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13 January 2012
Several recent studies show that acupuncture is an effective treatment for migraines. Dr. Molsberger, MD, of the Canadian Medical Association writes “acupuncture is more effective than no acupuncture” and is at the very least “as effective as a B-blocker (beta blocker).” These conclusions were directly taken from studies showing the efficacy of acupuncture care. He also reports that acupuncture is “effective and safe.” Also reported was that acupuncture is “more effective than flunarizine in decreasing the duration of migraine attacks.” He follows reports of these studies with other studies showing the efficacy of acupuncture for treating headaches, arthritis, lower back pain and shoulder pain.
Dr. Molsberger’s report is not without controversy. He citied a study showing that true acupuncture and sham acupuncture are both effective in the treatment of migraines in the short term. However, the same study also notes that true acupuncture is more effective measured 8 weeks after the acupuncture treatment.
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2. Schiapparelli P, Allais G, Castagnoli Gabellari I, et al. Non- pharmacological approach to migraine prophylaxis: part II. Neurol Sci 2010;31(Suppl 1):S137-9
3. Linde K, Streng A, Jurgens S, et al. Acupuncture for patients with migraine: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2005;293: 2118-25.
4. Diener HC, Kronfeld K, Boewing G, et al. Efficacy of acupunc- ture for the prophylaxis of migraine: a multicentre randomised controlled clinical trial. Lancet Neurol 2006;5:310-6.
5. Linde K, Allais G, Brinkhaus B, et al. Acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2009;(1):CD001218.
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7. Wang LP, Zhang XZ, Guo J, et al. Efficacy of acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis: a single-blinded, double-dummy, random- ized controlled trial. Pain 2011;152:1864-71.
8. Molsberger AF, Schneider T, Gotthardt H, et al. German Ran- domized Acupuncture Trial for chronic shoulder pain (GRASP) — a pragmatic, controlled, patient-blinded, multi-centre trial in an outpatient care environment. Pain 2010;151:146-54
9. Vas J, Ortega C, Olmo V, et al. Single-point acupuncture and physiotherapy for the treatment of painful shoulder: a multicen- tre randomized controlled trial. Rheumatology (Oxford) 2008; 47:887-93.
10. Scharf HP, Mansmann U, Streitberger K, et al. Acupuncture and knee osteoarthritis: a three-armed randomized trial. Ann Intern Med 2006;145:12-20.
11. Haake M, Muller HH, Schade-Brittinger C, et al. German Acupuncture Trials (GERAC) for chronic low back pain: ran- domized, multicenter, blinded, parallel-group trial with 3 groups. Arch Intern Med 2007;167:1892-8.
12. Endres HG, Bowing G, Diener HC, et al. Acupuncture for ten- sion-type headache: a multicentre, sham-controlled, patient-and observer-blinded, randomised trial. J Headache Pain 2007; 8:306-14.
13. Li Y, Zheng H, Witt CM et al. Acupuncture for migraine prophy- laxis: a randomized controlled trial. CMAJ; 2012 Jan. 9 [Epub ahead of print].
14. Unschuld PU. Chinesische medizin. Munich (Germany): CH Beck; 1997.
15. Witt CM, Reinhold T, Jena S, et al. Cost-effectiveness of acupuncture treatment in patients with headache. Cephalalgia 2008;28:334-45.
16. CMAJ 2012. DOI:10.1503 /cmaj.112032.
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