p<0.001). Four mild adverse events were reported; three in the TA group versus one in the SA group.
The 8-week TA treatment was effective for the prophylaxis of CTTH. Further studies might focus on the cost-effectiveness of the treatment.
Registration Information: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT03133884 (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03133884) CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE: This study provides Class I evidence that acupuncture (achieving deqi sensation) reduces mean headache days (per month) in patients with chronic tension-type headache.
PMID: 35732505 DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000200670