Medications containing butalbital are some of the most commonly prescribed medicines for the relief of many types of headache such as tension headaches. The drug is usually combined with either acetaminophen or aspirin, and some caffeine. Acetaminophen reduces fever and eases pain. The caffeine in the drug helps de-constrict blood vessels. The constricted blood vessels are thought to cause tension headaches. The drug itself is classified as a barbiturate. It causes relaxation by slowing the nerve impulses of the brain and central nervous system. When used together, acetaminophen, caffeine, and Butalbital help ease the pain and discomfort of tension headaches, although it’s not clearly understood how.
Butalbital has been used for several decades as an effective pain relief product for mild to moderate headaches, especially tension headaches. Many patients who cannot take Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), opioids, and other forms of pain relief medications find Butalbital as a good substitute. More than one in five people has at least one tension headache every month. They occur more frequently or become more severe during times of emotional stress. Three people in 100 have one sever headache every other day. Tension headaches are uncomfortable but they usually last for only a short time. Common symptoms of a tension headache include a general pain which is not limited to one area of the head and a tight feeling around the head or neck or across the eyes.
Tension headaches happen for no obvious reason, but stress and anxiety, tense muscles in the scalp and neck, food, caffeine, bright sunlight, illness, depression, extreme cold or extreme heat, tiredness, noise or smoking are all thought to cause the said discomfort.
Aside from the regular headache medications such as Butalbital, people who suffered from regular tension headaches saw their headache rates drop by almost half when they were given an alternative medication. Researchers also found that this traditional treatment worked well.
Acupuncture is an alternative therapy based on the principles of traditional Chinese medicine. According to practitioners, acupuncture helps channel energy flows around the 12 main organs in the body including the heart, liver, lungs, kidney, and stomach. Acupuncture needles are put in the body at key points. Ancient texts on acupuncture state that the needles unblock or alter energy flow. Acupuncture has become an increasingly popular alternative therapy for a wide variety of ills in the United States and other Western nations in the last 25 years. It is practiced legally in most European countries and in the majority of states in the U.S. and other countries such as Japan and China, which make up about a fifth of the world’s population, established acupuncture as a primary form of health care for thousands of years. Acupuncturists in these countries were comparable to that of the physician. Today, acupuncture treatment remains an integral component of the health care system of these two countries, offered with a combination of Western medicine.
Because traditional acupuncture achieved almost the same results as minimal acupuncture, it seems that the location of acupuncture points is not that important. This suggests that acupuncture may relieve tension headaches because patients expect an improvement, what researchers call a placebo effect. The researchers added that acupuncture may be just as effective a treatment for tension headaches as many other accepted treatments. Some believe acupuncture works for tension headaches as a relaxation technique or because it has a placebo effect. In other words, patients feel better simply because they expect an improvement in their health. Others believe that the “needle cure” alters the way that people register pain in the brain.