Objective: The purpose of this case study is to describe the treatment using acupuncture and spinal manipulation for a patient with a chronic tension-type headache and episodic migraines.
Clinical Features: A 32-year-old woman presented with headaches of 5 months' duration. She had a history of episodic migraine that began in her teens and had been controlled with medication. She had stopped taking the prescription medications because of gastrointestinal symptoms. A neurologist diagnosed her with mixed headaches, some migrainous and some tension type. Her headaches were chronic, were daily, and fit the International Classification of Headache Disorders criteria of a chronic tension-type headache superimposed with migraine.
Intervention and Outcome: After 5 treatments over a 2-week period (the first using acupuncture only, the next 3 using acupuncture and chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy), her headaches resolved. The patient had no recurrences of headaches in her 1-year follow-up.
Conclusion: The combination of acupuncture with chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy was a reasonable alternative in treating this patient's chronic tension-type headaches superimposed with migraine.
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