New study on acupuncture to reduce pain and inflammation in children with acute appendicitis

May 13, 2015
Credit: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

Acupuncture was shown to lessen pain and reduce the underlying inflammation in pediatric patients with a diagnosis of acute appendicitis, according to a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Alan L. Nager, MD, MHA and coauthors from Children's Hospital Los Angeles and the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California assessed subjective pain among immediately before and 20 minutes after treatment by a licensed acupuncturist. The researchers also measured two biomarkers of inflammation in blood samples taken before, during, and 30 minutes after needle placement.

In the article "Effects of Acupuncture on Pain and Inflammation in Pediatric Emergency Department Patients with Acute Appendicitis: A Pilot Study," the authors report that the patients' subjective pain decreased, likely due to the acupuncture treatment. Furthermore, one of the inflammatory biomarkers (white blood cell count) "showed a modest and noticeable drop," suggesting "that the effectiveness of acupuncture may have a biophysiological basis."

Explore further: Study finds acupuncture does not improve chronic knee pain

More information: The article is available free on the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine website until June 12, 2015.

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