Placebo treatment heals headache!

Washington: A new study found a considerable number of patients recovered from headache when treated with placebo.

Headache is a very common complaint, with over 90 percent of all persons experiencing a headache at some time in their lives.

Headaches commonly are tension-type (TTH) or migraine. They have high socioeconomic impact and can disturb most daily activities.

In the study, a group of Dutch researchers analyzed 119 randomized controlled clinical trials (RCTs) and determined the magnitude of placebo effect and no treatment effect on headache recovery rate.

"The aim of this study was to analyze the observed effects in the ``no treatment`` and placebo control groups in clinical trials with TTH and migraine patients," said corresponding investigator Arianne P. Verhagen, from the Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

In the headache clinical trials studied, the "no treatment" and placebo groups had a high overall recovery rate of 36 percent.

Control groups in pharmacological trials showed a higher response rate than the behavioral (non-pharmacological) trials.

The study was published online in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics.


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