Complementary and integrative medicine in the management of headache

Denise Millstine, Christina Y. Chen, Brent A Bauer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Headaches, including primary headaches such as migraine and tension-type headache, are a common clinical problem. Complementary and integrative medicine (CIM), formerly known as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), uses evidence informed modalities to assist in the health and healing of patients. CIM commonly includes the use of nutrition, movement practices, manual therapy, traditional Chinese medicine, and mind-body strategies. This review summarizes the literature on the use of CIM for primary headache and is based on five meta-analyses, seven systematic reviews, and 34 randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The overall quality of the evidence for CIM in headache management is generally low and occasionally moderate. Available evidence suggests that traditional Chinese medicine including acupuncture, massage, yoga, biofeedback, and meditation have a positive effect on migraine and tension headaches. Spinal manipulation, chiropractic care, some supplements and botanicals, diet alteration, and hydrotherapy may also be beneficial in migraine headache. CIM has not been studied or it is not effective for cluster headache. Further research is needed to determine the most effective role for CIM in patients with headache.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberj1805
JournalBMJ (Online)
Volume357
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

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Integrative Medicine
Complementary Therapies
Headache
Migraine Disorders
Tension-Type Headache
Chinese Traditional Medicine
Hydrotherapy
Spinal Manipulation
Yoga
Cluster Headache
Musculoskeletal Manipulations
Meditation
Chiropractic
Massage
Acupuncture
Meta-Analysis
Randomized Controlled Trials
Diet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Complementary and integrative medicine in the management of headache. / Millstine, Denise; Chen, Christina Y.; Bauer, Brent A.

In: BMJ (Online), Vol. 357, j1805, 2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Millstine, Denise ; Chen, Christina Y. ; Bauer, Brent A. / Complementary and integrative medicine in the management of headache. In: BMJ (Online). 2017 ; Vol. 357.
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