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Acupuncture Beats Injected Morphine for Pain

Home » Acupuncture Beats Injected Morphine for Pain
September 12, 2019
Edward Smith

Acupuncture Beats Injected Morphine for Pain

A revolutionary study has been published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, which demonstrated that acupuncture was superior to injected morphine for pain management. Acupuncture is an ancient practice which involves placing needles into the skin at specific pressure points. While this practice originated in Asia, it is becoming more popular in the United States as a form of alternative pain management. On the other hand, morphine is an opioid medication that has been used extensively in the medical setting for acute pain management. There are also derivatives of morphine, such as MS Contin, which can be taken orally for outpatient pain management. A recent study published by a team of researchers compared the two pain management options.

The Design of the Research Study

In the study, researchers tracked patients who visited the emergency department at a large hospital over a period of one year. This emergency department receives more than 100,000 visits annually. The researchers decided to include 300 emergency department patients in their study. All of these patients came to the hospital for the treatment of acute pain.

The researchers then divided these patients into two separate groups. Half of the patients received morphine, about 15 mg per day, for their pain. The other half of the patients received acupuncture treatment for pain management. The researchers ensured that, aside from the differences in their treatment plans, the groups were otherwise similar in terms of gender, age, and overall health.

The Results of the Study: Acupuncture Proves Superior

The researchers asked the patients to grade their pain upon arrival. Then, after receiving the treatment (either morphine or acupuncture), continually tracked their pain during the course of their stay. Significant results include:

  • 92 percent of the acupuncture patients reported an improvement in their pain, compared to 78 percent of the patients in the morphine group
  • The time to pain resolution was about 16 minutes in the acupuncture group compared to about 28 minutes in the morphine group
  • More than half of the patients who received morphine reported adverse effects compared to around two percent of the patients in the acupuncture group

The most commonly reported adverse effect in the morphine group was dizziness (close to half of the patients). In contrast, the most commonly reported adverse effect in the acupuncture group was needle breakage (two percent of the patients).

In summary, the patients who received acupuncture treatment for their pain reported that their pain relief was faster, more complete, and with fewer side effects than their counterparts who received morphine. This may lead to a shift in the way doctors and hospitals manage individuals who present in pain.

Watch YouTube Video ~ Alternative Medicine: Acupuncture. Watch the video below to learn some basics about acupuncture. Ask your doctor if you can include this alternative medicine in your treatment plan.

Moving Forward: Future Directions

For decades, the World Health Organization has recognized acupuncture as both safe and effective in the treatment of discomfort and chronic pain. Even though their stance is clear, many medical professionals are still skeptical of its effectiveness and are reluctant to use it. Perhaps this stems from a lack of knowledge regarding how acupuncture works even though it has proven effective.

Regardless, the side effects of long-term opioid medications are clear. Narcotic medications are addictive and can have life-threatening side effects if taken improperly. Because of this, all patients and medical providers should consider acupuncture as an alternative to opioid medications. It may prove more effective in terms of pain relief and can do so with fewer side effects.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. Chronic pain management deserves a comprehensive treatment approach which can include effective acupuncture. If your loved one is suffering from chronic pain due to the negligence of another person or entity, please contact me today at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.

I am honored to be a lawyer in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, which is a group of injury attorneys who have received verdicts & negotiated settlements valued at greater than $1 million on behalf of their clients.

I am proud to be a member of the Top One Percent, an Association of Distinguished Counsel

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Citation of Image: The image at the beginning of this page was located first on Pixabay. The Creative Commons License has shown its use here.

Video Attribution: Sutter Health

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