Acupuncture: review and analysisof reports on controlled clinical trials

Over its 2500 years of development, a wealth of experience has accumulated in the practice of acupuncture, attesting to the wide range of diseases and conditions that can be effectively treated with this approach. Unlike many other traditional methods of treatment, which tend to be specific to their national or cultural context, acupuncture has been used throughout the world, particularly since the 1970s. In recognition of the increasing worldwide interest in the subject, the World Health Organization (WHO) conducted a symposium on acupuncture in June 1979 in Beijing, China. Physicians practising acupuncture in different countries were invited to identify the conditions that might benefit from this therapy. The participants drew up a list of 43 suitable diseases. However, this list of indications was not based on formal clinical trials conducted in a rigorous scientific manner, and its credibility has been questioned.

 

 

 

 

 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a pinched nerve (called the Median nerve) in the wrist. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is the inflammatory disorder that is caused due to repetitive stress, physical injury or any other condition that causes the tissues around the median nerve to inflated.

Actually carpal tunnel is a small canal or tunnel runs from the forearm through the wrist. Bones form three walls of the tunnel, which are bridged by strong, broad ligament.The median nerve passes through this tunnel, which actually supplies feeling to the thumb, index, and ring fingers, the nine tendons that flex the fingers and also provides function for the thenar muscles, which are actually the muscles at the base of the thumb.

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The Role of Hidden Food Allergy/Intolerance in Chronic Disease

Alan R. Gaby, M.D
Food allergy is well recognized in clinical medicine as a cause of acute attacks of asthma, angioedema and urticaria, and as a contributing factor in some cases of eczema and rhinitis.

These types of allergic reactions are considered to be mediated by IgE antibodies, and usually can be diagnosed by medical history and skin-prick or IgE-radioallergosorbent (RAST) tests.

Another type of food reaction, often referred to as “hidden” or “masked” food allergy,has been the subject of controversy for many years. Some practitioners have observed that hidden food allergies are a common cause of (or triggering factor for) a wide range of physical and emotional disorders. According to one estimate, as many as 60 percent of the population suffers from undetected food allergies.

A wide range of symptoms and disorders are reported to have a significant allergy component. See Table 1. On the other hand, many conventional physicians doubt hidden food allergy is a common problem, and some even deny altogether its existence as a clinical entity.

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Acupuncture Can Lower High Blood Pressure

Reviewed by Gary D. Vogin MD

June 11, 2001 — Some people swear by acupuncture. They’ll tell you how a few painless sessions as a human pincushion cured vicious migraines or relentless back pain. Others remain skeptical, dismissing the ancient practice as mumbo jumbo. Now, scientists investigating its actions in heart disease have found not only that acupuncture works, but why and how. One day, they tell WebMD, thatblood pressure medication might be replaced by a few pins and needles.

John C. Longhurst, MD, PhD, first became interested in acupuncture on a research trip to China. “I met an investigator who’d been doing work in acupuncture for years. I saw that he was a very good scientist,” he says. “I, like most scientists, thought acupuncture was a lot of hocus pocus. But when I saw his work, I knew there was something to it.”

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Acupuncture Relieves Pain and Improves Function in Knee Osteoarthritis

Acupuncture provides pain relief and improves function for people with osteoarthritis of the knee and serves as an effective complement to standard care. This landmark study was funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), both components of the National Institutes of Health. The findings of the study — the longest and largest randomized, controlled phase III clinical trial of acupuncture ever conducted — were published in the December 21, 2004, issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine *.

The multi-site study team, including rheumatologists and licensed acupuncturists, enrolled 570 patients, aged 50 or older with osteoarthritis of the knee. Participants had significant pain in their knee the month before joining the study, but had never experienced acupuncture, had not had knee surgery in the previous 6 months, and had not used steroid or similar injections. Participants were randomly assigned to receive one of three treatments: acupuncture, sham acupuncture, or participation in a control group that followed the Arthritis Foundation’s self-help course for managing their condition. Patients continued to receive standard medical care from their primary physicians, including anti-inflammatory medications, such as COX-2 selective inhibitors, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and opioid pain relievers.

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Acupuncture Treatments for Headaches

A small but increasing number of US physicians have found acupuncture to be a useful part of their practice, despite the inability to explain in terms acceptable to their colleagues how they obtained favorable results by this method of treatment. Thus every day in the United States and elsewhere, thousands of patients are being treated with acupuncture for a variety of issues and reporting favorable results.

