How Does Acupunture Affect Chronic Shoulder Pain

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Sun et al in 2001 have studied the use of acupuncture for frozen shoulder. The study was a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture as a treatment for frozen shoulder. There were thirty five subjects included in this study with a diagnosis of frozen shoulder. They were randomly divided to exercise group as the control group and exercise plus acupuncture as the treatment group. They were treated for a period of six weeks. The study evaluated functional mobility, power, and pain using Constant Shoulder assessment before treatment, at 6 weeks and at 20 weeks by a blinded assessor. Analysis was based on the intention-to-treat principle. The exercise plus acupuncture had significantly greater improvement compared to exercise group. The improvement in the exercise group was 39.8% (standard deviation 27.1) and the exercise plus acupuncture group was 76.4% (55.0) at 6 weeks assessment (P=0.048). The improvements were sustained at the 20-week re-assessment with 40.3% (standard deviation 26.7) in the exercise group and 77.2% (standard deviation 54.0) in the exercise plus acupuncture group (P=0.025) [35]. Guerra de Hoyos et al in 2004 studied the long term effect of acupuncture for shoulder pain. The study objective was to compare the efficacy of electro-acupuncture with placebo-acupuncture for the shoulder pain treatment. The study was a randomized placebo controlled trial. The subjects were recruited from public primary care clinics in Spain. The participants were patients aged from 25 to 83 years old with shoulder pain. They were randomly divided to electro-acupuncture group and skin non-penetrating placebo-acupuncture group. Both groups were allowed to take diclofenac if the pain was too severe. The prima... ... middle of paper ... ...ients with chronic shoulder pain. They recruited 18 patients with nonradiating shoulder pain for at least 6 months and with normal neurological findings. They were randomized into two groups, the trigger point acupuncture group and the sham acupuncture group. Each group receives five treatment sessions. Outcome measures were pain intensity (measured using visual analogue scale, VAS) and shoulder function (measured using Constant-Murley Score, CMS). After treatment, pain intensity between pretreatment and 5 weeks after TrP decreased significantly (p<0.001). Shoulder function also increased significantly between pretreatment and 5 weeks after TrP (p<0.001). Trigger point acupuncture showed better result compared to sham acupuncture (p=0.024). This study shows that trigger point acupuncture is more effective for chronic shoulder pain compared to sham acupuncture [44].

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