Acupuncture for Shoulder Pain

Research from Germany: acupuncture for shoulder pain.

A large randomised trial in Germany, has shown acupuncture for shoulder pain to be an effective alternative to conventional orthopaedic treatment.

Researchers randomly assigned 424 patients to receive six weeks of traditional Chinese acupuncture, sham acupuncture, or conventional conservative orthopaedic treatment. At the end of the trial, the percentages of patients achieving at least a 50% reduction in pain score were: traditional acupuncture 68%; sham acupuncture 40%; orthopaedic treatment 28%.

At three month follow-up, the benefits of traditional Chinese acupuncture were even more marked: traditional acupuncture 65%; sham acupuncture 24%; orthopaedic treatment 37%. The traditional acupuncture group also exhibited greater improvement in shoulder mobility both immediately after treatment and at three month follow-up.

(German Randomised Acupuncture Trial for Chronic Shoulder Pain – A Pragmatic, Controlled, Patient-Blinded, Multi-Centre Trial in an Outpatient Care Environment. Pain Journal 2010. Epub ahead of print.)