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October 2021

Acupuncture in chronic pain

Journal/Book: American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 1976; 4: 267-279.

Abstract: A course of 10 daily acupuncture treatments was given to 200 patients who suffered from chronic pain syndromes of at last one year duration and the result assessed at the end of the course of treatment and after an interval of at least 2 months. Treatments were individualized using needling of body loci distally and near the site of pain, and ear acupuncture. In 38 patients suffering from chronic headaches, including 13 cases of migraine-type headache, 81% reported an improvement in their condition, but only one patient was pain free for the 2-month observation period. In 162 patients with other chronic pain problems, 99 or 61% were improved or pain free at the end of treatment; in 69 of these a worthwhile degree of improvement persisted over the observation period of 2 months. Thirteen percent of all patients did not respond to acupuncture and in 26% the response was considered as transient only. Daily treatments are not more effective than weekly or biweekly treatments. Pain in the neck and shoulder region, in the knee and low back pain responded to acupuncture with prolonged improvement in over 50% of the patients treated. Facial pain syndromes and pain in the region of the trunk were least responsive and only 3 of 11 patients with post-herpetic neuralgia reported still having less pain after 2 months. Needling of effective loci and particularly ear needling often causes an instantaneous reduction or disappearance of pain; the speed of this response can only be explained by a mechanism within the nervous system. Based on our experience acupuncture represents a useful therapeutic modality in the management of pain.

Keyword(s): Periphere diabetische Polyneuropathie

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