7 Things About Acupuncture You May Not Know

January 11, 2018
Steven A. King, MD, MS

Here are 7 facts that support the use of acupuncture to manage pain (chronic and acute) that may surprise you. 

What does research say about the types of pain amenable to treatment with acupuncture? What are the current theories about how acupuncture works to relieve pain? Is there a lasting analgesic effect from a series of acupuncture treatments? The short slide show above offers answers to these questions and provides a few other facts you may not know about this ancient technique in widespread contemporary use. References 1. Vickers AJ, Linde K. Acupuncture for chronic pain. JAMA. 2014;311:955-956. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4036643/2. MacPherson H, Vickers A, Bland M, et al. Acupuncture for chronic pain and depression in primary care: a programme of research. Programme Grants for Applied Research. 2017;Vol.5,No.3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK409491/3. Karatay S, Okur SC, Uzkeser H, et al. Effects of acupuncture treatment on fibromyalgia symptoms, serotonin, and substance P levels: a randomized sham and placebo-controlled clinical trial. Pain Med. 2017; doi:10.1093/pm/pnx263.https://academic.oup.com/painmedicine/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/pm/pnx263/4689181?redirectedFrom=fulltext4. MacPherson H, Vertosick NE, Foster NE, et al. The persistence of the effects of acupuncture after a course of treatment: a meta-analysis of patients with chronic pain. Pain. 2017:158:784-793. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/277640355. Briggs JB, Shurtleff D. Acupuncture and the complex connections between the mind and the body. JAMA. 2017; 317:2489-2490. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2633891?redirect=true6. Tedesco D, Gori D, Desai KR, et al. Drug-free interventions to reduce pain or opioid consumption after total knee arthroplasty: as systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Surgery. 2017;152(10):e172872.doi:10:1001/jamasurg.2017.2872.https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamasurgery/article-abstract/2647847?redirect=true