Acupuncture for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain Relief: A Review of Randomized Trial Interview with:
Chenchen Wang MD, MSc
Professor of Medicine
Tufts University School of Medicine
 Director, Center For Complementary And Integrative Medicine                                             
Division of Rheumatology
Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA

Dr. Chenchen Wang
Dr. Chenchen Wang  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain is a complex disorder without effective treatment Acupuncture, originating in China more than 3,000 years ago, is one of the most popular sensory stimulation therapies. However, despite the fact that acupuncture is widely used for pain relief in a number of conditions including severe knee osteoarthritis, acute postoperative pain, musculoskeletal disorders, evidence of the effect of Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain relief is scarce.

Our study was to determine the efficacy of acupuncture for pain relief in this field. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Sixteen randomized controlled trials have examined the clinical efficacy of acupuncture in adults Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain. Evidence from most of the trials indicates that acupuncture is a safe and do have efficacy for relief of Musculoskeletal pain. compared to a variety of control groups, 4 studies suggest that acupuncture is similar to the control groups up to 12 weeks after treatment but that effect did not seem to last at 1 year follow up after discontinuing treatment. Significant differences between true and sham acupuncture indicate that acupuncture is more than a placebo despite these differences, which are relatively modest.

Overall, these findings are both clinically and scientifically important. Acupuncture has effects over and above those of sham acupuncture and is therefore of major importance for clinical practice. Acupuncture is one option worthy of further studies in pediatrics as Dr. Zhang is pediatrician rheumatologist. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Acupuncture seems safe and well tolerated in adult population with chronic but further studies need to test its safety and feasibility in children with chronic pain. Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic pain is therefore a reasonable referral option. If well accepted by children with chronic pain, well designed randomized controlled study is needed to further review the efficacy of acupuncture in pain reduction. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: To date, the most robust evidence to date demonstrates that acupuncture does have short-term benefits and is a reasonable referral option for patients with chronic pain. Further work is needed to understand the underlying mechanisms by which acupuncture can improve clinical symptoms.

This study was supported by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health of the National Institutes of Health (NIH, K24AT007323). The contents of this abstract solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health of the National Institutes of Health. Chenchen Wang MD, MSc, Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine Director, Center For Complementary And Integrative Medicine, Division of Rheumatology Tufts Medical Center, 800 Washington Street, Box 406 Boston, MA 02111 Email: [email protected]; Website:


 2019 ACR/ARP Annual Meeting

Acupuncture for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain: A Review of Randomized Controlled Trials

Yujuan Zhang1 and Chenchen Wang 21Floating Hospital at Tufts Medical Center, Boston, 2Tufts Medical Center, Boston

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Last Updated on November 12, 2019 by