Objective: To assess the efficacy of a topical medication, Tiger Balm, in the treatment of acute tension headache.
Design: Randomised, double blind, three group comparison.
Setting: Patients were recruited by newspaper advertisements and general practitioners who were also responsible for enrolment. Pre-treatment assessments took place in seven general practices.
Intervention: Groups were given either Tiger Balm, topical placebo or paracetamol.
Main outcome measures: Headache severity and medication relief scales were measured by self-report.
Results: There was a statistically significant difference (p < 0.05) in headache relief between Tiger Balm and placebo. The difference between Tiger Balm and medication was not significant.