A randomised controlled trial undertaken by researchers at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany, shows that acupuncture at sights distant to the affected area can bring immediate pain relief to patients with frozen shoulder. Its addition to the usual conservative care regime, also results in shorter recovery times.
Sixty patients with the condition were assigned to receive either shallow “press tack” acupuncture or sham treatment. An immediate improvement in pain score of 3.3 points was seen in the treated group, compared with 1.6 points in the sham group. The participants were then offered standard acupuncture and 34 accepted ten treatments over ten weeks, in addition to usual conservative care. A further 13 patients received usual care alone. The acupuncture group exhibited significantly improved pain scores within 15 weeks; the corresponding time for the usual care group was 30 weeks.
(Immediate Pain Relief in Adhesive Capsulitis by Acupuncture – A Randomized Controlled Double-Blinded Study. Pain Medicine, 20 March 2017.)