Tuesday, July 04, 2006

And the Research Continues

From the Boston Channel

Acupuncture may help knee pain more than taking anti-inflammatory drugs, according to new researchers.

Researchers studied 1,000 patients with osteoarthritis in the knee. Twenty-nine percent of those who had medication and physical therapy for six weeks reported less pain, compared to 53 percent of those who had acupuncture reporting less pain.

Fifty-one percent of those who had a placebo form of acupuncture also said their pain had decreased. It's possible, experts said, that just thinking a treatment may work will actually alleviate pain.

From the Annals of Internal Medicine

What is the problem and what is known about it so far?
Knee osteoarthritis is a common condition in which changes in the knee joints lead to pain. Treatments include drugs to decrease pain and inflammation; weight loss, if needed; physical therapy; and exercise. Unfortunately, these treatments do not always help and some have side effects. Consequently, many people with knee osteoarthritis seek alternative treatments, such as acupuncture. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese treatment that involves putting special needles into specific points on the body to treat medical conditions. Mainstream medicine is increasingly recognizing acupuncture as an effective treatment for some disorders. Past studies about acupuncture for osteoarthritis have had inconsistent results.

Why did the researchers do this particular study?
To find out whether acupuncture is an effective treatment for knee osteoarthritis.

Who was studied?
1007 patients with osteoarthritis knee pain for at least 6 months.

How was the study done?
The researchers assigned patients to receive either 10 sessions of traditional Chinese acupuncture (TCA), 10 sessions of sham acupuncture, or 10 doctor visits without acupuncture over 6 weeks. Traditional Chinese acupuncture was "real" acupuncture according to Chinese protocols that specify the location and depth of needle placement in the treatment of knee pain. Sham acupuncture was "fake" acupuncture in which the acupuncturist placed the needles at a shallow depth in places other than the TCA points. Patients in all 3 groups could receive 6 physical therapy treatments and could take anti-inflammatory medications as needed up to a certain amount. The researchers compared changes in patients' pain after 26 weeks.

What did the researchers find?
After 26 weeks, patients in the TCA and sham acupuncture groups had greater improvement in pain than those in the no acupuncture group. Surprisingly, the changes in pain were not different in the TCA and sham acupuncture groups. However, patients in the TCA group reported higher satisfaction with treatment than those in the sham acupuncture group, but both acupuncture groups reported higher satisfaction than the no acupuncture group. Of note, patients in both acupuncture groups had more contact with health care providers during the study than did those in the no acupuncture group.

What were the limitations of the study?
Patients knew whether they were getting acupuncture. The researchers did not monitor whether the acupuncturists were following the TCA and sham protocols exactly as the study plan specified.

What are the implications of the study?
Compared with patients with knee osteoarthritis treated with physical therapy and anti-inflammatory drugs alone, patients who also received TCA or sham acupuncture had improvements in pain at 26 weeks. Surprisingly, the researchers found no difference in pain reduction between real and fake acupuncture. Several potential explanations are possible. First, because of psychological effects, patients who know they are getting special types of treatment report feeling better regardless of whether the treatment really works. Second, patients who received acupuncture had more intense contact with health care providers, which could explain why they felt better. Third, sticking needles into the body may have a physical effect on pain, regardless of whether the needles are placed according to TCA principles.

1 comment:

backcare said...

very good blogger site!.

Do you know BBC News (14/09/2006) Acupuncture for low back pain is cost-effective and works, according to medical researchers. Two studies on bmj.com suggest a short course of acupuncture would benefit patients and healthcare providersThe cost is well below the threshold used by officials to decide whether the NHS can afford to fund a set treatment, they said. Up to 80% of UK residents experience back pain at some point in their lives, costing the NHS £480m a year.—(BBC News 14/09/2006)

And, What do you think about it? Something as follow:

Chinese acupuncture practitioner had almost been accused for website’s ads in Bristol

Dr Zhentong Han is a Chinese registered acupuncturist with twenty years of clinical experience. He is very popular among the patients in the area with outstanding technique. The appointments for him in the clinic in Bradford were always full, however, at Bristol, another place where he set up his business; there were troubles from the competitions in the same field.

It started at the acupunctural website of Dr Han(http://www.backachetherapy.co.uk), which occupied the NO.1 place in a international websites about acupuncture (http://www.passion-4.net/tables/Acupuncture.html). Because of the large number of patients attracted by this website which introduced traditional Chinese acupuncture for backache therapy,and top position in yahoo and google. it caught great attention of other businesses in the same field in a very short time. Some practitioner even registered company names using key words about acupuncture , and notified Dr Han and other practitioners to stop using the some key words for advertising the website. Or else they would probably be charged by the law.

Dr Han claimed that he regretted deeply for the matter, but he didn’t want to get involved in this legal dispute, for the purpose of having a website is not to score high on the network, but to have more patients understand the most veracious Chinese traditional acupunctural techniques through his website, so to help more patients get rid of the pain.

Bristol Chinese Pain relief Acupuncture
www.backachetherapy.co.uk