Effectiveness of Acupuncture for Chronic Headache due to Perceived stress
The global prevalence of active headache disorders is estimated to be around 52%. The International Headache Society (IHS) defines chronic daily headache as, having 15 or more headache episodes per month consecutively for at least 3 months. Acupuncture is one of the most common alternative medicines used to treat chronic pain in patients. In Sri Lanka, there are no documented reports to evaluate the prevalence of headaches caused by perceived stress. Therefore, the current study aimed to assess the efficacy of acupuncture for chronic headaches caused by perceived stress in patients who visited the acupuncture clinic at KIU. Forty patients were selected using a convenient sampling method, and their stress levels were assessed using the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). The Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NPRS) was used to assess the intensity of the headache prior to treatment. Following six weeks of acupuncture treatment, post-intervention PSS and NPRS were assessed. A strong positive correlation (r2=0.929, p=0.001) was determined between the levels of stress and the severity of headache. Furthermore, a statistically significant (p=0.001) decrease in means scores of stress and pain was found following acupuncture treatments. Therefore, it was concluded that acupuncture is an effective treatment method for chronic headache due to perceived stress.