Acupuncture: Does it alleviate pain and are there serious risks? A review of reviews

  title={Acupuncture: Does it alleviate pain and are there serious risks? A review of reviews},
  author={Edzard Ernst and Myeong Soo Lee and Tae-Young Choi},

Tables from this paper

Journal Club

  • R. Püllen
  • Medicine
    Complementary Medicine Research
  • 2011
Several systematic reviews of acupuncture have generated little truly convincing evidence that acupuncture is effective in reducing pain, and serious adverse effects continue to be reported.

Acupuncture for Low Back Pain: An Overview of Systematic Reviews

Systematic reviews of variable quality showed that acupuncture, either used in isolation or as an adjunct to conventional therapy, provides short-term improvements in pain and function for chronic LBP.

Safety of Acupuncture: Overview of Systematic Reviews

Acupuncture is increasingly used worldwide. It is becoming more accepted by both patients and healthcare providers. However, the current understanding of its adverse events (AEs) is fragmented. We

Acupuncture for the Relief of Chronic Pain: A Synthesis of Systematic Reviews

It is suggested that an enriched enrolment with randomised withdrawal design may overcome some of these methodological shortcomings of RCTs and improve the quality of evidence so that healthcare providers and commissioners can make informed choices on the interventions which can legitimately be provided to patients living with chronic pain.

Thoughts on Ernst's Review of Reviews.

Concerns are explored about the scientific nature of the article, which seemed to have missed important literature demonstrating the safety of acupuncture, and the methods lack sufficient power to provide validity for the conclusions made.

A systematic review of reviews of systematic reviews of acupuncture

Conclusions were positive for nausea and vomiting and some types of pain, but negative for smoking cessation, and recommend that high-quality RCTs should be conducted in the areas where most promise has already been shown.

Acupuncture for Erectile Dysfunction: A Systematic Review

The available evidence supporting that acupuncture alone improves ED was insufficient and the available studies failed to show the specific therapeutic effect of acupuncture, suggesting that acupuncture combined with psychological therapy was superior to psychological therapy alone.

The Immediate Analgesic Effect of Acupuncture for Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials on disease-related pain to critically evaluate the immediate effect of acupuncture for pain relief found acupuncture was associated with a greater immediate pain relief effect compared to sham acupuncture and analgesic injections.

How do Systematic Reviews of Acupuncture for Pain Relief Incorporate Risk of Bias Assessments into the Synthesis? A Methodological Study

The aim of this study was to identify how critical appraisals of risk of bias (RoB) inform the synthesis of evidence in SRs of acupuncture for pain relief, and nearly half of them failed to incorporate the RoB assessment into the synthesis.



Acupuncture analgesia during surgery: a systematic review

Effectiveness of Acupuncture for Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review

There is moderate evidence that acupuncture is more effective than no treatment, and strong evidence of no significant difference between acupuncture and sham acupuncture, for short-term pain relief, but the effectiveness of acupuncture compared with other forms of conventional therapies still requires further investigation.

The Safety of Acupuncture – Evidence from the Uk

The risks associated with acupuncture can be classified as negligible, and acupuncture is a very safe treatment in the hands of competent practitioners.

[Evidence for laser acupuncture in cases of orthopedic diseases : a systematic review].

Better, well designed randomized studies with higher power are mandatory in orthopedic diseases and laser acupuncture is advantageous in terms of side effects compared to classical acupuncture techniques.

Systematic reviews of complementary therapies - an annotated bibliography. Part 1: Acupuncture

A large number of systematic reviews on acupuncture exists, and what is most obvious from these reviews is the need for well-designed, larger clinical trials.

Acupuncture for labor pain management: A systematic review.

Prospective studies of the safety of acupuncture: a systematic review.

Acupuncture for fibromyalgia--a systematic review of randomized clinical trials.

The notion that acupuncture is an effective symptomatic treatment for fibromyaligia is not supported by the results from rigorous clinical trials and, on the basis of this evidence, acupuncture cannot be recommended for Fibromyalgia.

Effectiveness of acupuncture for migraine: critical literature review.

Findings agreed with previous literature reviews that the majority of studies of acupuncture for migraine research are of poor quality, with conflicting results, and large, high quality randomized controlled trials ofupuncture for migraine are needed.