1- Is acupuncture effective in treating shoulder pain?

To answer this question, scientists identified and analyzed 9 studies. These studies involved more than 500 people suffering from shoulder pain. Subjects were treated with acupuncture, placebo (sham treatment), ultrasound, gentle movement or exercise for about 20-30 minutes, two to three times a week for 3-6 weeks. Although these studies are small and not of the highest quality, this Cochrane review provides the best evidence currently available.

2- What causes shoulder pain and how can acupuncture help?

Shoulder pain can have many different causes. It can be caused by rotator cuff disease, periarthritis or capsulitis retractiva (locked shoulder). Shoulder pain sometimes disappears spontaneously but can last from 12 to 18 months. Medication and non-medication treatments are used to relieve pain and/or swelling. Acupuncture is an increasingly used non-drug treatment for shoulder pain. Acupuncture is thought to work by releasing chemicals into the body to relieve pain, blocking pain signals in the nerves or allowing energy (Qi) or blood to flow freely through the body. The efficacy and safety of acupuncture are not known for sure.

3- How effective is acupuncture?

The improvement in pain and functional ability with acupuncture was comparable to the effects of sham treatment for 2 to 4 weeks.

One study showed that acupuncture improved shoulder function more than sham treatment after 4 weeks. After 4 months, however, the improvements were comparable, with only an additional 4 points improvement on a 0-100 scale with acupuncture.

A small study showed that acupuncture combined with exercises was more effective than exercises alone in improving pain, range of motion, and functional ability over a period of up to 5 months.

4- How safe is it?

Most studies did not measure side effects. One study showed that side effects such as syncope, headache, dizziness, swelling or leg weakness were comparable for acupuncture and sham treatment.

5- What conclusions can be drawn?

There is insufficient evidence that acupuncture is effective in treating shoulder pain or that it produces adverse effects.

Although limited, the available evidence indicates that acupuncture may improve pain and functional ability in the short term (2-4 weeks).

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *