The aim of the study was to examine whether acupuncture is an effective additional pain treatment for endometriosis.
One hundred and one women aged 20-40 years participated and were randomised into two groups, each receiving two units of 10 acupuncture treatments, twice a week over a period of five weeks.
Group 1 received verum-acupuncture (normal acupuncture) during the first series, and group 2 received non-specific acupuncture (i.e. not needling specific acupuncture points).
After the first phase of 10 treatments, an observation period of at least two menstruation cycles was set, followed by a second phase. Prior to the study the patients’ actual pain intensity was recorded in order to create a baseline.
Throughout the study period, participants were asked to keep a ‘pain protocol’, in which they defined and recorded their pain according to the 10-point visual analogue scale (VAS).
Eighty-three out of a total of 101 patients finished the study. Group 1 showed a significant reduction of pain intensity after the first 10 treatments. In comparison, group 2 showed significant pain relief only after the cross-over.
Acupuncture treatment on specific acupuncture points appears to be an effective pain treatment for endometriosis, but this has to be confirmed in further study.
Ref : A randomised controlled cross-over trial. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2010 Nov;153(1):90-3).
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