22. February 2018 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Headache, Migraine

Acupuncture may help restore impaired homeostasis of the trigeminovascular pain pathway in migraines. In a collaboration between US and Chinese researchers, 100 migraine without aura (MwoA) patients and 46 matched healthy controls (HCs) were recruited. Patients were randomised to four weeks of verum acupuncture, sham acupuncture or a waiting list. HCs had resting state fMRI scans at baseline, while patients underwent scans before and after treatment. Patients received 20 acupuncture sessions over a period of four weeks, using one of three acupuncture protocols (VA1 – Yanglingquan GB-34, Qiuxu GB-40 and Waiguan SJ-5; VA2 – Xiyangguan GB-33, Diwuhui GB-42 and Sanyangluo SJ-8; VA3 – Zusanli ST-36, Chongyang ST-42 and Pianli L.I.-16). Sham acupuncture consisted of needling at non-acupoints. Compared with HCs, MwoA patients showed increased spontaneous activity at rest in several brain regions involved in pain information processing (posterior insula and putamen/caudate). Reduced spontaneous activity at rest was also seen in MwoA patients in brainstem regions connected with input from the trigeminovascular nociceptive pathway (trigeminocervical complex) and output via the descending pain modulatory system (rostral ventromedial medulla). This decreased activity was observed to have normalised after verum (but not sham) acupuncture treatment.

Acupuncture modulates the abnormal brainstem activity in migraine without aura patients. Neuroimage Clin. 2017 May 22;15:367-375.

22. February 2018 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Knee Osteoarthritis, Surgery

A systematic review by American authors has concluded that acupuncture and electrotherapy can reduce opioid consumption after total knee arthroplasty. Thirty-nine randomised trials (2391 patients), which examined the use of various drug-free interventions (passive motion, preoperative exercise, cryotherapy, electrotherapy and acupuncture), were included in their meta-analysis. Moderate-certainty evidence showed that electrotherapy reduced the use of opioids and that acupuncture delayed opioid use. There was also low-certainty evidence that acupuncture improved pain, based on visual analogue scores. None of the other therapies studied showed any significant effects on either pain or opioid use.

Drug-Free Interventions to Reduce Pain or Opioid Consumption After Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Surg. 2017 Aug 16:e172872.

22. February 2018 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture
15. February 2018 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, TMD

Acupuncture appears to relieve myofascial pain in temporomandibular disorder (TMD) report the Portuguese authors of a systematic review. A total of four randomised trials using acupuncture for TMD treatment were included. Results for acupuncture were observed to be similar to those for treatment with occlusal splints and significantly superior to those for placebo acupuncture.

Acupuncture in Temporomandibular Disorder Myofascial Pain Treatment: A Systematic Review. J Oral Facial Pain Headache. 2017 Summer;31(3):225-232.

Acupuncture is an effective and safe treatment for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD/GERD) according a systematic review by authors from the USA and China. A total of 12 trials involving 1235 patients were included in their meta-analyses, which demonstrated that patients receiving (manual or electro-) acupuncture combined with Western medicine (WM) demonstrated superior global symptom improvement compared with those receiving WM alone. In addition, recurrence rates for those receiving acupuncture alone were found to be lower than those receiving WM alone, while global symptom improvement and symptom scores were similar for both therapies. Acupuncture was also observed to improve quality of life in patients with GORD.

Acupuncture for the treatment of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Acupunct Med 2017;0:1–6.

15. February 2018 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Community Acupuncture, Pain

A feasibility study carried out by a US research team suggests that acupuncture offered in a group setting is effective for reducing pain and depression in patients with chronic pain or osteoarthritis. In a non-randomised, quasi-experimental trial, 113 subjects with chronic pain of the neck, back, shoulder, or osteoarthritis of any region, received eight weekly acupuncture therapy sessions in a group setting. Acupuncture therapy included a combination of acupuncture, tui na, gua sha and auricular treatment. The results showed a statistically and clinically significant decrease in pain severity, pain interference and depression in the study population over eight weeks of treatment. This benefit was sustained through follow up at 24 weeks with no additional intervention. The authors conclude that group acupuncture may be considered an effective treatment option for chronic pain, capable of producing clinically relevant and long-lasting pain reduction, in a setting that potentially improves access for patients of a lower socioeconomic status.

