In May of 2018, The Journal of Pain published a study called "Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Update of an Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis." This large-scale project analyzed 39 scientific trials with 20,827 study participants. Researchers narrowed their focus to the patient's pain levels and their ability to physically function. They also put great importance on the effect of acupuncture to produce results after the conclusion of treatment.
Researchers discovered that real acupuncture treatments showed significant results in the reduction of chronic pain, when compared to sham acupuncture or no treatment at all. Additionally, these outstanding results lasted for one year after the therapy ended and could not be attributed to the placebo effect. There was only a 15% reduction in its ability to alleviate pain leading researchers to conclude that acupuncture is a viable, effective therapy to treat different kinds of chronic pain including bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves and the head.
Source: Vickers AJ, Vertosick EA, Lewith G, MacPherson H, Foster NE, Sherman KJ, Irnich D, Witt CM, Linde K; Acupuncture Trialists' Collaboration. (2018). Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Update of an Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis. Journal of Pain, 19(5):455-474. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2017.11.005. Epub 2017 Dec 2. Retrieved online at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29198932
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About the Author: Vanessa Vogel Batt, L.Ac., MSTOM, studied at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and practiced acupuncture and Oriental medicine in New York for several years. Vanessa enjoys traveling the world, and has published articles on acupuncture and Oriental medicine and related health topics for websites and publications in both the U.S. and abroad.