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

    Review: Acupuncture to treat peripheral joint osteoarthritis

    This Cochrane review covers osteoarthritis of the knee, hip, or hand.

    First, the details.

    • 16 studies involving 3498 people were included.
    • 12 included only people with osteoarthritis of the knee, 3 only osteoarthritis of the hip, and 1 a mix of people with osteoarthritis of the hip and/or knee.

    And, the results.

    • Compared to sham control, acupuncture showed statistically significant, but not clinical significant, 4% improvement.
      • Short-term benefits of acupuncture were smaller and non-significant when treatment evaluators were unaware of the treatment assignment.
    • Compared to a waiting list control
      • Acupuncture showed statistically significant, clinically relevant 13% short-term improvements in osteoarthritis pain and function.
    • In direct comparisons of acupuncture with the ‘supervised osteoarthritis education’ and the ‘physician consultation’ control groups
      • Acupuncture showed clinically relevant short- and long-term improvements in pain and function.
    • In direct comparisons of acupuncture with ‘home exercises/advice leaflet’ and ‘supervised exercise’
      • Acupuncture was similar to controls.
    • Acupuncture added to an exercise program
      • There were no greater improvements than with exercise alone.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Sham-controlled trials show statistically significant benefits; however, these benefits are small.”

    Furthermore, they believe that much of the reported benefit “may be due to expectation or placebo effects.”

    1/23/10 16:00 JR

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