Drs Martin & Sue Allbright

'Blending an ancient medical approach of mind and body with modern health'

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Acupuncture Research

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Structure

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Evidence

We would like to share with you our personal view, beliefs and approach about the research that is presented on these pages.






We both value the research of modern science and the many developments that have been discovered.

We also value the depth of wisdom and knowledge of traditional and classical five element acupuncture, which integrates the many aspects of body and mind.

We acknowledge the information gained from research, and we endevaour to use it where appropriate when meeting the needs of an individual who is suffering in health.

We hope later to share more information on the five elements of acupuncture.

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Classical Acupuncture

This site was last updated on

20th August 2018


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Osteoarthritis of the Knee

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Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this site is accurate. It is not the intention to mislead or misinform anyone.


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(2017) Moxibustion for the treatment of osteoarthritis: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis

‘The existing trial evidence is sufficiently convincing to suggest that moxibustion, compared with sham moxibustion and oral drugs, is effective for pain reduction and symptom management in Knee Osteoarthritis. The level of evidence is moderate, given the high risk of bias and small sample size.’

Tae-Young Choi, Myeong Soo Lee, Jong In Kim, Christopher Zaslawski (2017) Moxibustion for the treatment of osteoarthritis: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis Pub. Maturitas The European Menopause Journal

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2017.03.314


(2017) Comparison of acupuncture with other physical treatments for pain caused by osteoarthritis of the knee: a network meta-analysis.

‘Conclusion. The evidence available for our network meta-analyses, in which physical interventions for osteoarthritis of the knee were compared equally with each other within a coherent framework, suggests that the evidence of effectiveness for most interventions is weak. However, when comparing all interventions, whether based on the any-quality or the better-quality trials, acupuncture can be considered as one of the more effective physical treatments for alleviating pain in the short term.

MacPherson H, Vickers A, Bland M, Torgerson D, Corbett M, Spackman E, Saramago P, Woods B, Weatherly H, Sculpher M, Manca A, Richmond S, Hopton A, Eldred J, Watt I. (2017) Acupuncture for chronic pain and depression in primary care: a programme of research. Chapter 3.Southampton (UK): NIHR Journals Library; 2017 Jan.


(2017) Immediate Effects of Acupuncture Treatment on Intra- and Inter-Limb Contributions to Body Support During Gait in Patients with Bilateral Medial Knee Osteoarthritis.

Quote. Knee osteoarthritis (OA) often leads to altered balance control, joint motion and loading patterns during gait. Acupuncture has been proven to be effective in pain relief but its effects on inter-joint load-sharing for body balance have not been reported.

The altered intra- and inter-limb contributions to the demand of supporting the body during gait suggests that acupuncture treatment led to immediate changes in the control strategy toward a normal pattern.’

In short the immediate effect of acupuncture helped realign the join, took the strain off other joints and improved the mobility and posture of the person. However we do not know what amount of acupuncture would be required for long term postural benefits.

Yen-Hung L. et al. (2017) Immediate Effects of Acupuncture Treatment on Intra- and Inter-Limb Contributions to Body Support During Gait in Patients with Bilateral Medial Knee Osteoarthritis. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, Online Ready : pp. 1-13 (doi: 10.1142/S0192415X17500033)


(2016) Influence of acupuncture in treatment of knee osteoarthritis and cartilage repairing.

Abstract: As two major non-operative methods, physiotherapy and acupuncture have been proved to be safe and effective in osteoarthritis (OA) treatment. However, only a little study focused on functions of both methods on cartilage repairing. The main goal of this research is to prove and compare effectiveness of acupuncture and phys­iotherapy on OA, and to explore their possible efficacy on cartilage repairing. One hundred knees of 50 participants with knee osteoarthritis (KOA) were randomly divided into acupuncture group and physiotherapy group. Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) was used to evaluate the motor function of knee joints, followed by MRI scanning to measure T2 values in ten cartilage sub-regions in tibiofemoral joints. Significant lower scores of total WOMAC and three subscales on the 4th weekend were observed in both groups than those of the baseline (P < 0.01). For acupuncture group, scores of total WOMAC and three subscales for pain, stiffness and physical function on 4th weekend were significantly lower than those of the physiotherapy group (P < 0.01 and P < 0.05). T2 values in anterior medial tibial sub-region (MTa) and anterior lateral tibial sub-region (LTa) were signifi­cantly lower in acupuncture group on 4th weekend than those of the baseline (P < 0.05). No significant difference in T2 values was detected in physiotherapy group. These results indicate that acupuncture represents certain clinical effect on KOA which is superior compared with physiotherapy, and hint the possible roles of acupuncture in promot­ing cartilage repairing.


