Research: VAS and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 104

Abstract

VAS and colleagues, Centro de Salud de Dos Hermanas, Sevilla, Spain, jvas@acmas.com, have explored acupuncture and moxibustion as an adjunctive treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee.

Background

This observational study was conducted in a Pain Management unit in preparation for a randomized controlled trial.

Methodology

Patients who had been diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee were treated weekly with acupuncture and related treatments for 3 years. Socio-demographic data, measures of effectiveness, including intensity and frequency of pain, daily doses of analgesic and anti-inflammatory medication, disability, and sleep disorders caused by pain were recorded.

Results

Of the 563 patients who presented, 88% were women. The average age was about 65 years. In 95% of patients the condition was chronic, with 77% of patients having a history of more than 5 years. Only 15% of patients abandoned treatment during the 3 years. 75% of the remaining patients experienced a 45% reduction in pain.

Conclusion

The degree of pain relief experienced by these patients justifies a more rigorous study.

References

Vas J, Perea-Milla E, Mendez C. Acupuncture and moxibustion as an adjunctive treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee – a large case series. Acupuncture in Medicine 22 (1): 23-28, Mar 2004.

Comment

Osteoarthritis of the knee is a severely disabling condition. The results of the above studies demonstrate that acupuncture produced significant reduction in pain.

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