the latest clinic & medical news
BBC News, Wednesday, 17 February 2010
Acupuncture may be an effective way of easing severe period pain, a South Korean review of 27 studies suggests.
In the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, they noted two studies found little difference between real and sham acupuncture in treating pain.
Acupuncture is a less contentious form of complementary medicine than some, but its value is still disputed.
Period pain can be severe in some women and may be accompanied by nausea, diarrhoea, migraine and backache. Common treatments include pain killers, applying heat and exercise – although a recent study questioned the efficacy of the latter.
This latest review involved 27 studies – which included nearly 3,000 women. They addressed a variety of forms of acupuncture – from classical to acupoint injection.
Complementary therapies should not be used exclusively, at the expense of conventional treatment, unless significant improvements have been made and your doctor tells you otherwise
Professor Philip Steer
Traditional acupuncturists insert needles in acupuncture points located along what they describe as “energy meridians” – a concept for which many scientists say there is no evidence. Sham acupuncture places needles away from these points.
It is not clear whether either form alleviates pain as a result of the placebo effect – the very ritual of undergoing acupuncture – or cause subtle changes in the nervous system and brain activity which can be beneficial.
Nice backs needles
The analysis by the team from Kyung Hee Medical Centre found that patients with severe period pain reported a greater reduction in their symptoms when using acupuncture compared with pharmacological treatments.
But they stressed there were methodological flaws in some studies, and that the findings did need to be interpreted with caution. Nevertheless, there was “promising evidence”, they wrote.
In the UK, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) has backed the use of acupuncture in the treatment of low back pain – a move welcomed by some but criticised by those who say there is little evidence for its efficacy.
The editor-in-chief of the BJOG, Professor Philip Steer, noted that some women had period pain, also known as primary dysmenorrhoea, so badly they were “unable to function normally”.
“Women with primary dysmenorrhoea should consult their GPs or gynaecologists on the best treatment available to them. Complementary therapies should not be used exclusively, at the expense of conventional treatment, unless significant improvements have been made and your doctor tells you otherwise.”
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Search the site
What Our Patients Say
- ~ Mrs Gwilt
"A number of years ago I developed a severe back pain due to a slight curve of the spine which the Xray had shown. The doctor prescribed pain killers & a set of exercises for me to do. A friend who at the time was having acupuncture for her shoulder advised me to consult Dr. Daian to see what she could do for me, which I did. She explained that it would never be healed but she could help. At the time most weeks I was in pain. Not only that but I found it difficult to sleep. Now (after treatment) rarely does the pain wake me. I am not without pain but it is under control of which I am highly grateful."
- Read more testimonials »
- another article from Shrewsbury Living about acupuncture and infertility story: http://t.co/pav7v3N 2011-06-19
- Chinese #Herbs and #fertility http://www.sjhill.co.uk/chinese-herbs-and-fertility/ 2010-10-11
- One-Stop #Fertility Test at #Shrewsbury http://www.sjhill.co.uk/one-stop-fertility-test-at-shrewsbury/ 2010-10-10
- More updates...