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Complementary and Alternative Approaches to Chronic Daily Headache: Part I—Mind/Body

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Chronic Headache

Abstract

The refractory nature of chronic daily headache makes it difficult to treat. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) may provide relief in addition to, or in place of, conventional treatments. Although few studies have specifically evaluated CAM modalities for chronic daily headache, many studies have assessed such treatment options for headache. In this chapter we review the data supporting the use of CAM for other primary chronic headache conditions (migraine, tension type, cervicogenic, and cluster) and episodic headache syndromes. Part I summarizes this evidence for the treatment modalities of mind/body approaches (meditation, yoga, tai chi, deep breathing). Part II reports on the evidence for using manipulation-based therapies (acupuncture, acupressure, dry needling, chiropractic manipulation, massage, craniosacral therapy, reflexology) and other CAM options for headache (aromatherapy, hydrotherapy, daith piercing, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy). Part III summarizes the evidence regarding nutraceutical options (feverfew, riboflavin, magnesium, coenzyme Q10, melatonin, vitamin D, and ginkgo) and homeopathy for headache. We also describe what is known about potential benefits, adverse events, cost analyses, potential mechanisms, pediatric use, and guideline recommendations. CAM treatment options may provide much-needed relief for the challenging condition of chronic daily headache.

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Acknowledgments

Dr. Wells is supported by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number K23AT008406. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. We gratefully acknowledge the editorial assistance of Karen Klein, MA, in the Wake Forest Clinical and Translational Science Institute, funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), National Institutes of Health, through Grant Award Number UL1TR001420. We also thank Mark McKone, Librarian at Carpenter Library, Wake Forest School of Medicine, for his help with the use of Zotero. We are appreciative of the help from Nakiea Choate from the Department of Neurology at Wake Forest Baptist for her administrative support.

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Wells, R.E., Granetzke, L., Paolini, B. (2019). Complementary and Alternative Approaches to Chronic Daily Headache: Part I—Mind/Body. In: Green, M., Cowan, R., Freitag, F. (eds) Chronic Headache. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-91491-6_18

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