Acupuncture/ pressurePain

Acupuncture for repetitive use arm pain

This study failed to find evidence of its effectiveness, according to researchers at Cambridge Health Alliance in the UK.

First, the details.

  • 123 people with persistent arm pain were randomly assigned to true or sham acupuncture groups,
  • 8 treatments were given over 4 weeks.
  • The primary outcome was intensity of pain (10-point scale) and secondary outcomes were arm symptoms, arm function, and grip strength.
  • Outcomes were measured during treatment at 2 and 4 weeks, and 1 month after treatment ended.

And, the results.

  • Arm pain scores improved in both groups, but were significantly greater in the sham group.
  • This difference disappeared by 1 month after treatment ended.
  • The true acupuncture group experienced more side effects, predominantly mild pain at time of treatments.


The bottom line?
The authors suggest that mild side effects experienced by the group treated with true acupuncture might have blunted any positive treatment effects.

Maybe, but the abstract doesn’t go into detail, and the history of acupuncture is that it is safe.

6/1/08 08:05 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.