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Acupuncture is of benefit for some types of chronic pain

Acupuncture is of benefit for some types of chronic pain

An international research collaboration, involving the University of Southampton, has shown that acupuncture is an effective treatment for chronic pain in patients with chronic back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, shoulder pain, and chronic headache.

Professor George Lewith from the University of Southampton, together with investigators at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in Boston and researchers from the Universities of Keele and York, have analysed raw individual patient data – an approach that allows for more statistically precise results – for 17,922 participants enrolled in 29 high quality, randomized trials, which took place over a number of years, that measured how well acupuncture relieved chronic pain associated with these four pain conditions.

The trials, some of which took place in Southampton, compared the pain relief benefit of acupuncture to either usual care alone, to sham (placebo) acupuncture in which the needles are inserted superficially or at a non-traditional site, while others compared all three methods. The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine today (10th September), shows for each of the four conditions, acupuncture’s pain relief benefit was statistically superior to both usual care and placebo acupuncture.

Read the full story on the University website

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