Research: VAS and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 104


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


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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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