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Acupunctures Works To Relieve Arthritis Pain

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Posted 21 December 2004 - 09:01 PM

Acupunctures works to relieve arthritis pain: study
Last Updated Mon, 20 Dec 2004 22:28:32 EST

TORONTO - Combining acupuncture with standard drug therapy can relieve pain and improve movement in people with arthritis of the knee, according to a new study.

"For the first time, a clinical trial with sufficient rigour, size, and duration has shown that acupuncture reduces the pain and functional impairment of osteoarthritis of the knee," said Dr. Stephen Straus in a release.

The results also suggest acupuncture can help improve quality of life for people with knee osteoarthritis, added Straus, a director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the U.S. government agency that funds medical research.

In the trial, Dr. Brian Berman of the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore and his colleagues studied 570 patients with an average age of 65 who had osteoarthritis of the knee.

Participants were randomly assigned to receive one of three treatments for 26 weeks, in addition to standard care such as anti-inflammatory medications and pain relievers:

* Acupuncture inserting thin needles into certain body points to stimulate improved health.
* Sham acupuncture patients feel some sensation from a needle but it isn't actually inserted.
* A self-help course for managing pain.

By week eight, patients receiving true acupuncture began showing a significant increase in function and by week 14 a significant decrease in pain, compared to those in the other groups, Berman's team reported in the Dec. 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine

What sets the study apart from previous research is the extent of time the patients were followed, said Dr. Shawn Thistle, an acupuncture practitioner in Toronto.

The use of sham acupuncture also controlled for the placebo effect, in which patients expect relief with no real treatment.

* FROM JULY 10, 2002:Common arthritic knee surgery no better than placebo: study

Nevertheless, the study has its limitations. A sizeable number of patients dropped out over the 26 weeks, reducing the reliability of the results.

Also, the findings don't show acupuncture is better than other treatments or if it is more cost-effective than drugs.

Since acupuncture is generally safe, researchers say the treatment deserves further study, given the recent news about the dangerous side-effects of some arthritis medications.

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Posted 21 December 2004 - 09:02 PM

Common arthritic knee surgery no better than placebo: study
Last Updated Thu, 11 Jul 2002 10:56:42 EDT

HOUSTON, TEX. - Patients who have arthroscopic surgery for arthritis in their knees may feel better even though the surgery didn't help, a new study suggests.

A team of surgeons in Texas tested the procedure by performing the surgery on 180 patients with osteoarthritis in the knee. Two-thirds got two different types of the surgery.

But for a third, the surgeons faked it they went through the motions of giving a tranquilizer, making three incisions and pretending to do the surgery.

All participants in the study had to sign their chart to show they understood they might receive the placebo surgery, which would not help their arthritic knee.

Most arthroscopic surgery on the knee is done to repair injured ligaments and cartilage, which doctors say is useful. The experiment was designed to see whether the surgery helped reduce pain and increase mobility in patients with an arthritic knee.

The researchers found patients who underwent the placebo surgery were just as likely to report pain relief as those who received the real procedure. It seems for osteoarthritis patients, the relief is all in patients' heads.

"I don't believe that arthroscopic surgery for osteoarthritis of the knee is any more beneficial than a placebo effect, and I don't recommend it," said Dr. Bruce Moseley, an orthopedics professor at Baylor College in Houston and one of the study's co-authors.
Dr. Bruce Moseley

Former skier Todd Brooker of Collingwood, Ont., has had 13 knee surgeries for injuries and arthritis that developed after a fall in January 1987 that ended his skiing career.

"My doctor would go in through the scope and he would basically vacuum stuff out of there and clean up that whole area," Brooker said. He said it's hard to accept that he feels better because of the placebo effect.

Provincial health ministers will have to re-think paying for surgery
Dr. John Cameron

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. John Cameron of Toronto said the study provides the ammunition he needs to convince osteoarthritis patients that the procedure doesn't work. "If it's isn't doing them any good, we shouldn't be doing it," said Cameron. "That's the message of this paper."

One of the study's investigators, Dr. Nelda Wray of the Houston VA Medical Center and Baylor College, said the study makes doctors question whether money spent on the procedures could be put to better use. Provincial governments will now have to determine if the procedure is just an expensive placebo.

The study appears in Thursday's issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

Written by CBC News Online staff

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Posted 21 December 2004 - 09:41 PM

Proof That Acupuncture Works
By Nic Fleming
Health Correspondent
The Telegraph - UK

Acupuncture significantly reduces pain and improves function in those suffering osteoarthritis of the knee, according to research published yesterday.

