Researchers in Belgium have found that just one session of acupuncture can already start to ease the discomfort of whiplash injuries. In a randomised, crossover, pilot trial, a total of 39 patients with chronic whiplash-associated disorders, received two treatment sessions of twenty minutes duration, of acupuncture and relaxation therapy randomly crossed over. Acupuncture was given by professional practitioners with at least 15 years experience in traditional Chinese treatment.
Pressure pain sensitivity in the neck was found to decrease more significantly following acupuncture than following relaxation. Sensitivity at a painful region in the calf, also improved, from which the researchers deduce acupuncture may be activating the body’s own pain-killing mechanisms.
(Does Acupuncture Activate Endogenous Analgesia in Chronic Whiplash-Associated Disorders? A Randomised Crossover Trial. European Journal of Pain, February 2013.)