NICE (the UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) has published new clinical guidelines on the treatment of headaches. They conclude that acupuncture is effective for the prevention of tension-type headaches and migraine, and should be prescribed by doctors. NICE also estimates that overuse of painkillers is one of the most common causes of headache, affecting about one in fifty people. Taking aspirin, paracetamol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen for more than 15 days a month can initiate a vicious cycle where headaches get worse, so sufferers take more painkillers, which make the headaches even worse. (Headaches: diagnosis and management of headaches in young people and adults. NICE Clinical guidelines, CG150: Sept 2012, publications.nice.org.uk/headaches-cg150/guidance).
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