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Chinese acupuncture is an effective treatment for chronic shoulder pain

The German Randomized Acupuncture Trial for chronic shoulder pain (GRASP) included 424 outpatients with chronic shoulder pain (CSP) of 6 weeks or more. Patients were randomly assigned to receive Chinese acupuncture, sham acupuncture (sham) or conventional conservative orthopedic treatment (COT). The patients did not know what type of acupuncture they received and were treated by 31 office-based orthopedists trained in acupuncture; all received 15 treatments over 6 weeks. Percentages of responders three months after the end of treatment were true acupuncture 65%, sham 24%, and COT 37%; directly after treatment percentages of responders were true acupuncture 68%, sham 40%, and COT 28%. The results are significant for true acupuncture over sham and COT for both end points. There was greater improvement of shoulder mobility (abduction and arm-above-head test) for the true acupuncture group versus the control group immediately after treatment and after 3 months. The trial indicates that Chinese acupuncture is an effective treatment for chronic shoulder pain.

Molsberger AF, Schneider T, Gotthardt H, Drabik A. Ruhr-University Bochum, Orthopaedic Surgery and Research, Germany. German Randomized Acupuncture Trial for chronic shoulder pain (GRASP) – a pragmatic, controlled, patient-blinded, multi-centre trial in an outpatient care environment. Pain. 151(1):146-54, 2010, Oct


   

 

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