The relative effectiveness of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Ibuprofen®) and a taping method (Kinesio Taping® Method) in the treatment of episodic tension-type headaches
Henry, Justin Michael
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Headaches are one of the most common clinical conditions in medicine, and 80% of these are tension-type headaches (TTH). TTH has a greater socioeconomic impact than any other type of headache due to its prevalence. Within the TTH category, episodic TTH are more prevalent than chronic TTH. The mainstay in the treatment of TTH are simple analgesics and NSAIDs. Unless contraindicated, NSAIDs are often the most effective treatment for ETTH. However patients suffering with TTH tend to relate their headaches to increased muscle stiffness in the neck and shoulders and thus the non-pharmacological treatment of ETTH could be directed at the associated musculoskeletal components of ETTH. It is therefore proposed that the Kinesio Taping® Method may have an effect in the treatment of the muscular component of ETTH. Method: This study was a prospective randomised clinical trial with two intervention groups (n=16) aimed at determining the relative effectiveness of a NSAID and the Kinesio Taping® Method in the treatment of ETTHs. The patients were treated at 5 consultations over a 3 week period. Feedback was obtained using the: NRS – 101, the CMCC Neck Disability Index and a Headache Diary. Results: The Headache Diary showed a reduction in the presence and number, mean duration and pain intensity of ETTH in both groups. These treatment effects were sustained after the cessation of treatment with the exception of mean pain intensity in the Kinesio Taping® Method group. The mean NRS score decreased in both groups but at a slightly faster rate in the Kinesio Taping® Method group. The CMCC showed an improvement in the functional ability of the patients in both groups. Conclusion: There seems to be no significant difference in the relative effectiveness of the treatment modalities. We can thus state that the overall short-term reduction in symptomatology supports the use of NSAIDs or Kinesio Taping® Method in the treatment of ETTH.