Acupuncture works. This is hardly a controversial statement anymore, as a wide array of rigorous medical testing have supported the efficacy of this ancient treatment.
But until recently, a controversy continued to rage over whether acupuncture worked as a placebo, or as a true therapy. Many people believed that acupuncture worked because people want it to, rather than because it provides any meaningful medical benefit.
Now a new study seems to put this objection to bed. It includes a randomized set of patients with three options – two tiers of acupuncture, and a control that received “sham” acupuncture, i.e. a simulacrum of the real thing. The results:
All three groups found relief from pain, but both of the true acupuncture groups showed measurable physiological improvements in pain centers in the brain and nerves, while sham acupuncture did not produce such changes. Improvement in brain measures predicted greater pain relief three months after the tests, a long-term effect that placebo did not provide.
Consider this one more arrow in the quiver of orthopedic professionals for treating carpal tunnel syndrome. As a San Diego orthopedic surgeon, I am always scouring the literature for new or old ways to offer my patients lasting relief from the pain of a repetitive stress injury. Studies such as this one help me provide better care.
Want to learn more? Contact the carpal tunnel experts at AOSM here today.