Combination of Acupuncture and Spinal Manipulative Therapy: Management of a 32-year-old Patient With Chronic Tension-type Headache and Migraine

The Chiro.Org Blog

J Chiropr Med. 2012 (Sep);   11 (3):   192–201

Bahia A. Ohlsen

Chiropractic, Acupuncture and Yoga Center,
Buffalo Grove, IL.

OBJECTIVE:   The purpose of this case study is to describe the treatment using acupuncture and spinal manipulation for a patient with a chronic tension-type headache and episodic migraines.

CLINICAL FEATURES:   A 32-year-old woman presented with headaches of 5 months’ duration. She had a history of episodic migraine that began in her teens and had been controlled with medication. She had stopped taking the prescription medications because of gastrointestinal symptoms. A neurologist diagnosed her with mixed headaches, some migrainous and some tension type. Her headaches were chronic, were daily, and fit the International Classification of Headache Disorders criteria of a chronic tension-type headache superimposed with migraine.

INTERVENTION AND OUTCOME:   After 5 treatments over a 2-week period (the first using acupuncture only, the next 3 using acupuncture and chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy), her headaches resolved. The patient had no recurrences of headaches in her 1-year follow-up.

CONCLUSION:   The combination of acupuncture with chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy was a reasonable alternative in treating this patient’s chronic tension-type headaches superimposed with migraine.

KEYWORDS:   Acupuncture, Acupuncture analgesia, Headache disorders, Migraine headaches, Tension-type headaches