Acupuncture Therapy in a Group Setting for Chronic Pain. Pain Med. 2017 Jun 8. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnx134. [Epub ahead of print].

15. February 2018 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Dermatology, Warts
15. February 2018 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Periods

Investigators from Australia and New Zealand report that acupuncture treatment can reduce menstrual pain intensity, and that its effects can still be felt one year later. A randomised controlled trial was performed with 74 women randomly assigned to one of four treatment arms: low frequency manual acupuncture (LF-MA), high frequency manual acupuncture (HF-MA), low frequency electro-acupuncture (LF-EA) and high frequency electro-acupuncture (HF-EA). A clinical manual-based protocol was used to allow individualised treatment, with a maximum of seven points used per treatment and a total of 12 treatments performed over three menstrual cycles, either once per week (LF groups) or three times per week (HF groups), in the week prior to menstruation. All groups also received a treatment in the first 48 hours of their period. Acupuncture was found to reduce menstrual pain intensity and duration after three months of treatment, and this was sustained for up to one year after the start of the research. The mode of stimulation or frequency of treatment was not found to be significant, although the authors suggest that this may be due to a lack of statistical power. During the treatment period and nine month follow-up all groups showed statistically significant reductions in peak and average menstrual pain compared to baseline, but there were no differences between groups. Health-related quality of life increased significantly in six domains in groups with a high frequency of treatment compared to only two domains in low frequency groups. Manual acupuncture groups required less analgesic medication than electro-acupuncture groups. HF-MA was most effective in reducing secondary menstrual symptoms compared to both-EA groups.

The role of treatment timing and mode of stimulation in the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea with acupuncture: An exploratory randomised controlled trial. PLoS One. 2017 Jul 12;12(7):e0180177.

15. February 2018 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Tennis Elbow

Acupuncture can reduce pain and pathological thickness of the common extensor tendon (CET) in patients with lateral epicondylitis (LE). Ultrasound evaluation of the CET in a patient with LE may reveal increased tendon thickness, which correlates with the severity of the LE. Turkish clinicians randomly assigned 41 patients to acupuncture and control groups. All received conventional treatment, and the acupuncture group also received needling at six acupoints (an ashi point, Shousanli L.I.-10, Quchi L.I.-11, Chize LU-5, Hegu L.I.-4 and Weiguan SJ-5) for 25 minutes per session, two or three times a week for four weeks (a total of 10 sessions). Subjective pain and hand function scores improved in both groups, but pressure pain threshold and CET thickness only improved in the acupuncture group.

Ultrasonographic Evaluation of Acupuncture Effect on Common Extensor Tendon Thickness in Patients with Lateral Epicondylitis: A Randomized Controlled Study. J Altern Complement Med. 2017 Jun 7. doi: 10.1089/acm.2016.0370. [Epub ahead of print].

15. February 2018 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Emotional, Phsycological, Stress

An American group has found that acupuncture can significantly and persistently reduce stress in university students and staff. Their study included 111 participants with high self-reported stress levels who either studied or worked at a large urban university. Participants were randomised into a verum or sham acupuncture group, and both groups received treatment once a week for 12 weeks.

The treatment group received needling at a predetermined set of points: Baihui DU-20, Yintang, Shanzhong REN-17, Qihai REN-6, unilateral Shenmen HE-7, Neiguan P-6, Hegu L.I.-4, LIV-3 and Zusanli ST-36, plus auricular points Shen Men, Liver, Point Zero and Heart. The control group received needling without manipulation at three non-acupuncture points. While participants in both groups showed a substantial initial decrease in perceived stress scores, at 12 weeks post-treatment the verum acupuncture group showed a significantly greater treatment effect than the sham group. This study indicates that acupuncture may be successful in decreasing the perception of stress in students and staff at a large urban university, and this effect persists for at least three months after the completion of treatment.

Effectiveness of Acupuncture Therapy on Stress in a Large Urban College Population. J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2017 Jun;10(3):165-170.