Latest Pain Relief Research using Acupuncture
Acupuncture is one of the oldest techniques to treat pain and is commonly used for a large number of indications. This was a prospective, randomized trial of acupuncture vs morphine to treat ED patients with acute onset moderate to severe pain. Resolution time was 16±8 minutes in the acupuncture group vs 28±14 minutes in the morphine group (P<.005). Overall, 89 patients (29.6%) experienced minor adverse effects: 85 (56.6%) in morphine group and 4 (2.6%) in acupuncture group (P<.001). No major adverse effects were recorded during the study protocol. In patients with acute pain presenting to the ED, acupuncture was associated with more effective and faster analgesia with better tolerance. Am J Emerg Med. 2016 Jul 20. pii: S0735-6757(16)30422-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2016.07.028
In this review, a total of 11 randomized controlled trials were included. As a result, we found that the use of acupuncture may be more effective than drugs and may enhance the effect of drugs for patients with sciatica. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:425108. doi: 10.1155/2015/425108.
Endometriosis is a multifactorial, estrogen-dependent, inflammatory gynecological condition - often with long-lasting visceral pelvic pain of different origin, and infertility among women. Current management options for patients' are often inadequate, with side effects for many for whom acupuncture techniques could be an alternative. Three studies were found including 99 women, 13-40 years old, with diagnosed endometriosis. Endometriosis is often painful, although with various origin, where standard treatments may be insufficient or involve side effects. Based on the reported studies, acupuncture could be tried as a complement as it is an overall safe treatment. J Pain Res. 2016 Mar 24;9:157-65. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S55580
In the primary analysis including all eligible trials, acupuncture was superior to both sham and no acupuncture control for each pain condition (all p0.001). After exclusion of an outlying set of trials that strongly favored acupuncture, the effect sizes were similar across pain conditions. Patients receiving acupuncture had less pain, with scores 0.23 (95% C.I. 0.13, 0.33), 0.16 (95% C.I. 0.07, 0.25) and 0.15 (95% C.I. 0.07, 0.24) standard deviations lower than sham controls for back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, and chronic headache respectively; the effect sizes in comparison to no acupuncture controls were 0.55 (95% C.I. 0.51, 0.58), 0.57 (95% C.I. 0.50, 0.64) and 0.42 (95% C.I. 0.37, 0.46). Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic pain and is therefore a reasonable referral option. Arch Intern Med. 2012 Oct 22; 172(19): 1444–1453.
This study compared the efficacies of acupuncture and anti-inflammatory treatment in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Fifty patients with mild to moderate CTS were randomly divided into two groups. Our findings indicate that acupuncture affected the score on the global BCTQ FUNCT and SYMPT, the VAS score, and the electrodiagnostic findings, except the DML, more than ibuprofen did and that acupuncture might be an effective treatment for CTS. J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2015 Oct;8(5):229-35. doi: 10.1016/j.jams.2014.11.005. Epub 2014 Nov 29.
20 patients with primary dysmenorrhea were randomized into two groups, separately treated with herb-partitioned moxibustion at CV8 (shenque) and acupuncture at SP6 (sanyinjiao). After three menstrual cycles' treatment, the intensity of menstrual pain using VAS and the changes of metabolites of plasma using LC-MS were observed. It was effective in relieving the abdominal pain by these two therapies. Herb-partitioned moxibustion is superior to acupuncture for primary dysmenorrhea, which could be related to regulating the endocrine hormone. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:621490. doi: 10.1155/2015/621490. Epub 2015 Jul 1.