Acupuncture Can Break the Cycle of Rebound Headaches

Do you suffer from chronic or occasional headaches? You’re not alone. It is estimated that fifty million Americans Experience painful chronic headaches or migraines. In fact, headaches are the number one reason that people either self-medicate or seek professional medical treatment.

Acupuncture for Rebound Headache Relief

The Mayo Clinic says that rebound headaches are caused by overuse of pain medication by patients who already have a chronic headache condition. When a patient frequently resorts to medication, whether it is prescription or over the counter, they may develop a dependency upon what they think is a harmless drug. Once the body becomes chemically dependent, it needs that medication to function normally. So, when the drug filters out of your system, your headache returns, which requires you to take more medication. According to John Hopkins Medicine, detoxification is sometimes needed to break the cycle of medication dependence in rebound headache sufferers.

Rebound Headaches

Medication induced headaches are a worldwide problem. The BBC recently reported on rebound headaches as an issue faced by millions of people in Great Britain. The article states that new guidelines for British doctors advise doctors to wean their patients off of pain medication for headaches. These guidelines also recommend acupuncture as a preferred method of headache treatment and prevention. The Mayo Clinic also mentions acupuncture as an alternative therapy for headaches.

Portrait of woman with headache

 How Acupuncture Helps

 John Hopkins Medicine explains that acupuncture is thought to trigger your body to release chemicals internally. Just as pharmaceutical drugs release chemicals into your bloodstream, your body also has its own store of chemicals it can use for different purposes. Acupuncture triggers your body to release these internal “medicines.” Think of it as jump-starting your body’s own internal regulation system. It is thought that acupuncture nudges the body’s central nervous system to promote healing and well being. Recent studies have demonstrated that your own internal pain relievers, which are stimulated by acupuncture, work better at taming headache pain than NSAIDs such as aspirin.

Types of Headaches

 It is important to stress that rebound headaches occur when a patient who is already experiencing headache pain becomes dependent on medication. The chemical dependence will cause more frequent headaches. So, breaking the dependency will reduce the frequency of the headaches, but the original condition which caused the patient to reach for the pain pills is still present.


Migraines cause acute pain lasting anywhere from 4 to 72 hours. They are often accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea and sensitivity to light. Because of their severity, migraines are especially debilitating. Recent studies have shown that acupuncture can reduce the duration and frequency of migraine headache.

Tension Headache

 The most common form of headache is the tension headache. There are many factors that contribute to tension headaches, and alternative therapies that promote muscle relaxation are a recommendation for treatment. Acupuncture has been shown to ease the pain of tension headache sufferers.


Acupuncture Pain Management Can Help

 Western medicine has historically relied on pharmaceuticals to treat headache and migraine pain. However, rather than fixing the problem, pharmaceuticals can make it worse. Medications often come with a laundry list of side effects. And they can also cause rebound headaches, causing you to need more medication. Alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, may be the solution you need to get out of that painful cycle. Contact us today!