Acupuncture has been used as therapeutic treatment for the health of the Chinese people for more than 3000 years; it is a system for diagnosing and treating disease using fine needles inserted into specific points of the body. Acupuncture can treat a wide variety of conditions. This article discusses the use of acupuncture in the management of pain of musculoskeletal and neurologic origin, with a focus on pain in spinal cord injuries.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate acupuncture treatment during labour with regard to pain intensity, degree of relaxation and outcome of the delivery. DESIGN: Randomised controlled trial. SETTING: Delivery ward at a tertiary care centre hospital in Sweden. POPULATION: Ninety parturients who delivered during the period April 12, 1999 and June 4, 2000. METHODS: Forty-six parturients were randomised to receive acupuncture treatment during labour as a compliment, or an alternative, to conventional analgesia. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Assessments of pain intensity and degree of relaxation during labour, together with evaluation of delivery outcome. RESULTS: Acupuncture treatment during labour significantly reduced the need of epidural analgesia (12% vs 22%, relative risk [RR] 0.52, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.30 to 0.92). Parturients who received acupuncture assessed a significantly better degree of relaxation compared with the control group (mean difference -0.93, 95% CI -1.66 to -0.20). No negative effects of acupuncture given during labour were found in relation to delivery outcome. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that acupuncture could be a good alternative or complement to those parturients who seek an alternative to pharmacological analgesia in childbirth. Further trials with a larger number of patients are required to clarify if the main effect of acupuncture during labour is analgesic or relaxing.
INTRODUCTION: The use of obstetric acupuncture in Denmark is increasing but its use in routine clinical practice has not been evaluated. MATERIAL AND METHODS: This retrospective uncontrolled study comprises 691 women who attended Frederiksberg Hospital during pregnancy and delivery. Their mean age was 30.5 +/- 4.3 year, mean parity 1.3 +/- 0.6 (71.8% were primiparous), and the mean gestational age was 39 +/- 3.7 weeks. A total of 563 of the women (81.5%) were in labour. The effect of acupuncture was evaluated by the pregnant women alone for the pregnancy-related indications and by both women and midwifes for labour-related indications. RESULTS: The women had acupuncture based on 997 individual indications (mean 1.4 +/- 0.5). Twenty-two indications were used. 78.8% of all treatments were for pain relief or anxiety. The scores were highly correlated between women and midwives as 42.2 and 40.6%, respectively, indicated "full effect" and 33.3 and 33.4% indicated "some effect". The midwives' scores were independent of the women's age, parity, gestational age and indication(s). One possible side effect was observed (temporary dropfoot). DISCUSSION: In this study, routine obstetric acupuncture was perceived as equally effective by the women and midwifes. The method is simple, inexpensive and without significant adverse effects. It deserves a place in the midwives' armamentarium.
We report on a pilot study we undertook to investigate if segmental acupuncture treatment, given two minutes prior to a regional inferior dental block (ID) with Prilocaine Hydrochloride, would reduce the onset time of a local anaesthetic. Thirty healthy people, who needed a regional inferior dental block (ID) as part of dental treatment in the lower jaw, were randomly allocated to three groups. They received segmental acupuncture, heterosegmental superficial acupuncture, or standard treatment (regional inferior dental block) without acupuncture. In the segmental acupuncture group, acupuncture was given within the innervation of the trigeminal nerve. The needles were left in for two minutes, followed by a regional inferior dental block (ID). In the second group, acupuncture needles were inserted superficially in extra-segmental points and left in for two minutes without stimulation, followed by the regional inferior dental block. A control group received standard treatment only, of a regional inferior dental block. The concept 'pain free for dental work' was defined as 'patients reporting pins and needles in the lower lip' and measured by a drilling test. Patients who reported no pain during the drilling test were included in the study. The time from administration of the injection to the patients' reporting pins and needles was recorded by an independent dental nurse. All tested patients reported sufficient anaesthesia during the drilling test. In the segmental acupuncture group, anaesthesia was achieved after 62 seconds, compared to the heterosegmental superficial acupuncture group, who took 115 seconds and the control group, who received standard treatment only, and took 119 seconds. The difference between the segmental acupuncture group and the heterosegmental superficial acupuncture group was statistically significant (p
BACKGROUND: Experience from our hospital has shown a significant increase in the use of epidural analgesia during labour. We wanted to see if this was a general trend in Norway, and wanted to find out for what kind of labour analgesia was offered in the different labour wards. MATERIAL AND METHOD: A questionnaire concerning obstetric analgesia and anaesthetic methods for caesarean section was sent to chief anaesthetists and head midwives in Norwegian hospitals. The information was compared to an identical questionnaire from 1996. In addition, data concerning obstetric analgesia was collected from the Norwegian Medical Birth Register. 77% of the anaesthetic departments and 88% of the labour wards responded to the questionnaire. RESULTS: The use of epidural analgesia was on an average 20.6% (range 0-40.5%), which is twice as much as in 1996. 75% answered that the parturients' wish for epidural analgesia was reason enough to give an epidural. 84% of caesarean sections were performed in regional anaesthesia and 16% were done in general anaesthesia. This represents a significant reduction in the use of general anaesthesia. 85% of the labour wards offered acupuncture, which is a tremendous increase compared to 1996. Systemic opioids are still widely used, and pethidine is still the most frequently used opioid. Pethidine's negative side effect profile has been widely focused on during the past decade. The hospital's information on the various analgesic methods available for labour analgesi, is clearly improved since 1996. CONCLUSION: Obstetric analgesia in Norwegian hospitals has improved substantially since the last survey.
Management of chronic pain is now not only medical but a very important social and economic problem. The approaches to its management in specialized pain control centers are discussed basing on the 20-year experience of the first such center in Russia: pain control clinic with therapeutic and diagnostic center "Integrative Medicine" at Research Center of Surgery. The problems of personnel for such pain control centers, cost-effect issues, diagnostic and therapeutic methods including an advanced technique, resonance electropuncture analgesia and therapy, are reviewed.
BACKGROUND: Three randomized controlled trials have shown that acupuncture during labor can reduce the use of epidural analgesia and meperidine. To supplement these trials, we have designed an observational study to answer the research question: "Do laboring women in a normal hospital setting who receive acupuncture require less epidural analgesia than those who do not receive acupuncture?" METHODS: Setting: Delivery ward of a tertiary care University hospital in Norway. Subjects: All attempted vaginal labors during the period 01.12.99-31.12.03 (n = 17,741). Statistical analysis: Multivariate logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: The dependent variable in the regression analysis was use of epidural analgesia. The independent variables were: use of acupuncture, use of nitrous oxide, use of meperidine, parity, ethnicity, age, duration of pregnancy, type of labor (induced or not), and duration of first stage of labor. In the multivariate analysis the odds ratio for having an epidural was 0.6 (95% CI 0.5-0.7) for the patients having acupuncture compared to those not having acupuncture. CONCLUSIONS: Women having acupuncture as labor analgesia in the clinical setting have a reduced use of epidural analgesia.