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Research Archive

Welcome to our Chinese medicine and acupuncture research news pages. We add to the content of these pages continuously as more research news comes in. Browse through the complete archive below or use the category links on the right.

Please note that the most twenty recent research archive items are free to view but access to the thousands of items in the archive require a journal subscription.

Gua sha may elicit a more long-lasting anti-inflammatory effect relative to hot pack treatment, leading to better pain relief and mobility in elderly patients with chronic low back pain ...

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Electro-acupuncture demonstrates greater short- and long-term benefits for chronic discogenic sciatica than medium-frequency electrotherapy (MFE - similar to transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or TENS) ...

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Findings from a small exploratory study carried out in the UK suggest a trend of increased benefits for clinical outcomes after ten sessions of adjunctive acupuncture for chronic low back pain ...

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In stark contrast to the increasing medical acceptance of acupuncture and other complementary therapies in the United States, and their growing inclusion in medical guidelines for doctors who are treating pain conditions, the UK's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recently dropped acupuncture from its recommendations for knee osteoarthritis and low back pain ...

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The American College of Physicians’ new guidelines on the treatment of chronic low back pain strongly recommend the use of acupuncture as a first-line treatment, finding it to be more effective for pain relief and improvement in function than pharmaceutical drugs ...

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German clinicians have found acupuncture to be effective in producing sustained, clinically relevant pain relief in patients with osteoporosis ...

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Evidence identified by a systematic literature review by UK authors suggests that acupuncture represents a cost-effective non-pharmacological treatment option for low back pain ..

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Acupuncture can have a significant effect on pain and quality of life in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS), according to a pilot case series carried out by Iranian researchers ...

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A feasibility study carried out in the UK suggests that acupuncture can add benefit to standard care (SC) for back pain in pregnancy ...

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A single session of auricular acupuncture (AA) can have an immediate effect on reducing pain intensity in individuals with low back pain ...

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Acupuncture may be more effective than drugs, and may enhance the effect of drugs, for patients with sciatica ...

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A research team from China has investigated how acupuncture modulates brain networks in acute low ...back pain (ALBP)  subjects 

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Australian researchers have conducted a study exploring the experience of acupuncture for people with chronic low back pain...

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A systematic review and network meta-analysis comparing the clinical effectiveness of different treatment strategies for sciatica supports the effectiveness of acupuncture for this condition. ...

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Australian authors have concluded that acupuncture is a cost-effective treatment strategy for patients with chronic lower back pain (CLBP).

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Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is associated with changes in connectivity in the brain’s default mode network (DMN), but acupuncture can reverse these changes as well as provide pain relief.

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A British research team has found that combining acupuncture with self-care is particularly effective in reducing the symptoms of low back pain.

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The findings of a small Australian study suggest that the specific effect of acupuncture may depend not on the precise location of the needles, but rather on the fact that they draw the patient’s attention to the area being needled.

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An RCT carried out in Germany has found that individualised acupuncture is not superior to standardised acupuncture for treating patients suffering from chronic low back pain.

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A Cochrane Database systematic review has concluded that current evidence supports acupuncture as a treatment for pelvic and back pain in pregnancy.

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Korean authors have found

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Di Huang Yin Zi (DHYZ, Rehmannia Decoction), a traditional Chinese herbal formula used to treat neurological disorders, has been found to improve neurological function in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI), and may be an effective adjuvant therapy for enhancing functional recovery after SCI.

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Many patients with low back pain (LBP) might benefit significantly from individualised, multidisciplinary care that includes access to complementary medicine in addition to conventional care, according to a study from the USA.

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Acupuncture is a promising therapeutic option for the management of radicular pain of discogenic origin, according to Turkish researchers.

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A Spanish multicentre trial investigating acupuncture for the treatment of acute back pain has found real, sham and placebo acupuncture to be effective, with all three better than conventional treatment alone.

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Indian researchers have found that electro-acupuncture effectively relieves pain and improves autonomic status in patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP).

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A Chinese research group has found that acupuncture at Hegu L.I.-4 is significantly more effective for the treatment of chronic low back pain (CLBP) than standardised acupuncture, especially in the long term

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Yoga is a more effective treatment for chronic lower back pain than conventional GP care, according to the UK’s largest ever study into its benefits.

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The first pragmatic randomised controlled trial of tai chi for people with low back pain has shown that it can improve pain and disability outcomes in this population.

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Patients with low-back pain (LBP) are less likely to visit physicians for LBP after receiving acupuncture treatment, leading to reduced healthcare spending on LBP. In a case control study carried out in Canada, 201 cases in which LBP was treated with

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Patients with low-back pain (LBP) are less likely to visit physicians for LBP after receiving acupuncture treatment, leading to reduced healthcare spending on LBP.

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An overview of systematic reviews of acupuncture for rheumatic conditions has found relatively clear evidence to suggest that it is effective for osteoarthritis (OA), low back pain and lateral elbow pain, but ineffective for fibromyalgia and rheumato

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The relationship between patients’ expectations of acupuncture and their outcomes may be more complex than previously believed. When US investigators analysed data from a randomised trial of acupuncture for chronic back pain, they found that pre-tr

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Acupuncture for spinal cord injuries (SCI) can mobilise human stem cells, according to German research. Fourteen healthy volunteers were needled at acupuncture points used in the treatment of SCI, while control individuals received acupuncture at poi

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Korean investigators have examined the effect of tai chi on disease activity, flexibility and depression in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS). They allocated 40 patients to either a tai chi group or a no-treatment control group. The tai chi g

