07. November 2018 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Back Pain, Pain, Pregnancy

Acupuncture provides clinically meaningful symptom reduction for pregnant women suffering from low back and pelvic pain, concludes a trial carried out in a New Zealand hospital clinic. The observational study examined data from 81 pregnant women with lumbopelvic pain, who received weekly acupuncture treatment based on TCM principles. Clinicians used palpation to identify appropriate points for needling and cupping. A clinically meaningful symptom reduction was reported by 88.9% of patients following treatment.

Treating Pain in Pregnancy with Acupuncture: Observational Study Results from a Free Clinic in New Zealand. J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2018 Feb;11(1):25-30.

07. November 2018 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Tinnitus

Iranian investigators have found that acupuncture can reduce the severity of tinnitus. In their randomised trial, 88 patients suffering from chronic tinnitus were allocated to either verum or sham acupuncture. Those in the verum acupuncture group were needled at Tinghui GB-2, Fengchi GB-20, Ermen SJ-21, Tinggong SI-19, Tianrong SJ-17, Zhongzhu SJ-3, Waiguan SJ-5, Hegu L.I.-4 and Yanglao SI-6. Sham consisted of needling at adjacent non-acupoints. Patients received 15 acupuncture sessions three times per week for five weeks. Loudness and severity of tinnitus improved significantly over the course of the treatment in both groups, however only the verum acupuncture group experienced continued improvement in symptom scores in the three weeks following the end of the treatment period.

Acupuncture for chronic nonpulsatile tinnitus: A randomized clinical trial. Caspian J Intern Med. 2018 Winter;9(1):38-45.

07. November 2018 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Chronic Pain

Acupuncture is a feasible treatment for chronic pain, and is well received by low-income patients in the government-fundedMedicaid programme, according to research carried out in the USA. Previous studies have shown that one of the main barriers to the utilisation of acupuncture and other non-pharmacological treatments for chronic pain is a lack of health insurance coverage. This barrier has a disproportionate effect on the financially disadvantaged Medicaid population, whose members are especially affected by the country’s current prescription opioid crisis. In a pragmatic randomised trial, Medicaid patients with chronic pain were offered up to 12 acupuncture treatments in a 60-day period. Acupuncturists were allowed to perform whatever style of acupuncture they felt was appropriate for each patient, and were permitted to include a full range of supplementary modalities including manual therapy, cupping, herbal medicine and lifestyle advice. Patients were also allowed access to usual care during the study. A total of 156 patients with a wide range of pain complaints received a mean of 8.2 treatments during the intervention period. Measurements over the course of the treatment period showed significant improvements in pain intensity, pain interference, physical function, fatigue, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance and social isolation. Fifty-seven per cent of patients using non-opioid analgesic medication reported reductions in use. Thirty-two percent of patients using opioid medication reported reductions in its use following the intervention. Seventy-four per cent of employed patients reported improved capacity to work. Ninety-six per cent of patients said that they would recommend acupuncture to others with chronic pain, and 91 per cent reported qualitative improvements, including physical (31%), functional/behavioral (29%) and psycho-emotional (24%) benefits.

Acupuncture for Chronic Pain in the Vermont Medicaid Population: A Prospective, Pragmatic Intervention Trial.Glob Adv Health Med. 2018 Apr 10;7:2164956118769557.

07. November 2018 · Comments Off · Categories: Acupuncture, Allergies, Hayfever

Seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR) patients who have acupuncture treatment can significantly reduce their antihistamine use while improving their symptoms, according to a German trial. At the beginning of the pollen season, 414 patients were randomised into three study groups: acupuncture plus rescue medication (RM – cetirizine), sham acupuncture plus RM, and RM alone. The patients documented their medication use before and during the eight week intervention period. The acupuncture group received 12 sessions of semi-standardised acupuncture and the sham group received 12 sham acupuncture sessions. Patients in the acupuncture group were needled at bilateral Hegu L.I.-4, Quchi L.I.-11, Yingxiang L.I.-20 and Yintang (M-HN-3), along with three points chosen from Bitong M-HN-14, Fengchi GB-20, Taichong LIV-3, Lieque LU-7, Zusanli ST-36, Sanyinjiao SP-6, Tianrong SJ-17 or Feishu BL-13, plus at least three additional points. The results showed that eight weeks of acupuncture led to significantly fewer days of antihistamine use in patients with SAR compared with both sham acupuncture and RM alone. From the onset to the peak of the pollen season, patients treated by acupuncture did not need to increase their number of days of antihistamine use to alleviate their symptoms, in contrast to patients who used RM alone. In addition, fewer patients in the acupuncture group started using antihistamines during the intervention period compared with both other groups. Approximately 38% of the acupuncture group did not use any antihistamines at all, compared with only 16% in the RM group.

Impact of acupuncture on antihistamine use in patients suffering seasonal allergic rhinitis: secondary analysis of results from a randomised controlled trial. Acupunct Med. 2018 Feb 10. pii: acupmed-2017-011382.

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].