Multiple studies have strongly suggested that acupuncture can be an excellent option to treat different types of pain. A recent study conducted by researchers from Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine quantified the curative effect of warm needle acupuncture using micro-CT (computed tomography). The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating knee osteoarthritis. Knee osteoarthritis is characterized by degeneration of articular cartilage, intra-articular inflammation with synovitis, and remodeling of periarticular and sub-chondral bone. Knee osteoarthritis is a major cause of pain and disability and is also one of the most common musculoskeletal disorders in the United States.
In this randomized study, 40 experimental rats were divided into 4 groups: a control group (n=10), a knee osteoarthritis model group (n=10), a medication group (n=10), and a warm needle acupuncture group (n=10). With the exception of the control group, the other three groups underwent surgery to create a knee osteoarthritis model. The medication group received intragastric administration of meloxicam, once per day, for 20 consecutive days. Meloxicam is an NSAID used to treat pain and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis. The warm needle acupuncture group was treated with acupuncture and moxibustion at bilateral Xiyan (ST35 Dubi and Neixiyan), once per day, for 20 consecutive days. The knee osteoarthritis model group did not receive any treatment. The researchers conclude that acupuncture with moxibustion is effective for the alleviation of knee osteoarthritis. In this study, the researchers note that “In the early stages of knee osteoarthritis, warm needle acupuncture not only relieves pain, but also accelerates bone tissue repair.” The researchers conclude that “warm needle acupuncture is safe and effective for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.” In addition, warm needle acupuncture outperforms meloxicam. For more information about treatment for knee osteoarthritis, please visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center.
There have been extensive studies conducted on acupuncture and its benefits, especially for back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis, headaches, and other forms of chronic pain. A clinical study conducted by RMIT University Biomedical Department in Melbourne, Australia, found that acupuncture was as effective as other pain medicine in providing long-term relief for patients who came to the emergency room in considerable pain. This study used four different hospital emergency departments across the country. For the study, patients were divided in groups depending on their different pain levels. Patients who identified their level of pain as at least 4 on a 10-point scale randomly received one of three types of treatment: acupuncture alone, acupuncture plus pharmacotherapy or pharmacotherapy alone. After 48 hours of treatment, 82.8% of patients who received acupuncture alone found their treatment very helpful and reported that they would probably repeat it, compared with 80.8 % in the combined group, and 78.2 % in the pharmacotherapy-only group. Results show that acupuncture is a viable alternative and would be especially beneficial for patients who are unable to take standard pain-relieving drugs because of other medical conditions such as allergic reactions to the drugs or even opioid addictions.
But what exactly is acupuncture? Acupuncture is a technique in which specific points on the body are stimulated by the insertion of very thin needles through your skin. Acupuncture is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine and it is increasingly becoming a popular practice in Western medicine as well. Acupuncture is also used for overall wellness, including stress and anxiety management. Research suggests that acupuncture not only helps manage plenty of pain conditions, but also helps treat symptoms such as nausea after chemotherapy treatment and respiratory disorders such as allergic rhinitis. You should know that acupuncture is considered a safe practice when performed by an experienced, well-trained practitioner using sterile needles. If you would like to know more about acupuncture or any other of Dr. Lee’s services, please visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center or give us a call and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.
Filed under Acupuncture, Back pain, Chronic pain, Fatigue, Headache, knee pain, Neck pain, osteoarthritis, Pain relief, Shoulder pain, TMJ, Uncategorized