Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 187–189 | Cite as

Acupuncture for pain: An overview of Cochrane reviews

Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine

Abstract

Objective

Cochrane reviews have the reputation for being more transparent and rigorous than other reviews. The aim of this overview was to evaluate and summarize Cochrane reviews of acupuncture for the treatment of any type of pain.

Methods

We searched the Cochrane Database and evaluated the Cochrane reviews that were concerned specifically with the effectiveness of acupuncture for pain. Data were extracted according to pre-defined inclusion criteria by two independent reviewers.

Results

Eight Cochrane reviews were included. They were all of high methodological quality. They related to a wide range of pain syndromes. Four reviews concluded that acupuncture is effective for migraines, neck disorders, tension-type headaches, and peripheral joint osteoarthritis; one review failed to demonstrate type the effectiveness of acupuncture for rheumatoid arthritis; and three reviews were inconclusive for shoulder pain, lateral elbow pain, and low back pain.

Conclusion

Several Cochrane reviews of acupuncture for a wide range of pain conditions have recently been published. All of these reviews were of high quality. Their results suggest that acupuncture is effective for some but not all types of pain.

Keywords

acupuncture pain Cochrane review evidence 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Han JS. Acupuncture analgesia: Areas of consensus and controversy. Pain 2010 Nov B. [Epub ahead of print].Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ernst E, Lee MS, Choi TY. Acupuncture: Does it alleviate pain and are there serious risks? Pain 2011. In Press.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    The Cochrane Collaboration. Cochrane reviews. Available at http://www.cochrane.org/cochrane-reviews. Accessed at 20, Dec, 2010.
  4. 4.
    Manheimer E, Wieland S, Kimbrough E, Cheng K, Berman BM. Evidence from the cochrane collaboration for traditional chinese medicine therapies. J Altern Complement Med 2009;15:1001–1014.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Manheimer E, Cheng K, Linde K, Lao L, Yoo J, Wieland S, et al. Acupuncture for peripheral joint osteoarthritis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2010;CD001977.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Linde K, Allais G, Brinkhaus B, Manheimer E, Vickers A, White Adrian R. Acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2009;CD001218.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Linde K, Allais G, Brinkhaus B, Manheimer E, Vickers A, White Adrian R. Acupuncture for tension-type headache. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2009;CD007587.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Trinh K, Graham N, Gross A, Goldsmith Charles H, Wang E, Cameron Ian D, et al. Acupuncture for neck disorders. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2006;CD004870.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Casimiro L, Barnsley L, Brosseau L, Milne S, Welch V, Tugwell P, et al. Acupuncture and electroacupuncture for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2005;CD003788.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Green S, Buchbinder R, Hetrick Sarah E. Acupuncture for shoulder pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2005;CD005319.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Furlan AD, van Tulder MW, Cherkin D, Tsukayama H, Lao L, Koes BW, et al. Acupuncture and dry-needling for low back pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2005;CD001351.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Green S, Buchbinder R, Barnsley L, Hall S, White M, Smidt N, et al. Acupuncture for lateral elbow pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2002;CD003527.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Manheimer E, Eaton K, Lao L, White Adrian R, Morozova O. Acupuncture for the treatment of post-operative pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2006;CD006042.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Paley CA, Johnson MI, Tashani OA, Bagnall A-M. Acupuncture for cancer pain in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2009;CD007753.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Smith CA, He L, Zhu X, Song J. Acupuncture for primary dysmenorrhoea. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2009;CD007854.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Wang P, Zhao J, Wu T. Acupuncture for postherpetic neuralgia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2009;CD007793.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Zhu X, Hamilton Kindreth D, McNicol Ewan D. Acupuncture for pain in endometriosis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2009;CD007864.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Higgins JPT, Green S. Cochrane handbook of systematic reviews of interventions. West Sussex, Wiley-Blackwell, 2008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kong JC, Lee MS, Shin BC. Randomized clinical trials on acupuncture in korean literature: a systematic review. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2009;6:41–48.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Chinese Association of the Integration of Traditional and Western Medicine and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brain Disease Research CenterKorea Institute of Oriental MedicineDaejeonSouth Korea
  2. 2.Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical SchoolUniversity of ExeterExeterUK
  3. 3.Brain Disease Research CenterKorea Institute of Oriental MedicineDaejeonSouth Korea

Personalised recommendations