Location Location Location. Acupuncture and chronic shoulder pain – CAM or Sham?

Acupuncture points. Verum acupuncture: one to three locus dolendi (Ahshi) points; local and distal points according to the channel and the individual location of the pain: ventral – Lung 1, 2; ventrolateral – Large Intestine 4, 11, 14, 15; lateral – Sanjiao 5, 13, 14; dorsal – Small Intestine 3, 9, depth of needle insertion 1–2 cm. Sham acupuncture: 4 needles above the medial part of the left and right tibia, with depth of needle insertion less than 5 mm. Figure 1 from Molsberger AF, Schneider T, Gotthardt H, Drabik A. PAIN 2010 Oct; 151(1): 146-154. This figure has been reproduced with permission of the International Association for the Study of Pain® (IASP®). This may not be reproduced for any other purpose without permission.

Having written a number of posts on acupuncture (see here, here, and here) I guess my particular biases are reasonably apparent. So imagine my surprise when a large RCT published in the journal “Pain” reports a significant and substantial effect of Chinese acupuncture in comparison with sham acupuncture or conventional orthopaedic therapy for … [Read more...]