A large study conducted by the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in the USA has found that acupuncture can be helpful in reducing chronic pain.
Acupuncture is a complementary therapy in which very fine needles are inserted into the skin at specific points, with the aim of helping to alleviate physical symptoms such as pain, arthritis, and hot flushes.
The researchers analysed data from 29 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with a total of 17,922 study participants, and found that those who received acupuncture reported less pain than those who did not receive acupuncture.
The researchers conclude that acupuncture is an effective option to help manage chronic pain.
If you experience ongoing pain, you may like to discuss acupuncture treatment with your doctor, who can refer you to a qualified acupuncture practitioner.
If you experience chronic pain, your GP can develop a GP Management Plan for you. GP Management Plans help people with chronic medical conditions by providing an organised approach to their health care. You may be eligible to receive a Medicare rebate for up to five visits per calendar year to the practitioners identified in your plan, which can include a qualified acupuncture therapist such as a physiotherapist or GP.
You may also like to ask your private health fund if they provide a reimbursement for acupuncture.
- Read a transcript of, or listen to, a segment from the ABC's AM program on this issue [link opens in a new window]
- Read the research abstract, published in the Journal Archives of Internal Medicine [link opens in a new window]