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Period pain acupuncture

At World Congress of Pain held in Montréal: Acupuncture for Pain

At World Congress of Pain held in Montréal, Canada, Acupuncture was featured in numerous presentations. I will cover the studies in more detail in another post, but there is a quick observation I would like to share here.

As far as physical therapies are concerned, acupuncture was a hand down winner in terms of the number of studies presented at the congress: there were 14 abstracts on acupuncture presented, but only 4 for physiotherapy, 1 for osteopathy and none for chiropractic.

Pain congress: Acupuncture vs physiotherapy, osteopahty and chiropractic

This illustrates how much interest and attention acupuncture is receiving from scientists compared to other modalities.

Acupuncture for TMJ

TMJ Acupuncture

Biting, into your favorite delicious chocolate bar, can be a painful experience when you suffer from the temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD or TMJD). But it is only one of the numerous symptoms TMJD can cause. Other symptoms may include headaches or migraines, tooth pain, to name a few.

Journal of Orofacial Pain has published a systematic review on acupuncture for the treatment of temporomandibular joint disorders.

The review included 19 randomized controlled trials. The results concluded that acupuncture was more effective for TMD symptoms than physical therapy. Acupuncture was also more effective than indomethacin plus vitamin B1 therapy, and a wait-list control. Furthermore, this natural treatment was safe with no serious adverse events reported by the studies.

Three of the studies, included in the review, compared acupuncture to a placebo. Researchers concluded acupuncture had a therapeutic effect beyond placebo.

All in all, acupuncture is natural, safe and effective treatment option for TMJ pain.

JAAPA logo: Acupuncture vs drugs pain relief

Acupuncture vs drugs

Amusing reasoning of advantages of acupuncture over drugs for pain relief in an article on military medicine:

“Imagine being a military medic on a combat patrol that is ambushed and suffers casualties. Although several of your wounded troops have painful injuries, their trigger fingers still work and you need them to continue fighting.

Instead of morphine, you grab your acupuncture needles and quickly stimulate the appropriate auricular acupoints. Pain relief is an essential component of combat casualty care; however, the use of narcotics risks taking the service member completely out of the fight.

Beyond pain control, the potential advantages of BA (battlefield acupuncture) to the injured warrior include staying in the fight with no alteration in sensorium and no nausea or vomiting. In addition, the use of narcotics would force the transport of patients on litters. More combat team members would be required to carry a patient than are required to provide ambulatory assistance for a patient still lucid enough to walk.”