The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    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.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Acupuncture plus physiotherapy for painful shoulder

    Researchers in Spain evaluated single-point acupuncture as an adjunct to physiotherapy to improve shoulder function in patients with unilateral subacromial syndrome.

    First, the details.

    • 425 patients with unilateral subacromial syndrome (chronic bursitis, tendinitis, rotator cuff tears) were assigned to 15 sessions of physiotherapy.
    • During the 3 weeks of treatment, the patients were randomly assigned to once-a-week acupuncture or mock TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation).
    • The primary outcome measure was a change in the Constant-Murley Score (CMS) for functional assessment of the shoulder at 4 weeks after randomization.
      • CMS includes a pain score, functional assessment, range of motion, and strength measures; and is the most commonly used assessment of shoulder disorders.

    And, the results.

    • The average CMS increased by 17 points in the acupuncture-physiotherapy group vs 11 points in the control group — the difference between groups was significant.
    • By the end of the treatment, 53% of the patients in the acupuncture-physiotherapy group had decreased their consumption of pain medicine vs 30% in the control group — a significant difference.

    The bottom line?
    The authors concluded, “Single-point acupuncture in association with physiotherapy improves shoulder function and alleviates pain, compared with physiotherapy as the sole treatment. This improvement is accompanied by a reduction in the consumption of analgesic medicaments.”

    4/12/08 20:38 JR

    Leave a Comment

    You must be logged in to post a comment.