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Slipped or Herniated Discs – Symptoms and Chiropractic Treatment Options

By Stephen Daniels

A spinal disc herniation, more commonly known as a slipped disc, is when one of the intervertebral discs of the spine is torn slightly, allowing the soft central portion to leak out and become trapped between the vertebrae. This injury is more common in the elderly and those whose occupation requires them to lift heavy loads, as age and stress wear at the discs over time. While herniated discs can be quite painful, chiropractic treatment can aid in reducing pain, improving spine health and possibly even preventing the necessity of surgery in some cases.

Herniated discs tend to occur towards the base of the spine, most notably the lumbar region and segments of the tailbone. It is possible for this injury to occur elsewhere, although these are generally caused by trauma as opposed to wear and tear

The first and most obvious symptom of this injury is constant, unrelenting pain. In minor cases, the pain may be barely noticeable. In fact, studies have shown that a large percentage of the population has some degree of slipped discs that in fact cause them no pain, and are quickly healed by the body without their knowledge. However, in severe cases the pain can be so horrible as to incapacitate the sufferer. These pains tend to occur on only one side of the body, and are not confined to the spine. It is typical for limbs, most often the knees and legs, to also be a source of extreme pain as the nerve endings are pinched by the vertebrae.

The key symptom of a serious slipped disc is severe pain which does not vary in location or intensity for very long periods, often continuing unabated for days, weeks or months. Some sufferers may even experience nausea or numbness in affected limbs. Careful examination by a chiropractor or other qualified health professional and probing of affected regions is necessary to give an accurate diagnosis and efficient treatment.

Some slipped discs will repair themselves if the patient is given time to rest and an opportunity to take stress off the spine by reclining. Three quarters of patients with this problem heal within about three months of their initial injury, with many recovering much sooner. Appropriate treatment from a chiropractor can help to speed recovery and reduce pain.

Medical doctors may recommend aspirin or other over the counter painkillers for pain relief during healing of minor slipped discs, and prescribe high-powered painkillers for more serious pain. However, the possible result of prescription painkillers is dependency on such drugs. Anti-inflammatory drugs may also be prescribed for patients who don’t show signs of recovery, in an attempt to help the disc shrink and be more quickly repaired by the body. In some cases, doctors will recommend back surgery to correct the problem.

By contrast, doctors of chiropractic use drug-free techniques such as manual adjustments to help correct subluxations, or misaligned vertebrae, which can cause herniated discs. Their techniques can provide effective pain relief without the need for medications. Many chiropractors also employ Cox flexion-distraction techniques to help correct slipped discs in the lower back. This method uses a special chiropractic table to gently stretch the lower spine in a series of slow, repetitive movements and decompress the discs, taking the pressure off the spinal nerves and allowing the center of the disc to return to its proper location.

Clinical studies have shown that over two thirds of patients who undergo a typical program of 12 flexion-distraction treatments report good to excellent improvement. In many cases, patients who otherwise would require surgery are able to heal without any invasive treatments. Because surgery on a slipped disc is risky, expensive, and often ineffective, it is highly recommended that sufferers try a chiropractor before turning to surgery.

 

 

Safety of spinal manipulation in the treatment of lumbar disk herniations: a systematic review and risk assessment.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To provide a qualitative systematic review of the risk of spinal manipulation in the treatment of lumbar disk herniations (LDH) and to estimate the risk of spinal manipulation causing a severe adverse reaction in a patient presenting with LDH.

DATA SOURCES:

Relevant case reports, review articles, surveys, and investigations regarding treatment of lumbar disk herniations with spinal manipulation and adverse effects and associated risks were found with a search of the literature.

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How Acupuncture Works in Treating Arthritis, Back Pain, Other Ills

Decoding an Ancient Therapy

High-Tech Tools Show How Acupuncture Works in Treating Arthritis, Back Pain, Other Ills

By MELINDA BECK

Acupuncture has long baffled medical experts and no wonder: It holds that an invisible life force called qi (pronounced chee) travels up and down the body in 14 meridians. Illness and pain are due to blockages and imbalances in qi. Inserting thin needles into the body at precise points can unblock the meridians, practitioners believe, and treat everything from arthritis and asthma to anxiety, acne and infertility.

As fanciful as that seems, acupuncture does have real effects on the human body, which scientists are documenting using high-tech tools. Neuroimaging studies show that it seems to calm areas of the brain that register pain and activate those involved in rest and recuperation. Doppler ultrasound shows that acupuncture increases blood flow in treated areas. Thermal imaging shows that it can make inflammation subside.

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