By the Pricking of My Thumbs...and other key points.
December 29, 2005 11:36 AM   Subscribe

Alternative-MedicineFilter: I need to find a report of a Clinical Study on efficacy of Acupuncture in Chronic Pain Management.

I have already tried searching JAMA and NEJM, but was unable to find what I was looking for - the results I saw dealt with specific sorts of pain, or non-pain-related issues. It seems most of the Google hits I got were studies sponsored by alternative-medicine groups, which I don't trust. I am hoping for a large comprehensive clinical study by a "straight" conservative organization or school (Paging Ikkyu2!).

The story is: I have a relative with Cancer, and we are investigating our pain-management options for the future. On top of the study, any advice on how to pick a reputable practicioner would be helpful in case we decide to go that route.
posted by BigLankyBastard to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
Best answer: Just a quickie search here, I'm supposed to be working -

Although it is possible that placebo effect may be going on in patients undergoing complementary alternative thereapies (CAM) including acupuncture and that accupuncture -like therapy in conjunction to standard therapy seems to be as effective as exercise plus standard therapy, it appears that at least in terms of headaches accupuncture does show quality of life improvments (randomized control trial). The national institute of health (NIH) seems to think that there might be something to accupuncture but, of course, more study is needed before anyone is willing to commit to its efficacy.

I don't think that accupuncture will do more harm than no accupuncture. This article suggests that accupuncture can induce the release of endogenous opioids and that this is a mechanism for the efficacy in pain relief.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 12:33 PM on December 29, 2005

Best answer: Here's a systematic review of acupunture for cancer pain, in a respected journal.
If you want the full text of the article, send me email at matthew.hoy at gmail
posted by cosmicbandito at 12:39 PM on December 29, 2005

I have no specific links to offer, but I have recently been told by a practitioner with an advanced degree in related fields that the latest research shows acupuncture has positive effects but it doesn't correlate to the traditional locations where it is applied.

In other words, it now seems to work pretty much the same wherever it is applied.
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:29 PM on December 29, 2005

You should look at some of the previous AskMe threads about accu, there was definitely plenty of discussion of how to pick a good one. (I can't search myself right now.)
posted by pomegranate at 2:55 PM on December 29, 2005

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