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Summaries of recent papers
  1. Adrian White1,
  2. Mark Langweiler2,
  3. Michael Meinen3
  1. 1Primary Care Group, Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, Plymouth, Devon, UK
  2. 2Welsh Institute of Chiropractic, University of South Wales, Treforest, UK
  3. 3Denton Park Health Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Adrian White, Primary Care Group, Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, Honorary University Fellow, N14 ITTC Building, Plymouth Science Park, Plymouth, Devon PL6 8BX, UK; adrian.white{at}

Statistics from

Clinical effectiveness trials

Pain of dental anaesthetic injection


Crossover randomised controlled trial (RCT) (n=49).


Children scheduled for dental treatment using local anaesthesia received bilateral acupuncture at LI4 using indwelling fixed needles (Pyonex, 1.5 mm long, 0.2 mm diameter). This was started 5  min before the standardised anaesthetic procedure; the parents stimulated the needles by massage throughout. In repeat visits to the dentist, children were crossed over between acupuncture and no acupuncture.

Pain intensity during local anaesthetic injection, assessed by the patient with the Verbal Rating Scale, or Faces Pain Scale (0–10) for younger children, was the primary endpoint. Parent- and dentist-assessed pain intensity and heart rate were also recorded.


From 72 children, 49 completed the study but the dropout rate was not related to acupuncture. As shown in figure 1, children reported less pain when acupuncture was used (p<0.001). Their heart rate was also lower. The differences in pain scored by parents and dentists were not significant.

Figure 1

Pain of anaesthetic injection. Based on Clin J Pain 2015. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0000000000000222.


This seems a simple and useful procedure, reducing the experience of pain by 41%.

Third stage of labour

▸ OpenUrlPubMed

Sham-controlled RCT (n=76).


One hundred and twenty women who had just had a normal spontaneous birth with epidural anaesthesia were included in a single-blind randomised trial. Women were randomly assigned to receive true or sham acupuncture immediately after the cord was clamped. Controlled cord traction was not used.

In the first group, a single needle …

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