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Pain Pract. 2015 Mar;15(3):279-91. doi: 10.1111/papr.12208. Epub 2014 Apr 28.

Acupuncture for acute postoperative pain after back surgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

Author information

1
School of Korean Medicine, Pusan National University, Yangsan, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Acupuncture is commonly used as a complimentary treatment for pain management. However, there has been no systematic review summarizing the current evidence concerning the effectiveness of acupuncture for acute postoperative pain after back surgery. This systematic review aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment for acute postoperative pain (≤1 week) after back surgery.

METHODS:

We searched 15 electronic databases without language restrictions. Two reviewers independently assessed studies for eligibility and extracted data, outcomes, and risk of bias. Random effect meta-analyses and subgroup analyses were performed.

RESULTS:

Five trials, including 3 of high quality, met our inclusion criteria. The meta-analysis showed positive results for acupuncture treatment of pain after surgery in terms of the visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain intensity 24 hours after surgery, when compared to sham acupuncture (standard mean difference -0.67 (-1.04 to -0.31), P = 0.0003), whereas the other meta-analysis did not show a positive effect of acupuncture on 24-hour opiate demands when compared to sham acupuncture (standard mean difference -0.23 (-0.58 to 0.13), P = 0.21).

CONCLUSION:

Our systematic review finds encouraging but limited evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment for acute postoperative pain after back surgery. Further rigorously designed clinical trials are required.

KEYWORDS:

acupuncture; back surgery; meta-analysis; pain; systematic review

PMID:
24766648
PMCID:
PMC4409074
DOI:
10.1111/papr.12208
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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