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Acupuncture is effective in treating chronic pain following spinal cord injury (SCI) according to research carried out at the Department of Psychiatry, New Jersey Medical School. Twenty-two patients with SCI who suffered moderate to severe pain of

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The US Agency for Healthcare Policy & Research and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine have awarded a $1 million grant to study acupuncture as a treatment for chronic lower back pain. The 100-patient study will be ca

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A German study into the treatment of chronic back pain has compared the benefits of: 1: true acupuncture plus conservative orthopaedic treatment, 2: sham acupuncture plus conservative orthopaedic treatment, 3: conservative orthopaedic treatment alone

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In this German study, 174 patients with chronic low back pain (lasting longer than 6 weeks, and with no pending compensation claims) were randomly assigned to receive either i. True acupuncture plus conservative orthopaedic treatment (COT), ii. Sham

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In a study into the potential benefits of acupuncture for chronic low back pain in the elderly (over 60 years old), 23 patients were randomised to receive their normal care (NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, paracetamol and back exercises) and 24 to addition

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A Brazilian study which compared the levels of low back and pelvic pain in women treated by acupuncture compared to non-treated controls, found that the acupuncture group showed a greater reduction in overall pain, maximum pain and  pain at the

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A Taiwanese study randomly assigned 146 chronic lower back pain patients to receive either standard physical therapy or fifteen-minute acupressure treatments (six treatments over four weeks for both groups). At the end of the  study, the average

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In this Swedish study, 72 pregnant women (24-37 weeks) suffering pelvic or low back pain were randomly assigned to an acupuncture group or a control group. Traditional acupuncture points and ahshi points were needled (with deqi elicited) in individua

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A randomised controlled trial compared manual and electrical stimulation of the same auricular points (lumbar spine, shenmen and cushion). 61 adults with chronic back pain (more than 6 months) that did not respond to non-steroidal anti-inflammator

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A meta-analysis of 33 randomised controlled trials of acupuncture has concluded that it can effectively relieve chronic lower back pain. Specifically it was found to be more effective than sham acupuncture and no additional treatment. There was insuf

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An analysis of Canadian patients who had self-referred to acupuncturists for treatment for low back pain (LBP), found that they made significantly fewer visits to their physician for LBP care in the year following treatment (1.55 versus 4.45 in 1999,

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A Taiwanese study has compared the effects of acupressure (six treatments) with standard physical therapy ( i n c l u d i n g   p e l v i c   m a n u a l   t r a c t i o n ,   s p i n a l   m a n i p

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In a large study of the use of acupuncture for the treatment of around 10,000 patients with chronic low back pain, acupuncture was found to be more effective than a no-acupuncture control group and relatively cost-effective. (Pragmatic randomized tri

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A landmark study has been published by the British Medical Journal on the treatment of lower back pain by acupuncture. 241 adults were randomly assigned to receive either standard care or ten acupuncture treatments and asked to record pain levels,

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A study of electro-acupuncture for chronic low back pain in horses has found that it can successfully alleviate thoracolumbar pain and that the analgesic effect persists for up to two weeks after the treatment. (Evaluation of electroacupuncture tr

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A systematic review using the Cochrane database has assessed the effects of interventions for preventing and treating back and pelvic pain in pregnancy. Authors searched the Cochrane database for randomised controlled trials of any treatment used to

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Electroacupuncture is an effective treatment for intervertebral disk disease in dogs. Fifty dogs with signs of thoracolumbar intervertebral disk disease were randomly allocated to receive either electroacupuncture stimulation combined with standard Western medical treatment, or standard treatment alone. The dogs receiving electroacupuncture took significantly less time to recover and start walk

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Another result from the large multi-centre German Acupuncture Trials (GERAC), suggests that both real and sham acupuncture are much more effective against chronic low back pain than conventional therapy. The patient- and observer-blinded randomised c

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A Japanese team has investigated the effect of acupuncture on perceived pain, mood disturbances and medical expenses related to low back pain (LBP) among employees of a steel company. In the intervention study, seventy-two workers, mean age 53, recei

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Authors from Northern Ireland have published a systematic review that supports the use of acupuncture as a treatment for low back pain (LBP). Twenty-three trials involving 6359 participants were included in the meta-analysis. The authors conclude tha

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A large American study has concluded that acupuncture for back pain results in persistent clinically meaningful improvement, which is better than that achieved with standard care. A group from Seattle carried out a large randomised controlled tria

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A pilot study designed to test the feasibility of a randomised controlled trial comparing the effectiveness of two frequencies of acupuncture treatment for chronic low back pain (LBP) has found that clinical improvements achieved within the first two

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One week of continuous auricular acupuncture decreases the pain and disability experienced by women with pregnancy-related low back and posterior pelvic pain. In a randomised controlled trial, American clinicians randomly assigned pregnant women to c

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Japanese researchers have found acupuncture to be superior to injection of local anaesthetic for the treatment of lower back pain. Twenty six patients were randomly allocated to either acupuncture or local anaesthetic injection at two to five of the

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A British author has suggested that the effect of acupuncture treatment on low back pain may be determined by the quality of the relationship between the patient and their mother during the first 18 months of their life. Previous authors have sugg

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One session of acupuncture seems to have an influence on the deformity of some scoliosis patients. In a controlled single blind crossover study, verum acupuncture, carried out according to TCM principles, was compared with sham acupuncture and jus

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Korean and Vietnamese biochemists have investigated the Chinese herb Gou Ji (Rhizoma Cibotii barometz - or chain fern rhizome) as a possible treatment for osteoporosis. The herb is also known in Vietnam as the vegetable lamb plant, based on a legend

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