Article Text


Does acupuncture contribute to the treatment of Chronic Shoulder Pain (CSP)
  1. AF Molsberger
  1. Kasernensgstrasse 1B, Dusseldorf 40213, Germany


    Objective Response of Chinese acupuncture compared to conservative orthopaedic treatment and unspecific needling in pain treatment on CSP.

    Design Prospective, randomized controlled trial with three blinded parallel groups; follow up three months.

    Setting Outpatients of 26 orthopaedists, who have attended a 140 hours training course on acupuncture.

    Patients Four hundred and twenty seven out-patients with a history of CSP ≥ six weeks, VAS ≥ 50 mm were selected; three random groups, six weeks treatment. 308 patients reported after three months follow up. Two strata: age 25–45 and age 46–65.

    Interventions Group 1: VAP: 15 treatments of verum acupuncture (VAP). Group 2: SHM: 15 treatments of non-specific needling, sham acupuncture (SHM). Group 3: COT: conventional conservative orthopaedic treatment (COT). Patients were blinded to allocation between verum and sham acupuncture.

    Main Outcome Measures Primary endpoint: pain reduction ≥ 50% on VAS three months after the end of the treatment protocol. Secondary endpoints: global assessments on a 4-score scale directly after the end of the treatment protocol.

    Results The results after three months follow up are: Highly significant effect of CAP over SHM and COT in the whole sample (P<0.0001) and in Stratum1 (P<0.001) and Stratum2 (P<0.001).

    Conclusions Acupuncture is an important supplement in the management of CSP.

    BMBF grant: 01KT9411/9

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