Longer needle retention improves effect of acupuncture on post-operative pain relief

Longer needle retention time improves the effect of acupuncture on post-operative pain relief and other discomforts associated with thyroidectomy. Chinese clinicians randomly divided 132 patients receiving thyroidectomy into a control group and three intervention groups. Patients received wrist-ankle acupuncture (WAA) with 30 (group 1), 45 (group 2) or 60 (group 3) minutes of needle retention, or sham WAA, within one hour of leaving the operating room. The decrease in pain scores post-intervention was statistically significant in group 1 compared with the control group, and in groups 2 and 3 compared with group 1. Pain scores in the four groups converged beyond 24 hours after the operation, suggesting that WAA's analgesic effect lasted for 6-12 hours post-operatively.

Treatment duration of wrist-ankle acupuncture for relieving post-thyroidectomy pain: A randomized controlled trial. J Integr Med. 2023 Mar;21(2):168-175.