New research finds that acupuncture’s effectiveness for the relief of arthritis pain is dependent on acupuncture’s ability to stimulate histamines at the needling site. In the laboratory experiment, an injection of a histamine antagonist prior to acupuncture needling reduced the effectiveness of acupuncture’s ability to eliminate pain. This is one of numerous studies measuring the benefits of acupuncture for the relief of arthritis.
A recent analysis of fourteen controlled clinical trials involving 3,835 patients notes, “Acupuncture provided significantly better relief from knee osteoarthritis pain and a larger improvement in function than sham acupuncture, standard care treatment, or waiting for further treatment.” The researchers stated that acupuncture for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis is “better at relieving pain and restoring function” than both standard biomedical care and sham acupuncture.
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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 810512, 6 pages. doi:10.1155/2012/810512. In Adjuvant-Induced Arthritic Rats, Acupuncture Analgesic Effects Are Histamine Dependent: Potential Reasons for Acupoint Preference in Clinical Practice. Meng Huang, Di Zhang, Zhe-yan Sa, Ying-yuan Xie, Chen-li Gu and Guang-hong Ding.
Saudi Med J. 2012 May;33(5):526-32. Needle acupuncture for osteoarthritis of the knee. A systematic review and updated meta-analysis. Cao L, Zhang XL, Gao YS, Jiang Y. Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Shanghai Sixth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China.