Vernon H, McDermaid CS, Hagino C.
Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College,
OBJECTIVES: To conduct a systematic review of the randomized controlled clinical trials (RCTs) of complementary/alternative (CAM) therapies in the treatment of non-migrainous headache (i.e. excluding migraine, cluster and organic headaches).
DESIGN: Systematic review with quality scoring and evidence tables.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Number of RCTs per therapy, quality scores, evidence tables.
RESULTS: Twenty-four RCTs were identified in the categories of acupuncture, spinal manipulation, electrotherapy, physiotherapy, homeopathy and other therapies. Headache categories included tension-type (under various names pre-1988), cervicogenic and post-traumatic. Quality scores for the RCT reports ranged from approximately 30 to 80 on a 100 point scale.
CONCLUSION: RCTs for CAM therapies of the treatment of non-migrainous headache exist in the literature and demonstrate that clinical experimental studies of these forms of headache can be conducted. Evidence from a sub-set of high quality studies indicates that some CAM therapies may be useful in the treatment of these common forms of headache.