PAINKILLERS:: Who needs drugs when acupuncture works?

If the NSAID painkillers cause gastric bleeding and the COX-2 variety can lead to heart problems, where can you turn? Step forward acupuncture, the painkilling method used by traditional Chinese medicine for a thousand years or so.
Western medicine has this week finally conceded that it does work. In two separate trials published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers found it was an effective pain reliever for people with neck pain and as an effective treatment for sufferers of osteoarthritis.
In the first trial, Dr George Lewith and colleagues at Southampton University compared acupuncture with electrical stimulation of acupuncture points on a group of 135n patients with neck pain. Those in the acupuncture group reported a ‘statistically significant’ reduction in the neck pain. “We need to understand why such a safe treatment is so effective in the long term,” Dr Lewith said.
Acupuncture was also found to be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis. A group of 570 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee were treated either with 26 sessions of acupuncture, or of ‘sham’ acupuncture where the needles are not inserted, or had educational sessions on lifestyle changes. At the end of the trial period the acupuncture group experienced greater improvements in pain levels and general mobility than those in either of the other two groups. “This echoes the results of studies we have been doing for 11 years now,” commented lead researcher Dr Brian Bergin, director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Not that you could get your hands on a COX-2 drug in the UK. In a move that suggests an unprecedented interest in public health, regulators have ordered doctor to stop prescribing the drugs.
Meantime the share price of Pfizer, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, has collapsed after news about problems with its COX-2 drug, Celebrex, finally reached the money markets.
Perhaps they could start investing in some needles.

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

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