Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine for Pain Management
Most people have suffered from pain. Pain is an unpleasant experience associated with actual or
potential tissue damage. It may arise from accident or injury, cancer, arthritis, or
even emotional stress. It may affect the head, neck, extremities, internal organs, etc,
causing different kinds of pain such as headache, neck pain, throat pain, shouder pain,
joint pain, abdominal pain and lower back pain.
Modern medical reserch has discovered that pain signals are transmitted by receptors, that respond to injury, inflammation or tissue damage.
Pains with strong evidence supporting the effectiveness of acupuncture:
- Chronic low back pain
- Headache (tension-type and chronic)
- Knee osteoarthritis
- Postoperative pain
Pains with moderate evidence supporting the effectiveness of acupuncture:
- Acute low back pain
- Cancer pain
- Elbow pain
- Neck pain
- Plantar heel pain
- Prostatitis pain/chronic pelvic pain syndrome
- Temporomandibular pain/jaw pain
Acupuncture Research for Pain Management
In the recent review by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), it was found that there is moderate quality evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture in chronic low back pain for both pain intensity and function. For more details see the "AACMA Fact sheet on Low back pain and sciatica".
Here are few samples of systematic reviews and meta-analysis regarding with muscle and joint pain.
"Acupuncture treatment for chronic knee pain: a systematic reveiw" in 2007 reviewed 13 RCTs (randomised controlled traials) and concluded that acupuncture is significantly superior to sham acupuncture and to no additional intervemtion in improving pain and function in patients with chronic knee pain.
"Acupuncture for osteorarthritis of the knee: A systematic review" in 2001 reviewed 62 conference abstracts and concluded that the evidence suggests that acupuncture may play a role in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee.
"Meta-Analysis: Acupuncture for low back pain" in 2005 reviewed 33 randomized controlled trials and suggested that acupuncture effectively relieves chronic low back pain.