Patients who underwent the ancient Chinese needle treatment reported a 44 per cent average reduction in pain and a 40 per cent improvement in mobility.

While acupuncture has been gaining mainstream acceptance, particularly for pain relief, over the last decade the latest study is one of the largest and longest to show such conclusive effects.

Brian Berman, of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, said: "We have demonstrated that traditional Chinese acupuncture is an effective complement to conventional arthritis treatment and can be successfully employed as part of a multi-disciplinary approach to treating the symptoms of osteoarthritis." Acupuncture, which is at least 2,000 years old, is based on the idea that energy flows along channels called meridians in the body.

Practitioners say they block or stimulate these channels by inserting thin needles at precise points. Some have suggested the ancient treatment works by influencing the body's electromagnetic fields.

In Prof Berman's study, a group of 570 patients aged 50 or older suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee was split into 190 who received acupuncture, 191 who received a sham treatment simulating acupuncture and 189 who attended self-help lessons.

The volunteers were assessed at four, eight, 14 and 16 weeks. After eight weeks, participants receiving acupuncture were showing an improvement in mobility and by 14 weeks a significant decrease in pain.

They continued to receive standard medical care including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers. By the end of the trials, the reported reduction in pain among those who had acupuncture was 44 per cent, 28 per cent for those who had sham treatment, and around 19 per cent for the self-help group.

The improvements in mobility were 40 per cent for those who had acupuncture, 33 per cent for the control group, and 20 per cent for the self-helpers.

Previous research into the effectiveness of acupuncture has been criticised because of the difficulty of faking needle insertion and therefore providing a general control group.

The research, published in the American journal the Annals of Internal Medicine, was funded by two groups who are part of the National Institutes of Health in the United States.

Dr Stephen Straus, the director of the National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, said: "For the first time, a clinical trial with sufficient rigour, size and duration has shown that acupuncture reduces the pain and functional impairment of osteoarthritis of the knee."

Dr Stephen Katz, the director of National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, said: "This disease is one of the most frequent causes of physical disability among adults."

Three in 10 adults in Britain suffer some form of arthritis or joint pain, and two million patients visited their GPs complaining of osteoarthritis this year.

A separate British study, also published in the Annals of Internal Medicine yesterday, indicated that needle treatment appeared to help reduce neck pain.

George Lewith, a senior research fellow at the University of Southampton, found that in a group of 124 patients aged 18 to 80 those given acupuncture over 12 weeks reported a 72 per cent drop in neck pain, while those given sham treatment reported a 60 per cent reduction.

Dr Lewith said: "Our study implies that most of the improvement gained from acupuncture was not due to the needling process itself but due predominantly to the non-specific yet powerful effects which are probably part of the treatment process.

"Acupuncture is safe and effective in reducing pain. It also reduces the intake of pain-killers important in diminishing unwanted side-effects."

Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2004.

#4 User is offline   fairgo 

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Posted 22 December 2004 - 12:14 PM

I have to say that I have had some excellent accupuncture and some 'needles shoved in'. There is a huge difference and the true accupuncture is one of the definite 'things that work' for my pain.

#5 User is offline   Kiwee 

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 12:52 AM

I have found accupuncture works while the needles are in, at least in reducing pain...however it doesnt last much past getting out the door once the needles have been removed, sigh.

#6 User is offline   Juscallin1 

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 01:53 PM

;) Hi Kiwi,
Try going to a Chinese trained Acupuncturist. One who has practised in China.
It is the only thing that keeps me going. Mine also does maipulation and deep tissue work. He gets great results.
The results for me are not startling as mine is too long standing but at least it keeps me mostly off the medication.,and gives pain relief for several days, not hours like you!!
Acc should stop harassing the Acupuncturists, most of the properly trained ones do a great job and are very busy. As a result ACC want to keep investigating them for fraud and hassle them as they have " too many patients" and work too hard.
So there you are,
Seasons greetings to you and do hope you have more luck with the Scum next year.

#7 User is offline   layresearcher 

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 12:13 AM

I have got an electric acupuncture device that I am happy to loan anybody in Auckland free of charge..

I have learned i need to get a refundable bond.
Feedback I have indicates it's a very good pain maintenance device as opposed to a cure device.
I have had plenty of people with zero pain 4-5 mins after using it.

