(HealthDay) – Electroacupuncture and auricular acupuncture are more effective than conventional care at reducing chronic musculoskeletal pain in cancer survivors, according to a study published online March 18 in JAMA Oncology.
Jun J. Mao, Dr. Med. The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and colleagues evaluated the effectiveness of electroacupuncture (145 patients) or auricular acupuncture (143 patients) compared to conventional care (72 patients) for chronic musculoskeletal pain in cancer survivors. Improvement in musculoskeletal pain was assessed at week 12.
The researchers found that electroacupuncture reduced the severity of pain by 1.9 points, and auricular acupuncture reduced the severity by 1.6 points from baseline to week 12 compared with conventional care. Auricular acupuncture was not inferior to electroacupuncture. Side effects were mild, 10.5 percent of patients receiving auricular acupuncture, and 0.7 percent of patients receiving electroacupuncture discontinued treatment due to adverse events.
“In this randomized clinical trial of various cancer survivors with chronic musculoskeletal pain, electroacupuncture and auricular acupuncture improved pain severity, pain-related functional impairment, and reduced quality of life and reduced analgesic use compared with conventional care,” the authors write.
Two authors discovered financial links to the biopharmaceutical industry; one author discovered links with Tibet Cheezheng Tibetan Medicine Co.
Acupuncture, acupressure can help cancer patients control pain
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