Monday, September 28, 2009

Acupuncture Relieves Pain in Patients with Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Acupuncture Relieves Pain in Patients with Osteoarthritis of the Knee


Acupuncture, Electro-Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Traditional East Asian Medicine

Reference:“Clinical and endocrinological changes after electro-acupuncture treatment in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee,” Ahsin S, Saleem S, et al, Pain, 2009; Sept 17; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Department of Physiology, Army Medical College Rawalpindi, Pakistan; Department of Natural Sciences, School of Health and Social Science, Middlesex University, UK).
Summary:In a single-blinded, sham-controlled study involving 40 patients (male and female) with primary osteoarthritis of the knee, daily treatment with acupuncture (electro-acupuncture) for a period of 10 days was found to significantly improve WOMAC scores (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities) and pain, according to visual analogue scale scores. In addition, a significant rise in plasma beta-endorphins and a significant decrease in plasma cortisol levels were found. These results suggest that treatment with acupuncture, specifically electro-acupuncture as used in this study, was found to reduce pain, stiffness and disability, over a period of 10 days. The authors conclude, “Of clinical importance is that an improvement in objective measures of pain and stress/pain associated biomarkers was shown above that of a sham treatment...” demonstrating that the beneficial physiological effects of acupuncture go beyond that of a placebo effect.

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