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Category Archives: Latest Research
Acupuncture for prostatitis seems to be an effective intervention, according to the results of a Cochrane systematic review of non-pharmacological treatments for chronic prostatitis and chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Three of the studies included in the review, covering 204 patients, suggested that acupuncture reduces prostatitis symptoms in an appreciable number of patients, when compared against either standard interventions or a sham control procedure. Furthermore, the use of acupuncture resulted in little or no increase in adverse events, compared to standard medical therapy.
(Non-pharmacological interventions for treating chronic prostatitis/ chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Cochrane Database Systematic Review, 26 January 2018.)
Research commissioned by the US State of Vermont shows that acupuncture is effective for chronic pain and offers a wide array of other benefits, for patients on low incomes and treated under the government-funded Medicaid scheme. Previous studies have shown that this population is hampered in its access to non-pharmacological treatments, by lack of health insurance. In a pragmatic randomised trial, Medicaid patients with chronic pain were offered up to 12 acupuncture sessions over a 60 day period. This resulted in 156 patients (111 women & 45 men) receiving an average 8.2 treatments.
– There were significant improvements in pain intensity, pain interference, physical function, fatigue, anxiety, depression, sleep and social isolation.
– 57% of patients using non-opioid analgesics reported reductions in use.
– 32% of patients using opioid analgesics reported reductions in use.
– 74% of employed patients reported improved capacity to work.
– 96% of patients would recommend acupuncture to others with chronic pain.
(Acupuncture for Chronic Pain in the Vermont Medicaid Population: A Prospective, Pragmatic Intervention Trial. Global Advances in Health & Medicine, April 2018.)
Chinese researchers investigating acupuncture for stroke rehabilitation have found that the addition of acupuncture to physical therapy for patients with shoulder-hand syndrome, significantly contributes to pain reduction and functional improvements. A total of 178 patients received either standard rehabilitation therapy or standard therapy plus acupuncture, in a hospital setting. Acupuncture was given once per day for a month.
At the end of the treatment period, early pain relief, upper extremity motor function and quality of life, were all significantly better in the acupuncture group.
(A clinical study on acupuncture in combination with routine rehabilitation therapy for early pain recovery of post-stroke shoulder-hand syndrome. Experimental & Therapeutic Medicine, 18 December 2017.)
A randomised controlled trial in China looking at acupuncture for indigestion (dyspepsia) has demonstrated that it can improve the symptoms. A total of 200 patients with persistent functional dyspepsia were assigned to receive 20 sessions of either true or sham control electroacupuncture over a four week period. Symptom scores showed true electroacupuncture to be superior to sham at all time points, and its effect persisted for 20 weeks following the end of the treatment period.
(Electroacupuncture for patients with refractory functional dyspepsia: A randomized controlled trial. Neurogastroenterology & Motility, 28 February 2018.)
The results of a large study undertaken in China suggest that using acupuncture for constipation is as effective as drug therapy. A total of 684 patients with chronic functional constipation, were randomly allocated to receive one of three acupuncture protocols or the drug mosapride, for four weeks. Sixteen acupuncture treatments were given over the four weeks, with electrical stimulation on the needles.
After four weeks, the number of spontaneous bowel movements had increased significantly and fairly equally across all four groups. At eight week follow up however, the change had become significantly smaller in the drug group compared with all three acupuncture groups.
(Acupuncture for patients with chronic functional constipation: A randomized controlled trial. Neurogastroenterology & Motility, 2 February 2018.)