Research in Germany suggests that acupuncture reduces the pain of osteoporosis, with sustained and clinically relevant results being observed. In a controlled trial, 53 patients were randomised to receive ten sessions of either acupuncture or a sham control over a period of five weeks. The patients all had pain associated with spinal compression fractures and osteoporosis-related deformities. Pain scores and quality of life measures were recorded at the start of the trial, before each treatment, and again at three month follow-up.
Both acupuncture and control treatments significantly reduced activity-related pain and pain at rest over time. However the true acupuncture group recorded a significantly greater reduction in mean pain intensity at rest compared with the control group. The true acupuncture group also experienced continuous and significant improvements in quality of life for up to three months after treatment had ended. By contrast, patients in the control group experienced only temporary quality of life improvements, and these declined slightly by the end of the three month follow-up period.
(Effects of acupuncture on quality of life and pain in patients with osteoporosis – a pilot randomized controlled trial. Archives of Osteoporosis, December 2016.)