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New study: acupressure relieves osteoarthritis pain


Self-acupressure treatment can relieve arthrosis pain and also significantly improve that of the affected everyday function. This has been shown by a recent study from the USA.

150 patients over the age of 65 participated in the randomized controlled study (mean age 73 years). The subjects were randomly divided into three groups. Group 1 received the usual treatment (control group). The second group performed acupressure on themselves and the subjects in the third group were instructed to do a sham acupressure. The participants in the control group were also able to receive acupressure training after the end of the study.

The acupressure group should stimulate nine different acupoints for pain reduction with the help of a special massage wood. In addition, the patients were given information material and an instructional DVD to take home. In the group with sham acupressure, nine points were also stimulated, but they were not acupuncture points. Both acupressure and sham acupressure patients also received their usual pain therapy. The participants in the therapy groups should carry out the application once a day, five days a week for two months.

After four and eight weeks, the subjects were examined medically. In addition, the study doctors asked about the course of pain and mobility restrictions on weekly phone calls. The researchers selected the value on the WOMAC (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index) pain scale as the primary endpoint (0–20 points).

Acupressure and sham acupressure significantly relieved the pain compared to the control group. Starting from 6.5 points in the acupressure group, the value had dropped to 5.4 after four weeks and to 4.8 points after eight weeks. That made a difference of 1.7 points. In the group with false acupressure, there was a similar decrease from 6.8 to 5.5 points (minus 1.3 points) within two months. In the control group, the value decreased by only 0.6 points. The WOMAC physical impairment subscale gave a similar picture. However, the difference between acupuncture and sham acupuncture group was not significant in both scales. A significant difference was observed only with regard to the differences between these two groups and the control group.

Pain also decreased significantly with acupressure treatment by 0.75 points, with sham acupuncture by 0.5 points more than in the control group.

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