Pain-Relieving Powers of Acupuncture Unclear

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HealthDay News — When used to treat pain, acupuncture offers only limited relief that may not be clinically relevant.  So say Danish researchers who examined data from 13 acupuncture pain studies that included more than 3,000 patients. The studies compared real acupuncture, placebo acupuncture and no acupuncture for a wide range of painful conditions such as knee osteoarthritis, migraine, low back pain and postoperative pain.

Compared to placebo acupuncture, real acupuncture offered only a small amount of relief (about 4 millimeters on a 100-mm pain scoring scale), according to the review authors. A 10-mm change on this scale is classified as “minimal” or “little change,” which means the apparent relief offered by acupuncture seems to be below clinically relevant improvement.The findings, published online Jan. 28 in the British Medical Journal, support a number of previous reviews that found no clear evidence that acupuncture offers effective pain relief…  full article here