menstrual-pain-acupuncture-auckland

Acupuncture for menstrual pain

The latest issue of World Journal of Acupuncture-Moxibustion reports another study on acupuncture for menstrual pain.

Dysmenorrhea is a medical term for menstrual pain. Dysmenorrhea is differentiated into primary and secondary. When the doctors can diagnose a condition which causes the period pain, they call it secondary dysmenorrhea. When there is no clear cause for pain, the period pain is called primary dysmenorrhea.

The researchers from Chengzhong People’s Hospital researched 66 women suffering from primary dysmenorrhea. They found that all of the patients improved after a few acupuncture sessions. They concluded that acupuncture was effective in alleviating pain in primary dysmenorrhea patients. The results appear in the latest issue of World Journal of Acupuncture-Moxibustion.

acupuncture skeptic

How Military Pokes Holes In Acupuncture Skeptics’ Theory

acupuncture-skeptic-pain

Acupuncture has made its way into mainstream in military medicine in USA as a battlefield pain relief.

The explanation why military embraces acupuncture may be simple: “As some top medical officers put it, though, there’s nothing like pain to make someone open-minded

Listen to npr radio report covering this topic here:

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Acupuncture anesthesia for open heart surgery

The use of acupuncture anaesthesia for open heart surgery was introduced in China four decades ago.  Although the use of it has declined in recent years, there is a renewed interest in it in China due to the escalating medical costs associated with open heart surgery.

This study designed by scientists from China and USA (Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Shu Guang Hospital and George Washington University, Washington, USA) has shed some light on a combined approach of acupuncture plus local anaesthesia in patients undergoing open heart operation under cardiopulmonary bypass.

Compared with the general anaesthesia patients, the acupuncture and local anaesthesia patients used less of narcotic drugs and shorter stay in intensive care unit.  Surprisingly they also had less postoperative pulmonary infection. Using acupuncture to aid with open heart surgery reduced cost of the treatment significantly.

The results of the study were published in the current issue of International Journal of Cardiology.

carpal-tunnel-acupuncture

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Short-term acupuncture treatment may result in long-term improvement in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome patients. That’s the conclusion of a study published in the November issue of the Journal of Pain.

The researchers have followed up patients with carpal tunnel syndrome after 7 and 13 months. The patients were divided into two groups. One group of patients had taken steroids for one month. Another group had one moth of acupuncture. The acupuncture group had a significantly better improvement throughout the 1-year follow-up period.

The findings are inline with research on Carpal Tunnel syndrome and acupuncture published in The Clinical journal of pain in 2009.
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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and acupressure

A dramatic improvement showed following acupressure for complex regional pain syndrome is reflected in these images below:

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: Three-phase bone scan: Before (A) and after (B) acupressure

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: Three-phase bone scan: Before (A) and after (B) acupressure

This is not an x-ray, it is a bone scan. A radioactive substance injected into one of blood vessels shows an increased circulation to the joints in the affected area. And following a course of acupressure the bone scan looks almost normal!
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Pain and acupuncture

At World Congress of Pain held in Montréal: Acupuncture for Pain (II)

Pain and acupuncture

At World Congress of Pain held in Montréal, Canada, Acupuncture was featured in numerous presentations. Acupuncture was also spotlighted in the plenary session.

Neuroscientist Ji-sheng Han, director of the Neuroscience Research Institute at Peking University and founder of the Chinese Association for the Study of Pain talked about his new studies and perspective on evaluating acupuncture vs placebo:

Just inserting needles under the skin does not work, at least not in rats which are impervious to sham treatments that can nonetheless get results (placebo) in humans. Read more

Pain and acupuncture

At World Congress of Pain held in Montréal: Acupuncture for Pain

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.

tmj-acupuncture

TMJ Acupuncture

Eating a chocolate can be painful experience when you suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder(TMD or TMJD). But it is only one of numerous symptoms TMJD can cause. Symptoms may include headaches or migraines, tooth pain, and others.

Journal of Orofacial Pain has published a systematic review on acupuncture for treatment of temporomandibular joint disorders.

The review included 19 randomized controlled trials. The results concluded that acupuncture was more effective for TMD symptoms than physical therapy. Acupuncture was also more effective than indomethacin plus vitamin B1 therapy, and a wait-list control. Acupuncture was safe with no serious adverse events reported by the studies.

Three of the studies, included in the review, compared acupuncture to a placebo. Researchers concluded acupuncture had a therapeutic effect beyond placebo.

For some very helpful and detailed explanation of temporomandibular joint visit Dr Paul Smedley’s website.

Image courtesy of Pink Sherbet Photography
Ref: J Orofac Pain. 2010 Spring;24(2):152-62.