Tuesday 18 September 2012

Acupuncture Superior to Placebo, Usual Care for Chronic Pain

September 10, 2012 — Acupuncture is superior to both sham acupuncture and standard care for the treatment of different types of chronic pain, suggesting that the effects of acupuncture are more than just placebo effect, a new meta-analysis shows.
The analysis found that about 50% of patients who got acupuncture had improvement in pain compared with 30% who didn't get acupuncture and 42.5% who had sham acupuncture.
"In other words, 20% of patients were feeling better because they had acupuncture; about one third of those would only feel better if the right needles were put in the right points to the right depth, and two thirds of them would feel better getting any kind of acupuncture," lead study author Andrew J. Vickers, DPhil, attending research methodologist, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York, told Medscape Medical News.
Dr. Andrew J. Vickers
So in contrast to other interventions, for which the placebo effect is typically about one third of the effect of the treatment, "in acupuncture, it looks like it's two thirds," said Dr. Vickers. "That's quite a large benefit and that's what the patient will actually experience in real clinical practice," where the decision is not whether to have true or sham acupuncture but whether to get a referral for acupuncture or not.
The analysis is published online September 10 in Archives of Internal Medicine.

1 comment:

  1. The general theory of acupuncture is based on the premise that there are patterns of energy flow (Qi) through the body that are essential for health. Disruptions of this flow are believed to be responsible for disease.
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