Needle Acupuncture in Tension-Type Headache: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study

Cephalalgia. 2001 Jul;21(6):637-42. doi: 10.1046/j.1468-2982.2001.00198.x.


A study with needle acupuncture was performed in tension-type headache employing a new placebo acupuncture

Method: Sixty-nine patients (mean age 48.1 years, SD = 14.1) fulfilling the International Headache Society criteria for tension-type headache were randomly assigned to verum or placebo condition. No significant differences between placebo and verum with respect to visual analogue scale and frequency of headache attacks could be observed immediately, 6 weeks and 5 months after the end of treatment. There was a significant but weak improvement in quality of life parameters (clinical global impressions, Nottingham Health Profile) after verum treatment. In decision tree analyses, the changes in clinical global impressions and headache frequency depended significantly on primary headache frequency with a limit value of 24.5 days headache per month. High values in the von Zerssen Depression Score resulted in high mean visual analogue scale values.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy / methods*
  • Acupuncture Therapy / psychology
  • Adult
  • Decision Trees
  • Depression / complications
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needles*
  • Placebos
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Tension-Type Headache / complications
  • Tension-Type Headache / psychology
  • Tension-Type Headache / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Placebos