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Saturday, March 1, 2008

Acupuncture Really Helps Osteoarthritis Sufferers According to Study

The US National Institutes of Health conducted a study to determine whether acupuncture can improve movement and decrease pain for those suffering with osteoarthritis of the knee. The study involved 570 patients with some receiving sham acupuncture and/or guidance on self help, along with standard treatment with drugs, while other received regular acupuncture in addition to standard treatment. Sham acupuncture consisted of ‘pretending’ to insert needles into acupuncture points without actually administering treatment.

The study concluded that acupuncture is an effective complement to standard treatment, with a 40% decrease in pain as well as a 40% improvement in knee movement and function. Although the results seem positive, it is to be noted that many people dropped out of the study and other studies have produced contradictory results.

Regardless, by fourteen weeks into the study the group receiving regular acupuncture had much improvement in knee functions and reduced levels of pain compared to the sham group.

Many studies are being done on acupuncture to determine whether it is a viable complimentary medicine. This age-old traditional Chinese medicine is growing in popularity in the United States, with or without clinical trials.

The study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and received a lot of positive feedback. Many health professionals have made comments about the positive nature of the study and seem to feel as though they are one step closer to identifying acupuncture as a very useful complementary medicine that can help those who are not getting full relief from conventional, allopathic medicine alone.

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