They have this quizical look on their faces and they are looking at and moving the painful portion of their body trying to work out what is going on.

Are people trying Noni juice or "Lifeline" Colostrum for pain?
I'd bet money that you would find them more effective than grass or medical drugs.
Tom 09 624 0068

I have gone into abit more detail here:

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#8 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 04:09 PM


A breakthrough for arthritic knees

By Bonnie Vaughan "First published: June 13th, 2012"

Basil eases arthritic pain
"I had a hip replacement at 49"
"How can I delay arthritis?"

A breakthrough for arthritic knees

Suffering with sore knees? A new treatment is being touted as a potential cure for arthritic knees.

Figures from the National Joint Replacement Registry show that the number of knee replacement surgeries since 2003 has soared by almost 55 per cent. The spike in surgeries is largely a result of an increase in those affected by osteoarthritis – the most common form of arthritis that represents more than 50 per cent of cases in Australia. Previously surgery was seen as a last and often painful resort to treating osteoarthritis of the knee. However a new treatment is being embraced by specialists as a potential cure that could ease sufferers' pain and discomfort forever.
The breakthrough treatment

The treatment is called fat-derived stem cell therapy. It supports the regeneration of joint and tendon disease by harvesting adult stem cells from the patient's own fat – specifically adipose tissue, found in the abdominal region. The cells are injected into the affected area to replace lost or damaged cells, reducing inflammation and encouraging the repair and regrowth of healthy tissue. Although fat-derived stem cell therapy is still in its infancy, early results indicate it may lead to cartilage regeneration, delaying the need for joint replacement by 10 or 20 years and possibly, if the disease is treated at the early stage, stop its progression altogether.

Research is still ongoing, yet the treatment has shown success in treating arthritic dogs and, more recently, humans. Regenerative medicine company Regeneus has been providing its version, HiQCell, to patients suffering from arthritis for the past year with a success rate exceeding 80 per cent. (More definitive data will be available in early 2013, when the results of a clinical trial at Sydney's Royal North Shore Hospital are released.)
How it works

The HiQCell treatment takes around an hour, performed while the patient is under oral sedation. Around 200 grams of abdominal fat is extracted, similar to a mini liposuction procedure. The stem cells are harvested from the patient's fat before they're injected directly into the knee, after which the patient is free to go home. "These cells, once they get into the joint, are very special," says Dr Diana Robinson, sports and exercise physician with Sydney Sportsmed Specialists, one of Regeneus' medical partners providing the treatment. "They sense the proteins involved in cartilage degradation in the joints and start secreting 'good' proteins in response to that. They then allow the existing cartilage-making and tendon-making cells to start producing new tissue."
Benefits and risks

According to Dr Robinson, the anti-inflammatory effects are almost immediate. "In terms of pain and improved function, we see benefits within 10 days," she says. "Patients report that their knee feels more stable and moves more freely. In some patients we've been able to show around 30 per cent cartilage regeneration after six months." Pain improvement ranges from 30 to 100 per cent.

The risks of fat-derived stem cell therapy are minimal. "[The fat] is a person's own material, so there are really no safety issues," says Regeneus co-founderProf Herbert, adding that the stem cells are harvested quickly and, unlike those derived from bone marrow, they're not grown and manipulated in a lab.

As with any surgical treatment, there is risk of infection or an adverse reaction to antibiotics. However, all HiQCell procedures are conducted in an operating theatre. "We make sure it's a safe and sterile procedure because it's disastrous to get an infection in the joint," Dr Robinson stresses. "So far we've had no patients with any infections or bleeding."

The patient will likely experience some pain and bruising from where the liposuction was performed, however this usually lasts between 10 to 14 days. "By far the majority have very little discomfort in the joint or tendon that's been injected," Dr Robinson assures.
How much does it cost?

The treatment costs $9,000. It's not yet covered by Medicare or private health insurance funds, but Regeneus has initiated discussions with insurance companies and WorkCover. "As the trial data comes out, we'll be in a strong position to continue those discussions and show them there's some real economic benefit to this as well as benefit to the patient," says Prof Herbert.
Who is eligible?

Anyone with early to mid-stage osteoarthritis. (Seriously degraded joints are unlikely to respond significantly.) If you have symptoms such as knee pain, stiffness or swelling, see your GP. Or to find out if you're at risk, register now at Launching later this year, this website will provide information and treatment advice plus links to healthcare providers in your area. Visit to find a HiQCell specialist.

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