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January 2020

Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 1992 Oct; 36(7): 637-42.

Is acupuncture an alternative in idiopathic pain disorder?

Thomas M, Arnèr S, Lundeberg T.

Department of Physiology, II, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

This study investigated the pain-relieving effect of an intensive type of periosteal acupuncture stimulation in patients with idiopathic pain disorder. Twelve patients, 2 males and 10 females, with a mean age of 54, were included in the study. The average duration of their pain was 12.6 years. Each treatment consisted of brief but painful manual stimulation of 3 to 4 periosteal sites. Over a 3-8-month period each patient had between 4-11 treatments, an average of 7. Analgesic drugs that patients were on prior to the study were continued but no other physical or psychological treatment for their pain was applied. Ten patients had either no responses to treatment or only transient responses which were not maintained until the following treatment. Two patients benefitted from treatment, having long periods of substantial pain reduction. All responses were assessed on pain scales maintained daily before and during the entire period of treatments. For the majority (83%) of patients in this study, with an idiopathic pain disorder, periosteal acupuncture stimulation was not a treatment alternative.

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