We wanted to share a newly published article from the journal Opinions in Anesthesiology, October 2017, titled: "Acupuncture for chronic pain: an update and critical overview".
Their key points for the article were:
Mounting evidence supports the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating chronic pain conditions including low back, neck, shoulder, and knee pain, headaches, and migraine.
The use of acupuncture in perioperative settings and as an adjunct or alternative to opioids and NSAIDs has shown promising outcomes.
Anesthesiologists and pain fellowship programmes nationwide favor integration of acupuncture into their practice and training.
Mechanisms of action of acupuncture include transient receptor potential cation channel vanilloid 1 activation in the periphery and microglial suppression in the cortex involving certain key factors such as TNF-a, interleukin-1a, substance P, 5-HT, and interleukin-10.
Clarity and consistency of the definition and use of acupuncture-related terms must improve.
The purpose of this article was stated by the authors to be:
"Our intent here is to provide an update and critical overview of the evidence that supports the effectiveness of acupuncture against chronic pain, and to discuss compelling aspects of acupuncture that must be addressed in future studies."
They concluded by stating:
"Acupuncture is effective, safe, and cost-effective for treating several chronic pain conditions when performed by well-trained healthcare professionals. Further studies are urgently needed to explore its effectiveness as an adjunct or alternative to opioids, and in perioperative settings."
This is an exciting time for us as licensed acupuncturists, especially when an article is published in a journal of Anesthesiology and is supported by the Department of Anesthesiology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina. We look forward to providing expert treatment using acupuncture and dream of working in medical institutions and hospitals here in the Bay Area.
To read the full article, click here.