Study Compares Acupuncture With Conventional Orthopaedic Treatment
German researchers conducted a randomised acupuncture trial for chronic shoulder pain.
Three Groups Compared
In the trial, 424 outpatients were monitored in 31 orthopaedic clinics. Each patient had suffered shoulder pain for at least six weeks and received 15 acupuncture treatments over a period of six weeks.
The orthopaedists (who were trained in acupuncture) compared three groups:
- Group 1 - received textbook acupuncture (verum acupuncture)
- Group 2 - received non-relevant needle puncture (sham acupuncture)
- Group 3 - received conventional orthopedic treatments
Acupuncture Gives Reduced Pain and Greater Movement
Researchers at Ruhr-University Bochum (Orthopedic Surgery and Research) assessed the immediate results after six weeks of treatment and again three months after treatment. They assessed improvement in pain and range of motion including abduction and arm-above-head test.
Immediate Results Promising for Acupuncture
When assessed immediately after six-weeks of treatment researchers reported:
- 68 percent recovery rate for verum acupuncture group
- 40 percent recovery rate for sham acupuncture group
- 28 percent recovery rate for orthopaedic group
The Follow Up
After three months of monitoring the participants, the researchers found:
- 65 percent recovery rate for verum acupuncture group
- 24 percent recovery rate for sham acupuncture group
- 37 percent recovery rate for orthopaedic group
Conclusion Supports Acupuncture Treatment for Shoulder Pain
Researchers concluded that acupuncture can significantly improve pain and range of motion and is an effective alternative to conventional orthopaedic treatment for chronic shoulder pain.
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