Acupuncture is a very effective therapy for chronic pain conditions. However treatments must be on a regular basis which is the downside. The upside is that it is most likely a better option than drugs which carry various ‘side effects’ and many which can harm the liver. The ‘side effects’ of acupuncture are beneficial where patients report feeling more energized and calm.
Below is a study that was just released evaluating acupuncture for chronic neck pain.
Complement Ther Med. 2011 Jan;19S1:S26-S32. Epub 2010 Dec 23.
Assessment of a traditional acupuncture therapy for chronic neck pain: A pilot randomised controlled study.
Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510120, China; Guangdong Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Guangzhou 510120, China.
OBJECTIVE: This study is aimed to assess the efficacy of traditional acupuncture for chronic neck pain in patients by comparing the differences in symptoms, dysfunctions and quality of life.
METHODS: The study used a two-arm, single-blinded, randomised controlled design. The patients were randomised to the study group and control group, who respectively received traditional acupuncture and placebo treatment. The Northwick Park Neck Pain Questionnaire (NPQ), visual analogue scale (VAS), Short Form (36) Health Survey (SF-36) and doctor’s judgement were applied for measuring effectiveness. The patients’ effectiveness outcome was assessed, respectively, before the intervention, immediately after the intervention, at the end of the first month of follow-up and at the end of the third month of follow-up. The statistical analysis was done on Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) v13, which included comparison of demographic and clinical homogeneity, the repeated measures approach based on the general linear model (GLM) for effectiveness assessment and the sum rank test for doctors’ subjective efficacy judgement.
RESULTS: Totally, 190 patients were recruited and 178 patients (88 in the study group and 90 in the control group) completed the intervention and follow-up assessment. The scores of NPQ, VAS and SF-36 were improved after the intervention and during follow-up (P<0.01 vs. before the intervention). The patients in the study group had better effectiveness outcome in NPQ, VAS and in the VT, SF and MH domains of SF-36 (P<0.05).
CONCLUSION: Traditional acupuncture can relieve pain intensity and improve the quality of daily life with a relative long-term clinical efficacy in patients with chronic neck pain.