25. July 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Babies, Colic

Acupuncture can reduce crying in infants with colic, according to a Swedish study. In a three-armed randomised trial, 147 infants received usual care together with either standardised minimal acupuncture (at Hegu L.I.-4), or semi-standardised individual acupuncture based on TCM (any combination of Sifeng M-UE-9, Hegu L.I.-4 and Zusanli ST-36), twice a week for two weeks. The effect of the two types of acupuncture was similar and both were superior to standard care alone. Relative to baseline, there was a greater reduction in time spent crying by the second week in infants receiving both types of acupuncture.
Effect of minimal acupuncture for infantile colic: a multicentre, three-armed, single-blind, randomised controlled trial (ACU-COL). Acupunct Med. 2017 Jan 16. pii: acupmed-2016-011208. [Epub ahead of print].

25. July 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Anxiety, Auricular Acupuncture
25. July 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Neck Pain

Acupuncture-related lifestyle advice helps patients with chronic neck pain improve the way they care for themselves and is associated with reductions in pain and disability. In a three-armed, randomised trial, British researchers randomly allocated 517 patients to received acupuncture (up to 12 sessions), Alexander technique or usual care. For each acupuncture patient, practitioners were encouraged to practice as closely as closely as possible to how they routinely would, and to provide treatment that included an acupuncture-related diagnosis and associated lifestyle advice. Lifestyle advice was found to be provided by practitioners to 84% of patients, and was most commonly related to exercise, relaxation, diet, rest and work. Compared with those receiving usual care alone, the authors found that patients in the acupuncture group made more lifestyle changes and improved their ability to reduce their neck pain without resorting to medication. These characteristics of the acupuncture group were found to be associated with significant reductions in pain and disability scores at 12 months. The authors conclude that lifestyle advice based on acupuncture theory leads to active patient engagement, which in turn is an important contributor to overall treatment benefits over the long-term.
Lifestyle Advice and Self-Care Integral to Acupuncture Treatment for Patients with Chronic Neck Pain: Secondary Analysis of Outcomes Within a Randomized Controlled Trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2017 Mar;23(3):180-187.

25. July 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Asthma

Adding acupuncture to routine asthma care is associated with increased disease-specific and health-related quality of life compared with routine care alone, according to German researchers. A total of 1,445 patients were included in their analysis. Patients were randomised to receive up to 15 acupuncture sessions over three months, or to a control group that received routine care alone. Treatment, including the number of needles used and sites of needle placement, was left to the practitioner’s discretion. Acupuncture was associated with a significant improvement in asthma-related quality of life, as well as in general physical and mental health compared to the control group, after three months of treatment. The improvements seen immediately after completion of acupuncture treatment continued persisted at least to the end of the six-month study period.
Acupuncture in Patients with Allergic Asthma: A Randomized Pragmatic Trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2017 Apr;23(4):268-277.

25. July 2017 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Back Pain

The American College of Physicians’ new guidelines on the treatment of chronic low back pain strongly recommend the use of acupuncture as a first-line treatment, finding it to be more effective for pain relief and improvement in function than pharmaceutical drugs. The Clinical Guidelines Committee based their recommendations on a systematic review of RCTs covering pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments for low back pain published up until the end of November 2016 (see below). Clinical outcomes evaluated included reduction of low pain, improvement in function, improvement in quality of life, reduction in disability, number/frequency of back pain episodes, patient satisfaction and adverse effects. The recommendation states that when treating low back pain, doctors should initially select non-pharmacological treatments (exercise, rehabilitation, acupuncture and mindfulness-based stress reduction, which are backed up by moderate-quality evidence, or tai chi, yoga, progressive relaxation, biofeedback, laser therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and spinal manipulation, which are backed up by low-quality evidence) and that drug treatment should only be considered for patients who do not improve with non-pharmacological interventions. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which were found to have only a small to moderate effect on pain and at best a small effect on function, were recommended over opioids, which the authors concluded should be considered only in patients for whom other therapies have failed because of the substantial harms with which they are associated. The guidelines also recommend acupuncture as a first-line treatment for acute low back pain (along with heat, massage and spinal manipulation), although the evidence for this is considered to be of lower quality.
Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians. Ann Intern Med. 2017 Apr 4;166(7):514-530.

A systematic review of non-pharmacological therapies for low back pain carried out for the American College of Physicians concludes that several of them, including acupuncture and tai chi, are associated with small to moderate effects on pain. Data came from randomised trials of nine non-pharmacological treatment options versus sham treatment, wait list, usual care or each other. Acupuncture was evaluated in 49 trials. The data showed that for acute low back pain, real acupuncture decreased pain intensity more than sham, but had no clear effects on function. Compared with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acupuncture was associated with a slightly greater likelihood of overall improvement at the end of treatment. The evidence for acupuncture’s effects in chronic low back pain was more convincing. Acupuncture was associated with lower pain intensity and better function compared with no acupuncture. Acupuncture also decreased pain intensity more than sham acupuncture immediately after the intervention and through to 12 week follow-up. Compared with medications (NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, or analgesics), acupuncture resulted in greater pain relief and better function immediately after the intervention. Tai chi and mindfulness-based stress reduction were also found to be moderately effective for chronic low back pain.
Nonpharmacologic Therapies for Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review for an American College of Physicians Clinical Practice Guideline. Ann Intern Med. 2017 Apr 4;166(7):493-505.