Pain and acupuncture

At World Congress of Pain held in Montréal, Canada, Acupuncture was featured in numerous presentations. I will cover the studies in more detail in another post, but there is a quick observation I would like to share here.

As far as physical therapies are concerned, acupuncture was a hand down winner in terms of number of studies presented at the congress: there were 14 abstracts on acupuncture presented, but only 4 for physiotherapy, 1 for osteopathy and none for chiropractic.

Pain congress: Acupuncture vs physiotherapy, osteopahty and chiropractic
This illustrates how much interest and attention acupuncture is receiving from the scientists compared to other modalities.

Acupressure Eases Low Back Pain – Acupressure Eases Low Back Pain
02.20.06, 12:00 AM ET

MONDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) — Acupresssure — pushing with the fingertips at the same body points used in acupuncture — gave patients better, long-lasting relief for low back pain than conventional physical therapy, Taiwanese researchers report.

‘Acupressure was effective in reducing low back pain in terms of disability, pain scores and functional status,’ doctors at the National Taiwan University reported in the current issue of the British Medical Journal. ‘The benefit was sustained for six months.’

‘Acupressure conferred an 89 percent reduction in physical disability compared with physical therapy,’ the researchers reported. The people who got acupressure also scored better on measures of pain and had fewer days taken off from work or school, the researchers said.

However, they cautioned that the effectiveness of any manipulative therapy such as acupressure ‘is highly dependent on the therapist’s technique and experience.’

Read more on how acupuncture and acupressure releases pain.

A new Perth study has found acupuncture and massage significantly improve the well-being of cancer patients.

More than 500 patients in the study began using complementary treatments in addition to traditional medicine like chemotherapy and morphine over a 17-month period.

The researchers at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital found the therapies relieved physical symptoms such as nausea and pain, while improving the patient’s overall quality of life.

The director of the Cancer Support Centre, David Joske, says the treatments worked extremely well but more research needs to be done “to start to ask how can we get the best out of these two worlds which in the past really have been mutually exclusive in our society”.

He says he hopes the study gives greater credibility to the benefits of complementary medicine.


3 August 2004

The Green Party hopes a visit to the hospital can include options such as acupuncture, osteopathy and homeopathic medicines.

It follows the release of a report into complementary and alternative health treatments.

The Ministerial Advisory Committee recommends that alternative practices deemed safe are worthy of public funding.

Greens health spokeswoman Sue Kedgley would like that to mean practitioners are fully integrated with the health system.

She hopes they will be able to offer complementary treatments where appropriate and effective.