17. Neurol Sci. 2003 May;24 Suppl 2:S138-42

Neurol Sci. 2003 May;24 Suppl 2:S138-42.
Non-pharmacological approaches to chronic headaches: transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, lasertherapy and acupuncture in transformed migraine treatment.
Allais G(1), De Lorenzo C, Quirico PE, Lupi G, Airola G, Mana O, Benedetto C.
(1)Woman’s Headache Center, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Via Ventimiglia 3, I-10126 Turin, Italy.

In an open, randomized trial, we evaluated transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), infrared lasertherapy and acupuncture in the treatment of transformed migraine, over a 4-month period free of prophylactic drugs. Sixty women suffering from transformed migraine were assigned, after a one month run-in period, to three different treatments: TENS (Group T; n=20), infrared lasertherapy (Group L; n=20) or acupuncture (Group A; n=20). In each group the patients underwent ten sessions of treatment and monthly control visits. In Group T patients were treated for two weeks (5 days/week) simultaneously with three TENS units with different stimulation parameters (I: pulse rate = 80 Hz, pulse width = 120 micros; II: 120 Hz, 90 micros; III: 4 Hz, 200 micros). In Group L an  infrared diode laser (27 mW, 904 nm) was applied every other day on tender scalp  spots. In Group A acupuncture was carried out twice a week in the first two weeks and weekly in the next 6 weeks. A basic formula (LR3, SP6, LI4, GB20, GV20 and Ex-HN5) was always employed; additional points were selected according to each patient’s symptomatology. The number of days with headache per month significantly decreased during treatment in all groups. The response in the groups differed over time, probably due to the different timing of applications of the three methods. TENS, lasertherapy and acupuncture proved to be effective in reducing the frequency of headache attacks. Acupuncture showed the best effectiveness over time.
PMID: 12811613  [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]