[All in the same boat: a qualitative study of patients’ attitudes and experiences in group acupuncture clinics Online First doi 10.1136/acupmed-2012-01050]
Acupuncture can relieve the pain of knee osteoarthritis and offer a low cost alternative to surgery for the condition, finds research published online in Acupuncture in Medicine.
The researchers base their findings on 90 patients with knee osteoarthritis, who were referred for group acupuncture to two knee pain clinics in St Albans, Hertfordshire, in 2008 and subsequently monitored for two years.
Fifty patients said they would be prepared to have surgery; four said they would only have the operation as a last resort; and 29 said they did not want surgery. They were given acupuncture once a week for a month after which the frequency was reduced to a session every six weeks.
Each patient received an average of 16.5 treatments.
From the British Medical Journal. Full article available here
NICE (the UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) has published new clinical guidelines on the treatment of headaches. They conclude that acupuncture is effective for the prevention of tension-type headaches and migraine, and should be prescribed by doctors. NICE also estimates that overuse of painkillers is one of the most common causes of headache, affecting about one in fifty people. Taking aspirin, paracetamol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen for more than 15 days a month can initiate a vicious cycle where headaches get worse, so sufferers take more painkillers, which make the headaches even worse. (Headaches: diagnosis and management of headaches in young people and adults. NICE Clinical guidelines, CG150: Sept 2012, publications.nice.org.uk/headaches-cg150/guidance).
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