Acupuncture carried out. Seven acupoints of each side were select­ed for needling: EX-LE4 Neixiyan, EX-LE5 Waixiyan, EX-LE2 Heding, SP10 Xuehai, SP11 Jimen, ST34 Liangqiu and ST36 Zusanli (see Figure 1). Each acupuncture needle was manipulated until Deqi sensation occurred. Then the needles in EX-LE4 and EX-LE5 were connected with electric acupunc­ture apparatus (KWD-808II Multi-Purpose Health Device, Yingdi®, Changzhou, China), and continuous wave was selected with the stimulation of 20 HZ frequency and tolerated current strength by participants.



T2 values increase with the severity of OA disease. As two of the main weight-bearing areas in knee joint, MTa and LTa were the very places that the pinpoints could reach to when EX-LE4, EX-LE5 were selected as the acupoints. This study revealed significant dif­ferences in T2 values before and after acu­puncture in MTa and LTa, while no significant difference in T2 value was detected in the phys­iotherapy group. Previous studies have proved anti-inflammatory action of acupuncture by influencing expression of interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α, matrix metalloproteinase and tissue inhibitor. Additionally, acu­puncture may play roles in improving cartilage repairing by influencing expression of trans­forming growth factor-β1 and basic fibroblast growth factor. Further, acupuncture allows needles getting into articular cavity, and then pinpoints reached to the cartilage surface, while physiotherapy acts only at the superficial location of knee joint. This might contribute to the significant differences in T2 values in MTa and LTa.



Conclusion

In summary, this study indicates that acupunc­ture is a feasible alternative therapy for KOA patients. Acupuncture shows an impact on T2 value in cartilage, which may suggest a superi­or clinical effect when compared with physio-therapy.


Reproduced from, Yan Zhang, Fei Bao, Yan Wang, & Zhihong Wu (2016) Influence of acupuncture in treatment of knee osteoarthritis and cartilage repairing.  Am J Transl Res 2016;8(9):3995-4002, www.ajtr.org /ISSN:1943-8141/AJTR0029619

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(2013) Acupuncture and other physical treatments for the relief of pain due to osteoarthritis of the knee: network meta-analysis.

'Conclusions: As a summary of the current available research, the network meta-analysis results indicate that acupuncture can be considered as one of the more effective physical treatments for alleviating osteoarthritis knee pain in the short-term.' M.S. Corbett M.S. et al (2013) Acupuncture and other physical treatments for the relief of pain due to osteoarthritis of the knee: network meta-analysis. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 21 (2013) 1290e1298 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.joca.2013.05.007

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(2018) Periosteal Electrical Dry Needling as an Adjunct to Exercise and Manual Therapy (MT) for Knee Osteoarthritis

‘Discussion: The inclusion of electrical dry needling into a MT and exercise program was more effective for improving pain, function, and related-disability than the application of MT and exercise alone in individuals with painful knee OA.’

Dunning J, Butts R. et al. (2018) Periosteal Electrical Dry Needling as an Adjunct to Exercise and Manual Therapy for Knee Osteoarthritis. Clin J Pain  Volume 00, Number 00, ’’ 2018.


(2018) Enhancing treatment of osteoarthritis knee pain by boosting expectancy: A functional neuroimaging study

‘Conclusions: Our study provides a novel method and mechanism for boosting the treatment of pain in patients with knee osteoarthritis improves pain and treatment effects of acupuncture.’

Kong J.,Wang Z., et al. (2018) Enhancing treatment of osteoarthritis knee pain by boosting expectancy: A functional neuroimaging study. NeuroImage: Clinical Volume 18, 2018, Pages 325-334.


(2017) Updated systematic review and meta-analysis of acupuncture for chronic knee pain (CKP).

'Conclusion From this systematic review, we conclude that acupuncture may be effective at relieving CKP 12 weeks after acupuncture administration, based on the current evidence and our protocol. However, given the heterogeneity and methodological limitations of the included trials, we are currently unable to draw any strong conclusions regarding the effectiveness of acupuncture for chronic knee pain. In addition, we found that acupuncture appears to have a satisfactory safety profile, although further studies with larger numbers of participants are needed to confirm the safety of this technique.'

Zhang Q, Yue J, Golianu B, et al Updated systematic review and meta-analysis of acupuncture for chronic knee pain Acupuncture in Medicine Published Online First: 08 November 2017. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2016-011306

(2017) Electro-Acupuncture (EA) is Beneficial for Knee Osteoarthritis: The Evidence from Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.

'The outcomes included the evaluation of effectiveness, pain and physical function. Risk of bias was evaluated according to the Cochrane risk of bias tool. Eleven RCTs with 695 participants were included. Meta-analysis indicated that EA was more effective than pharmacological treatment and manual acupuncture. Also, EA had a more significant effect in reducing the pain intensity and improving the physical function in the perspective of WOMAC and LKSS (pharmacological treatment. Furthermore, these studies implied that EA should be performed for at least 4 weeks. Conclusively, the results indicate that EA is a great opportunity to remarkably alleviate the pain and improve the physical function of KOA patients with a low risk of adverse reaction.'

Chen et al, (2017) Electro-Acupuncture is Beneficial for Knee Osteoarthritis: The Evidence from Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1142/S0192415X17500513