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Controlled study of the analgetic effectivity of acupuncture
Grabow L
Arzneimittel-Forschung [Drug Research] 1994;44(4):554-558
clinical trial
4/10 [Eligibility criteria: No; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: No; Baseline comparability: Yes; Blind subjects: No; Blind therapists: No; Blind assessors: No; Adequate follow-up: No; Intention-to-treat analysis: No; Between-group comparisons: Yes; Point estimates and variability: Yes. Note: Eligibility criteria item does not contribute to total score] *This score has been confirmed*

Two methods were used to test the analgesic effectivity of acupuncture: (1) as a method of postoperative pain therapy several analgesic medications were compared with acupuncture; (2) extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL) was used us a clinical algesimeter to test the analgesic effect of analgesic medications and acupuncture to a controlled pain stimulus. In both groups the analgesic effectivity was placebo controlled. Both methods showed equally that the analgesic effect of acupuncture is similar to that of the placebo group. Thus acupuncture is not a generally useful form for the treatment of acute pain. On the other hand the results show that there is always a minority in the examined population, who is completely satisfied with acupuncture as sole treatment of pain. So the secret of acupuncture probably lies in the selection of patients sensitive to acupuncture. A further result of possible importance could be that it was evident that under controlled conditions postoperative wound pain may serve as a measure of pain analogue to ESWL as an algesimeter.

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