ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Cranberries May Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Acupuncture Eases Side Effects of Head, Neck Cancer Treatments
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Scientists ID New Genes Tied to Crohn's Disease
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
Extra Pounds in Mid-Life Affect Later Mobility
CANCER
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
Vitamin D May Improve Melanoma Survival
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
CAREGIVING
With Age Comes Greater Risk of Hypothermia
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Study Links Pesticides to Birth Defects
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
DIABETES
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
DIET, NUTRITION
Fasting on Alternate Days May Make Dieting Easier
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pregnant Rural Women More at Risk
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
Vest Monitors 'Individual' Air Pollution
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids' Eye Injuries From Golf Clubs Rare But Severe
Unconscious Learning: In the Eye of the Beholder?
Don't Lose Sight of Halloween Safety
FITNESS
Diet, Exercise May Slow Kidney Disease Progression
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Biomarkers May Help Measure Rate of Decline in Dementia
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
FDA Bans Unapproved Prescription Cough, Cold and Allergy Meds
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Boosting Kids' Stroke IQ May Save Lives
Quick Orthopedic Repair Can Save Young Shoulders
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
MEN'S HEALTH
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
MENTAL HEALTH
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
SENIORS
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
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Pain-Relieving Powers of Acupuncture Unclear

So say Danish researchers who examined data from 13 acupuncture pain studies that included more than 3,000 patients.

The studies compared real acupuncture, placebo acupuncture and no acupuncture for a wide range of painful conditions such as knee osteoarthritis, migraine, low back pain and postoperative pain.

Compared to placebo acupuncture, real acupuncture offered only a small amount of relief (about 4 millimeters on a 100-mm pain scoring scale), according to the review authors. A 10-mm change on this scale is classified as "minimal" or "little change," which means the apparent relief offered by acupuncture seems to be below clinically relevant improvement.

The findings, published online Jan. 28 in the British Medical Journal, support a number of previous reviews that found no clear evidence that acupuncture offers effective pain relief.

Future studies should focus on reducing bias and trying to separate the physiological effect of using a needle and the psychological impact of the treatment ritual, said the researchers at the Nordic Cochrane Center in Copenhagen.

The overall effect of acupuncture in relation to usual care may not be large, but it may be clinically relevant for musculoskeletal conditions due to the limited treatment options and acupuncture's safety record and patient preference, Dr. Adrian White and Dr. Mike Cummings of the British Medical Acupuncture Society wrote in an accompanying editorial.

Future research should focus on a comparison of acupuncture with the best existing treatments for different conditions, they suggested.

More information

The U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has more about acupuncture.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: British Medical Journal, news release, Jan. 28, 2009

Last Updated: Jan. 28, 2009

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