• Acupuncture Increases Effectiveness of Standard Medical Care for Chronic Pain and Depression

  • Acupuncture Increases Effectiveness of Standard Medical Care for Chronic Pain and Depression

    The University of York recently came out with a study that suggests acupuncture treatment can increase the effectiveness of standard medical care, reducing the level of chronic pain as well as depression. The report was published in the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Journals Library, where researchers illustrated evidence that shows acupuncture provides more than just a placebo effect, according to ScienceDaily.

    Chronic Pain

    The results compiled 29 high-quality clinical trials focusing on patients who were treated with acupuncture and standard medical care for chronic pain. In most of those trials, patients suffering from chronic pain treated with medical care AND acupuncture were tested against others who just received standard medical care, including anti-inflammatory medication and physiotherapy. Approximately 18,000 patients were involved in the trials, suffering from chronic pain related to the head, neck, lower back and knee.

    Using acupuncture vs. standard medical care alone acupuncture was found to greatly reduce the number of headaches and migraine attacks for those patients. It also cut down on the severity of their neck and lower back pain. Acupuncture also demonstrated the ability to reduce the pain and disability stemming from osteoarthritis. This benefited patient so greatly, that they were able to reduce their dependance of anti-inflammatory drugs. The study also found that acupuncture was a more cost effective method of pain management tool than drug therapies.

    Hugh MacPherson, Professor of Acupuncture Research, pointed out that there has been an increase in health care professionals turning to acupuncture as an intervention. And with four million acupuncture treatments given every year in the UK, which is where the study took place, there is limited evidence to show how effective this form of treatment is. Researchers hope to change all that. They want this information readily available to policy and decision makers to ensure wider access to acupuncture.


    In addition, these researchers conducted a new clinical trial for depression featuring a combination of acupuncture and counseling vs. the effectiveness of medication like anti-depressants alone. The study comprised 755 patients, and results showed that both acupuncture and counseling together significantly lessened the severity of depression. These benefits lasted up to 12 months after treatment.

    Although the primary way to treat depression has always been anti-depressants, this new information is hopeful for those who want to forego drugs and focus on holistic treatments instead.

    Professor MacPherson states that this new data represents a big step forward in the treatment of chronic pain and depression. This allows practitioners and patients to make better, more informed decisions with confidence. In summary, acupuncture is more cost effective and can reduce pain levels while boosting mood levels. This leads to less of a reliance on habit-forming pain medications.

    Contact Metro Detroit Acupuncture

    Those who suffer from chronic pain and depression in Michigan can rely on acupuncture for effective treatment. Contact Metro Detroit Acupuncture now at 248-432-2846. We have extensive experience with acupuncture as a treatment for depression as well as chronic pain.