Research: ABUAISHA and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 39


ABUAISHA and colleagues, Department of Medicine, Manchester Royal Infirmary, University of Manchester, UK studied the use of acupuncture to determine its efficacy for pain relief for peripheral diabetic neuropathy .



46 diabetic patients suffering chronic painful peripheral neuropathy participated in the study. 29 (63%) patients were already receiving standard medical treatment. Patients initially received up to 6 courses of classical acupuncture analgesia over a period of 10 weeks, using traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncture points.


46 patients completed the study. 34 (77%) showed significant improvement in primary and/or secondary symptoms (P <0.01). These patients were followed up for 18-52 weeks, following which 67% were able to stop or reduce their medications significantly. During the follow-up period only 8 (24%) patients required additional acupuncture treatment. 34 (77%) patients noted significant improvement to their symptoms, but only 7 (21%) reported that their symptoms cleared completely. All patients except finished the full course of acupuncture treatment without any reported or observed side effects. There were no significant changes either in the peripheral neurological examination scores, VPT or in HbA1c throughout the course of treatment.


These results suggest that acupuncture is a safe and effective therapy for the long-term management of painful diabetic neuropathy; however the mechanism of action still remains to be elucidated.


Abuaisha BB et al. Acupuncture for the treatment of chronic painful peripheral diabetic neuropathy: a long-term study. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 39(2): 115-21 Feb 1998.

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