Randomized controlled trials of acupuncture for neck pain: systematic review and meta-analysis.
ABSTRACT The objectives of this study were to assess the effectiveness and efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of neck pain.
The following computerized databases were searched from their inception to January 2008: MEDLINE (PubMed), ALT HEALTH WATCH (EBSCO), CINAHL, and Cochrane Central.
Systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted on randomized controlled trials of acupuncture for neck pain. Two (2) reviewers independently extracted data concerning study characteristics, methods, and outcomes, as well as performed quality assessment based on the adapted criteria of Jadad.
Fourteen (14) studies were included in this review. Meta-analysis was performed only in the absence of statistically significant heterogeneity among studies that were selected for testing a specific clinical hypothesis. While only a single meta-analysis was done in previous reviews, this review performed nine meta-analyses addressing different clinical issues. Seven out of nine meta-analyses yielded positive results. In particular, the meta-analysis based on the primary outcome of short-term pain reduction found that acupuncture was more effective than the control in the treatment of neck pain, with a pooled standardized mean difference (SMD) of -0.45 (95% confidence interval [CI], -0.69 to -0.22). Moreover, the meta-analysis with a pooled SMD of -0.53 (95% CI, -0.94 to -0.11) showed that acupuncture was significantly more effective than sham acupuncture for pain relief. However, there was limited evidence based on the qualitative analysis of the trial data to support the above conclusions. We provided a detailed analysis on the issue of heterogeneity of the studies involved in meta-analysis and examined the consistencies and inconsistencies among the present review and two other reviews conducted previously.
The quantitative meta-analysis conducted in this review confirmed the short-term effectiveness and efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of neck pain. Further studies that address the long-term efficacy of acupuncture for neck pain are warranted.
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Co-morbid symptoms (for example, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and fatigue) are particularly common in military fighters returning from the current conflicts, who have experienced physical and/or psychological trauma. These overlapping conditions cut across the boundaries of mind, brain and body, resulting in a common symptomatic and functional spectrum of physical, cognitive, psychological and behavioral effects referred to as the 'Trauma Spectrum Response' (TSR).While acupuncture has been shown to treat some of these components effectively, the current literature is often difficult to interpret, inconsistent or of variable quality. Thus, to gauge comprehensively the effectiveness of acupuncture across TSR components, a systematic review of reviews was conducted using the Samueli Institute's Rapid Evidence Assessment of the Literature (REAL(C)) methodology. METHODS: PubMed/MEDLINE, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, EMBASE, CINAHL, and PsycInfo were searched from inception to September 2011 for systematic reviews/meta-analyses. Quality assessment was rigorously performed using the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN 50) checklist and The Grading of Recommendation Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) methodology. Adherence to the Standards for Reporting Interventions in Clinical Trials in Acupuncture (STRICTA) criteria was also assessed. RESULTS: Of the 1,480 citations identified by our searches, 52 systematic reviews/meta-analyses, all high quality except for one, met inclusion criteria for each TSR component except post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and sexual function. The majority of reviews addressed most STRICTA components, but did not describe safety. CONCLUSIONS: Based on the results of our review, acupuncture appears to be effective for treating headaches and, although more research is needed, seems to be a promising treatment option for anxiety, sleep disturbances, depression and chronic pain. It does not, however, demonstrate any substantial treatment benefit for substance abuse. Because there were no reviews on PTSD or sexual function that met our pre-defined inclusion criteria, we cannot comment on acupuncture's effectiveness in treating these conditions. More quality data are also needed to determine whether acupuncture is appropriate for treating fatigue or cognitive difficulties. Further, while acupuncture has been shown to be generally safe, safety was not described in the majority of studies, making it difficult to provide any strong recommendations, Future research should address safety reporting in detail in order to increase our confidence in acupuncture's efficacy across the identified TSR components.Systematic reviews. 10/2012; 1(1):46.
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ABSTRACT: To conduct an overview (review-of-reviews) on pharmacological interventions for neck pain. Computerized databases and grey literature were searched from 2006 to 2012. Systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials (RCT) in adults with acute to chronic neck pain reporting effects of pharmacological interventions including injections on pain, function/disability, global perceived effect, quality of life and patient satisfaction. Two independent authors selected articles, assessed risk of bias and extracted data The GRADE tool was used to evaluate the body of evidence and an external panel provided critical review. We found 26 reviews reporting on 47 RCTs. Most pharmacological interventions had low to very low quality methodologic evidence with three exceptions. For chronic neck pain, there was evidence of: a small immediate benefit for eperison hydrochloride (moderate GRADE, 1 trial, 157 participants);no short-term pain relieving benefit for botulinum toxin-A compared to saline (strong GRADE; 5 trial meta-analysis, 258 participants) nor for subacute/chronic whiplash (moderate GRADE; 4 trial meta-analysis, 183 participants) including reduced pain, disability or global perceived effect; andno long-term benefit for medial branch block of facet joints with steroids (moderate GRADE; 1 trial, 120 participants) over placebo to reduce pain or disability; While in general there is a lack of evidence for most pharmacological interventions, current evidence is against botulinum toxin-A for chronic neck pain or subacute/chronic whiplash; against medial branch block with steroids for chronic facet joint pain; but in favour of the muscle relaxant eperison hydrochloride for chronic neck pain.The Open Orthopaedics Journal 01/2013; 7:473-93.
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Many patients with chronic pain, including those with chronic whiplash-associated disorders (WAD), show features of central sensitization. Randomized trials examining whether treatments are able to influence the process of central sensitization in patients with chronic WAD are emerging. Therefore, the present study aimed at examining whether acupuncture results in activation of endogenous analgesia and relief in symptoms in patients with chronic WAD. METHODS: In this randomized crossover pilot trial with blinded assessors, each patient (n = 39) received two treatment sessions of identical duration, with acupuncture and relaxation therapy randomly crossed over in visit 2. Primary outcome measurement included immediate activation of endogenous analgesia i.e., pressure pain sensitivity and conditioned pain modulation. Secondary outcome measurements included pain relief and reduced disability level. RESULTS: Local pressure pain sensitivity at baseline and during conditioned pain modulation decreased significantly more following acupuncture compared with relaxation (time × group interactions: p < 0.001), both in the neck and at a site distinct from the painful region. When comparing the effects of acupuncture versus relaxation, no differences were observed on conditioned pain modulation, temporal summation of pressure pain, neck disability or symptom severity (all p-values >0.05). CONCLUSION: It was shown that one session of acupuncture treatment results in acute improvements in pressure pain sensitivity in the neck and calf of patients with chronic WAD. Acupuncture had no effect on conditioned pain modulation or temporal summation of pressure pain. Both acupuncture and relaxation appear to be well-tolerated treatments for people with chronic WAD. These findings suggest that acupuncture treatment activates endogenous analgesia in patients with chronic WAD.European journal of pain (London, England) 09/2012; · 3.37 Impact Factor