(Natural News) People suffering from pain can find relief in acupuncture. A study published in the Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice found that undergoing acupuncture regularly can effectively relieve pain and improve the overall health status of pain patients.
In the observational study, researchers from the Netherlands aimed to assess the effect of routine acupuncture treatment on the health of patients suffering from pain. To do this, they recruited 110 patients suffering from pain.
The study participants completed the Measure Yourself Medical Outcome Profile (MYMOP) online questionnaire to evaluate their health condition and whether routine acupuncture treatment demonstrated positive effects on their health. They completed the questionnaire thrice: before the actual treatment, after four weeks of treatment, and after 16 weeks of treatment.
The results of the observational study showed that undergoing acupuncture routinely resulted in significant improvements in primary pain, secondary pain, daily functioning, well-being, and health status of the participants.
The participants experienced up to 38 percent reductions in primary and secondary pain and 33.2 percent reductions in “limitation to daily functioning.” They also reported up to 34 percent improvement in well-being and health status. In addition, their use of pain medications decreased by 44.5 percent within four weeks. Furthermore, these benefits were long-lasting as they were retained even after 16 weeks.
Based on the findings of the observational study, the researchers concluded that the routine practice of acupuncture can reduce pain and enhance the health of pain patients for a long time. (Related: Acupuncture and pain relief – Discover how it really works.)
More research on the benefits of acupuncture in pain-related conditions
Acupuncture has been practiced traditionally in China as an alternative treatment that involves the use of needles to stimulate certain points on the body. Based on the theory of acupuncture, these points are connected to certain pathways that carry the “chi” or the vital energy throughout the body. If the flow of chi is blocked, diseases can occur. But with acupuncture, these blockages can be cleared up and restore the health and vitality of the person. Here are some studies on acupuncture and pain-related conditions:
- Arthritis: Some studies have shown that acupuncture may help people with osteoarthritis, particularly knee osteoarthritis. In a review and meta-analysis published in 2007, researchers concluded that a two- to four-week intensive acupuncture treatment may provide significant short-term relief of osteoarthritis-related knee pain.
- Headaches and migraines: Acupuncture is said to be at least as effective as, or potentially more effective than, migraine drug medications, according to a 2009 study review. Another study review published in 2009 suggested that acupuncture can help people with frequent episodes or chronic tension headaches.
- Low back pain: A study of 638 adults with chronic low back pain revealed that undergoing 10 acupuncture sessions, administered over the course of seven weeks, resulted in greater improvement in symptoms compared to those who received standard care. After a year of acupuncture treatment, chronic low back pain patients in the acupuncture group were also more likely to show significant improvements in dysfunction. Another study, particularly a meta-analysis of 33 clinical trials, revealed that acupuncture effectively relieves chronic low back pain.
- Other pain-related conditions: Several studies also suggested that acupuncture can benefit people with carpal tunnel syndrome, menstrual cramps, temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), and tennis elbow.
Use of acupuncture is generally considered safe and with rare side effects. In addition, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), formerly National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), notes that acupuncture is linked to fewer side effects compared to many standard drug treatments used to manage painful musculoskeletal conditions.
Read more news stories and studies on the health benefits of acupuncture by going to HealingArts.news.