Treating Therapy-Resistant Headache After Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage with Acupuncture

Neurocrit Care. 2019 Oct;31(2):434-438. doi: 10.1007/s12028-019-00718-3.


Introduction: Subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) is usually associated with severe headache, whereas the options of pharmacological analgesia are restricted. Acupuncture is a promising method in treatment of headaches associated with meningeal sensitivity or irritation, such as migraine or post-dural puncture headache.

Case report: We report on 3 patients, who suffered severe headache due to aneurysmal SAH, and received acupuncture when pharmacological measures were exhausted. After acupuncture treatment all patients reported at least 50% pain reduction and could stop or reduce analgesics without side effects.

Discussion: Acupuncture may be an effective pain treatment method in patients suffering from headache due to SAH. Randomized trials using acupuncture as an add-on to standard analgesic therapy would help evaluate the role of acupuncture for this purpose.

Keywords: Acupuncture; Headache; Subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / therapeutic use
  • Acupuncture Therapy / methods*
  • Adult
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Dipyrone / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Headache / etiology
  • Headache / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Ibuprofen / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Pirinitramide / therapeutic use
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / complications*


  • Analgesics
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Acetaminophen
  • Pirinitramide
  • Dipyrone
  • Ibuprofen