Neurological Sciences

, Volume 31, Supplement 1, pp 185–187 | Cite as

Ear acupuncture in unilateral migraine pain

  • Gianni AllaisEmail author
  • Marco Romoli
  • Sara Rolando
  • Ilaria Castagnoli Gabellari
  • Chiara Benedetto
Oral Communication


The needle contact test (NCT) is a diagnostic technique useful to identify, through the contact of the needle on the skin of the ear, the most efficacious points for reducing pain during a migraine attack. The aim of this study was to identify the most important auricular zones for pain control by applying the NCT in a group of 15 women during a unilateral attack of migraine without aura. We also assessed how effective the insertion of a semi-permanent needle in these zones was in reducing the migraine pain during the next 24 h. The most effective tender points in pain control were located on the antero-internal part of the antitragus, the anterior part of the lobe and the upper auricular concha ipsilateral to the side of pain. The insertion of a semi-permanent needle in these zones allowed stable control of the migraine pain, which occurred within 30 min and persisted at the same levels 24 h later (ANOVA for repeated measures: p < 0.01). Pain was tested by using a visual analogue scale; the values recorded were the following: 7.6 ± 1.6 at baseline and 4.3 ± 1.7; 4.1 ± 1.9; 3.9 ± 1.8; 3.4 ± 1.8; 2.3 ± 1.6 after, respectively, 15, 30, 60, 120 min and 24 h.


Ear acupuncture Migraine Needle contact test 


Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest related to the publication of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gianni Allais
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marco Romoli
    • 2
  • Sara Rolando
    • 1
  • Ilaria Castagnoli Gabellari
    • 1
  • Chiara Benedetto
    • 1
  1. 1.Women’s Headache Center, Department of Gynecology and ObstetricsUniversity of TurinTurinItaly
  2. 2.Italian Society of Acupuncture, Reflexotherapy and Auriculotherapy (S.I.R.A.A.)PratoItaly

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